Harolds Dive Center | Harolds Dive Center-Apo Island Dive Sites
Apo Island is one of the top dive location in the world.Explore & enjoy the dive sites around Apo Island with Harold's Dive Center world class diving.
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Harolds Dive Center Dive Sites and Routes

APO ISLAND

Apo Island is one of the top diving locations in the world. In the Visayan dialect; Bisaya the word “Apo” means grandchild. Apo Island is the grand child of the volcanic mountain in Negros Oriental. Diving around Apo Island is considered “the best” of the Visaya’s because of its great corals and dense marine life.

 

One of the reasons scuba enthusiast visit the Philippines is the world famous Apo Island. The dozen dive sites around Apo Island – one of the first marine sanctuaries – has it all. And it’s for everyone.

 

The different dive sites are suitable for snorkelers and/or divers with little experience and for those that have seen it all. The excellent state of the marine life around Apo guarantees an unforgettable experience, whether you will be astonished by the diverse colorful array of soft coral or the abundance of reef fish. Not to mention sea snakes, turtles, schools of jacks and barracudas. Oh, and did I mention turtles? Apo Island has it all.

 

Every dive site has their “specialty”, concerning the type of dive site (e.g. wall, gently sloping reef, sandy bottom) and the typical dive you might do there (e.g. drift, muck). A number of these sites are considered to be among the best in the Philippines.

 

The fish mentioned below are the more common reef fish which you are likely to see at every dive site: anemone/clown fish, angel fish, banner fish, bat fish, cardinal fish, damsel fish, jacks / trevally, moorish idol, parrot fish, porcupine fish, puffer fish, snappers, squirrel fish, sweetlips, trigger fish, trumpet fish and many more.

Balouarte

DEPTH: 8-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-20 meters (+/-)
TYPE: FLAT SLOPE
CURRENT: Gentle
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: C

Boularte is the name of the big rock at the north east corner of Apo Island. A cool dive site where a continuous stream of bubbles – created through the volcanic activity under the island can be seen.

 

A small wall covered in beautiful soft corals, that gradually turns into a black sandy slope with coral bommies strewn around, which hide a variety of marine life including various garden eels and sea snakes.

Chapel

DEPTH: 6-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-25 meters (+/-)
TYPE: CLIFF-SLOPE DIVE
CURRENT: Gentle to Moderate
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: B/C

So named because you can see Apo Island’s only chapel. A gentle sandy slope that leads to a very steep slope and then a wall with loads of small crevices and caverns and overhangs decorated by many hard and soft corals, fans, sponges and anemones.

It is a great place to see lionfish, scorpion fish, blue fin trevailly, lobsters, many nudibranches, garden eels, moray eels, ribbon eels, turtles, frogfish, napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and maybe even the odd thresher shark out in the deep blue.

Coconut Point

DEPTH: 5-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 15-35 meters (+/-)
TYPE: Current/Reef Dive
CURRENT: Very Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER+
RATING: A

Coconut Point also known as “the washing machine” is always an exciting dive. The strong currents may come at you left, right and center and can push you back up or pull you deeper down. The sloping reef gives way to a rock wall, in between two rock cliffs you will come across a sandy channel,where you can rest / wait and look out for larger pelagic, such as reef sharks or manta rays to pass by.

 

Every now and then a whale shark is spotted too. Asides from the turtles you can expect to see bumphead parrotfish, jacks,tuna, snappers, sweetlips, barracuda, sea snakes, potato groupers and even napoleon wrasse.

Cogon

DEPTH: 15-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-35 meters (+/-)
TYPE: SLOPE DIVE
CURRENT: Moderate to Very Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER +
RATING: A

Cogon is named after the blady Philippine ‘COGON‘ grass that you can see in front of the dive site. This dive starts on a sandy slope and a current taking you south to a sloping reef of mixed corals and sponges that ends in a steep wall.

 

The current ensures a variety of marine life, so keep an eye open towards the blue for schools of pelagic fish, such as big eye trevallies, eagle rays, mantas and reef sharks. Spotting banded sea snakes, turtles, snappers, boxfish, clown triggerfish, napoleon wrasse, cuttlefish, bumphead parrotfish, mantis shrimp and blue spotted stingray during the dive is fairly common too.

Kan-Uran

DEPTH: 5-30 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-20 meters (+/-)
TYPE: STEEP SLOPE
CURRENT:Moderate to Very Strong
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: C

Kan Uran – meaning from(the person) Uran – is a steep slope with loads of crevices and overhangs covered in beautiful soft and hard corals.

 

You’ll come across many gobies, pipefish, file fish, razor fish, nudibranches, moray eels, shrimp, scorpion fish and a lot more macro stuff.

Katipanan

DEPTH:5-20 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-20 meters (+/-)
TYPE: SLOPE Dive
CURRENT: Gentle to Moderate
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: C

Katipanan gets its name from the small cowry shells you might spot amongst the soft corals. It is a gentle slope with soft corals which ends into a sandy slope.

 

Look out for cuttle fish, nudibranches, sea snakes and turtles.

Largahan

DEPTH: 10-20 Meters
VISIBILITY: 8-20 meters (+/-)
TYPE: FLAT SLOPE
CURRENT:Moderate
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: C

A shallow sandy slope with beautiful coral bommies ending at a small wall that bottoms out on a dark sandy area, from which volcanic bubbles escape.

Nudibranches and flatworms, frog fish, scorpion fish, ribbon eels are a few you should keep your eyes open for.

Mamsa Point

DEPTH: 15-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-35 meters (+/-)
TYPE: STEEP SLOPE DIVE
CURRENT: Moderate to Very Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER +
RATING: B

Mamsa means Jack fish in the Visayan language. The dive site starts as a gently sloping reef, turns into a steep slope with underwater boulders and ends in a steep wall of soft and hard corals.

 

Strong currents are common, which bring in big schools of jacks that form a protective circle from the larger predatory pelagic tunas and sharks that like to hunt them.

Marine Sanctuary

DEPTH: 5-25 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-25 meters (+/-)
TYPE: SLOPE
CURRENT:Gentle
DIFFICULTY: OPEN WATER+
RATING: B

On the south-east shore of Apo Island, the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary was the first small-scale marine sanctuary in the Philippines. Fishing has been prohibited in this area for the last 30 years and only up to 15 divers a day are allowed. The result is a kaleidoscope of a serious wide range of coral types and formations colored in a way you would not believe possible.

 

The wall drops down to roughly 25m and at the end of the dive you will be amazed again when you visit “Clown fish city”, a shallow area full of hundreds of Nemo’s swimming around their anemone covered coral blocks.

 

Currently in state of rehabilitation due to severe damaged by typhoon Sendong in 2011 and Typhoon Pablo in 2012 , this dive site is currently close to the public for diving and snorkeling.

Olo

DEPTH:15-30 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-35 meters (+/-)
TYPE: SLOPE Dive
CURRENT: Very Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER+
RATING:A/B

Olo meaning “head” in Visayan, lies at the head of Apo Island. The currents can be quite strong here, going west to Coconut Point and south to Cogon. A sandy slope full of staghorn coral divides two walls.

 

With all the fish around you, you would think you are swimming in an aquarium, which is quite true: big wrasses, triggerfish, massive puffer fish, sweetlips, angelfish, snappers, turtles, emperor fish, even sharks are what you may expect to see here.

Rock Point East

DEPTH: 5-35 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-25 meters (+/-)
TYPE: SLOPE DIVE
CURRENT:Gentle to Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER+
RATING: B

The east side of Rock Point starts as a steep wall and ends as a plateau at the tip of the point. Due to the currents at the tip it is a great place to keep your eyes on the blue for schools of jacks, reef sharks and the occasional manta ray.

The abundantly diverse hard and soft corals full of interesting macro stuff and numerous types of bigger and smaller reef fish give you the impression you’re diving in an aquarium.

Rock Point West

DEPTH: 5-25 Meters
VISIBILITY: 10-25 meters (+/-)
TYPE: PLATFORM SLOPE DIVE
CURRENT: Gentle to Strong
DIFFICULTY: ADV. OPEN WATER +
RATING: B

This site is a sloping one with platforms at different levels. The current usually gets stronger as you get nearer to the tip of the point where you can usually see larger fish.

 

The deeper you go, the harder the corals are. The marine life is similar to Rock Point East.

HDC Apo Dive Trips

Depending upon the number of divers (minimum of 4 persons) Harolds Dive Center organizes dive trips to Apo Island almost on a daily basis, as long as the weather permits.

 

Apo Island dive trips usually starts with the guests departing from Harolds Mansion Hostel around 7-8 A.M. for Dauin Dive Center (our jump off point to Apo Island) this is enough time to pick up guests who book dive trips with us but are staying in other accommodations.

  • Minimum of 4 scuba divers required
  • Favorable sea & weather conditions

HDC Does it better!

Harolds Dive Center has made more than 2000 dive trips since 2005, 85% of those trips excluding Dive Safaris are Apo Island Dive Trips. We en devour to make each and every Apo Island dive trip as exciting, fun-filled and memorable experience for all our guests and friends.

  • Apo Dive Trips

  • Dive Safari

  • Other Islands