We are 5 friends who are very familiar with the Philippines and had Apo Reef on our bucket list for quite a while! We were greeted by owner Michael on arrival and received and short briefing before heading to our wonderful sea view room. The sunset here at the resort is AMAZING and a few beers were had in the infinity pool before an early night. Up bright and early we headed out on the boat 3 hours to Apo Reef. 1st dive, shipwreck, nice and safe check dive but also stunningly beautiful, then on to another 9 dives loaded with sharks, rays, turtles, cuttlefish, tuna, trevally and octopus. Dive guide/instructor Sean was super happy all the time and made countless coffees for us, Chef Armando cooked up a storm for every meal, in fact it seemed like he cooked non-stop, all the crew worked their butts off the whole trip! We did a 2 night 3 day boat tour and it was just the perfect amount of time, I for one will definitely be back. I learnt that Apo Reef is the worlds 2nd largest reef, after the great barrier reef (and that's very expensive to do) so what are you waiting for?
We spend 5 nights at Apo Reef Club, two of those on the diving boat at Apo Reef.
Michael and his whole team provided a great service durning our stay.
We have been picked up directly at the harbor and already got first insights on the way to the resort.
There we could enjoy a hearty welcome from the whole team, enjoy the first evening in the generous bungalow room with private terrace and sea view.
For the planned two nights trip to the Apo Reef the next day we got a first briefing and a box from the well organized diving centre.
The trip to the Apo Reef started next morning on the diving boat together with 10 additional guests, 3 dive guides and the boat crew.
The boat has no luxury - it’s simple, clean and offers the relevant infrastructure for a relaxed two day trip.
After three diving days at Apo Reef with a trip to the Apo Reef Island, we enjoyed two additional days at Apo Reef Club. Michael and team offered us during that time private trips to the surrounding highlands. Which was a great experience - thank you all - great customer service.
Carmen & Arthur
I cannot speak highly enough of Apo Reef Club. This is a perfect dive resort experience. First, the resort itself is lovely. Located on what feels like a private beach, with a beautiful pool and dining area. The food is fantastic, and the service is spectacular. I stayed in the backbacker room, which was clean, comfortable, and perfect for the budget traveler.
Next, the trip to Apo Reef was very well-run and the diving was really special. The boat was in good shape, also clean and comfortable, with a friendly crew and quality dive masters. If you want to see some pelagics without paying the price of Tubbataha, Apo Reef is the way to go.
Finally, the hospitality. Michael and Mary (owners) go well above and beyond to give you the best experience possible. When I arrived as a solo traveler, they got everyone together to eat a family style dinner with me. When Cebu Pacific cancelled our flight from San Jose to Manila, Michael and his team organized alternate transport for every guest at the resort (over 15 people!). Simply amazing.
I’ll definitely be back, hopefully soon!
Michael and Mary are running the most wonderful establishment that is instantly both completely professional and warm and family like. We stayed 7 nights and 8 days at Apo reef club and I'll detail here how it was one of the best holidays we have ever had.
Premises/rooms: the resort is gorgeous. It's literally on the beach and the only hotel I could find in the area with a pool. The pool is clean, deep and frankly gorgeous. We had the beach front bungalow which means we woke up with a view of the ocean and the sunrise and the sounds of birds. The bungalow is large and clean and you have lots of space for your things. Plus there's a safety locker and mini fridge.
As we were celebrating our anniversary, the staff decorated our room with flowers and lights and prepared the special sea-facing deck for our dinner. It was all a surprise and we felt truly spoilt.
Food: The food is delicious and there's lots of variety at dinner. Even though it's a buffet, there are high quality dishes - we had crab one night (yes unlimited crab), shrimp one night, whole fish one night... You get the picture. The desserts are usually super tasty as well. Breakfast is very good as well and typically Filipino style (but there's also fruits, cereal, bread etc). If you like fresh, free range, local eggs for breakfast, you will be very happy here.
Liveaboard: we did the liveaboard TWICE and we were so glad we did. Apo reef is so insanely beautiful and the dives we had were spectacular. Ego wall and Apo menor were our favourite sites. Dive Masters Glenn, Marco, Ferdie took excellent care of us, equipment was in ship shape, and the boat staff do their best to make your dives comfortable - they do all the work and help you suit up. All you have to do is jump ;-) Food on the liveaboard was not lacking in variety. Dinner and lunch would usually have 2-3 meat dishes and 1-2 veggies (sometimes more). We had bread, rice, noodles and pasta dishes alongside and fruits and biscuits as snacks. I suggest bringing your own snacks too if you feel extra hungry between dives.
Extras: given the remote location and the fact that you cannot exactly walk to a nearby bar or restaurant, we felt that the extras like beer, wine, etc. were quite reasonably priced. Even the extra dives were priced in line with other dive centers we have visited in busier parts of the Philippines.
All in all, it was an incredibly relaxing holiday in the best of locations with exceptional hospitality. We couldn't have asked for more and we'd love to return to Apo reef club!
I was looking for a way to dive on Apo Reef without taking an expensive liveaboard and I came across Apo Reef Club. I’m so glad I did!!
Michael, the owner, is Swiss and set up Apo Reef Club about 13 years ago after falling in love with the reef. Even today his love of every dive there is infectious and his enthusiasm creates a wonderful, family style atmosphere in the resort and on his trips. His wife Mary who is Philippine also takes such great of the guests.
The booking process was easy, being able to transfer money for payment in Europe or the Philippines or by PayPal. They were very fast to answer all queries and helped me plan my travel and transfers, which was extremely helpful.
I booked a dive package out to apo reef plus a few extra days in the resort to relax. The bungalows have aircon plus fans, hot showers, comfortable beds and a working safe. They are nicely designed and are all spaced out so you are not crowded.
There is a lovely pool in the centre of the resort overlooking the beach and plenty of loungers to relax.
The resort provides half board (anyway there is nowhere else near by). You can choose from a variety of breakfast options. Dinner is a buffet with various options and family style dining, which makes for a cosy atmosphere. There is a good menu for lunch, everything from spring rolls to pizza! They have a big garden where the grow lots of their own fruit and vegetables.
It’s obvious that the owner has a very social conscience and employs several disadvantaged people. He has carefully created a family atmosphere amongst his staff and looks after them very well. He is also creating a football, badminton and beach volleyball pitches plus a running track in the fields belonging to the resort for clients - as well as allowing local kids to use them.
If you don’t have your own dive gear, you can rent good equipment from the shop there. They have a well kept compressor.
The boats are pretty basic by Liveaboard standards, but somehow that adds to their charm. The do the over-night trips to the reef on bangkas. They are quite spacious, but everyone sleeps on board on an upper deck full of mattresses - so if you don’t fancy bunking down with others this will not be for you. The mattresses are comfortable though!! Plenty of room for all your dive stations and for meals.
I did 7 dives at the reef. The guides are great fun and very knowledgeable. The diving was the best I’ve done in the Philippines. Stunning blue water, so many beautiful fish, schools of barracuda and hacks and a hammerhead!! The final dive was on a small shipwreck which was teeming with life. Beautiful!!
Really enjoyed coming back from the dive trip and watching the stunning sunset from the deck of the dive centre drinking a beer! Great location to chill out after the trip.
As their location is not near any town you won’t just happen upon it. So, you need to contact them by mail or via the website. They can then organise everything for you.
Prices seem to be quite standard around everywhere I’ve dived In the Philippines, the park fees are quite high though at ca 3000 pesos for the trip.
I dive a lot and like to make sure I dive with good shops who are safety conscious and provide good quality, so I am happy to highly recommend Apo Reef Club. Plus the dive sites at the reef are spectacular and absolutely worth making your way out there.