Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro is the second largest atoll reef in the world. It’s a more popular dive destination as it is more accessible and more budget-friendly than Tubbataha Reef. However, Apo Reef also has its own charms. It is equally beautiful and exquisite with around 400 species of corals and over 500 species of fish, which includes sharks, sting rays, manta rays, morays, parrot fish and many others in its deep blue waters.
From Metro Manila, Apo Reef is four rides away by public transportation. It takes at least 10 hours to get to the main island. Here’s a reminder if you’re planning to go there, there is no electricity, no cellular reception and no freshwater to shower with. Camping out is the only option for overnight stays and you will need to secure a permit in advance. Booking a local tour operator might be your best option.