In a nutshell
Best known for the sea turtle sanctuary, Apo Island in Negros Oriental is equally famous for its marvellous dive sites, the pebble beach, and abundant marine life.
Why go to Apo Island
Have you ever dreamed about swimming side by side with giant sea turtles as they effortlessly glide across crystal blue water?As you dive freely, you marvel over the stunning corals that hide a thousand and one aquatic creatures, eels, crabs, sea anemones, sea pens, algae, sponges, urchins, and many more.You look up for a moment and you spy the sun trying to cut through the stillness of the blue water.Surreal, isn’t it?These memories keep us coming back in our mind to this volcanic island.
It is also a top diving and snorkelling destination with no less than 11 dive spots scattered around the island.Whether you are a novice or experienced diver, you are sure to discover your own underwater paradise here.
If you are a photography enthusiast, you will find the unique rock formations are a source of endless inspirations.As certified beach bum, you will also find the cove and the pebble covered shoreline quite unique and charming.There are also moderate hiking and trekking activities to be tried like climbing up the Apo Island’s Lighthouse for a panoramic view of Negros mainland.Various trails can also be explored such as the 600m Habagat Eco Trail, Witchy’s Trail, and David’s Trek.
When to go to Apo Island
It is always best to embark on an island adventure during the dry season in the country which typically runs between the months of November to May.Experience prime diving and snorkelling conditions from January to May while it’s best to avoid the months of July to September due to strong monsoon currents.
Where to stay on Apo Island
The tiny island is a host to a number of accommodations but do not expect any fancy hotels here.In fact, there are only a handful of homestays and two resorts as of the date of writing.Despite the limited options however, it is worth noting that the rates are relatively inexpensive compared to other island destinations.In what would be considered luxurious stays, private rooms are going for only PHP2,000 to PHP3,500.Budget travellers will surely appreciate the homestays which offer rooms for as low as PHP500.This is the rate for 2 people and may also include basic breakfast of bread and coffee, or whatever is readily available in the kitchen.
Solo backpackers and solo travellers rejoice!Beds in dormitory type accommodations here are a steal at PHP300 per night.
In general deciding on where to stay here is largely determined by your Barato rather than the location since these places are all within a stone’s throw of each other.Apo Island Beach Resort however is unique in that it’s tucked away in a private cove separated from the main section of the island.
A few things to note Pitching tents and camping overnight is not allowed on the island.
Mosquitoes can also be a problem at night and although beds are provided with mosquito nets, it is best to bring your own insect repellent lotion.
There is no running water.
Lastly, electricity is a luxury here.They turn it on for around 3 hours a day between 7pm and 10pm.
Where to eat on Apo Island
Don’t go to the island expecting a vibrant restaurant scene.There’s none.If anything, meal times are rather a dismal affair.Of course, homestays do serve meals and resorts have their own restaurants but the price is outrageous relative to what you’re getting.Even if you venture out and try the local eateries, it’s the same sob story.Food that’s bland, uninspired, and overpriced.Expect to spend around PHP200 for something as basic as a combo of chicken/pork/fish, a small side of veggies, and steamed rice.
Liberty Lodge Restaurant at least offers a nicely varied menu that tastes okay and they make delicious pancakes.The lady owner at Ronor’s homestay also makes a mean chicken adobo.The rest of her cooking also hits the spot and costs a bit less than elsewhere.Personally, we think it’s best to get supplies from Malatapay Market or from the local fishermen and utilize the shared kitchen if available.You may also ask your host to cook it for you at a fee.
How to get around Apo Island
Getting around the tiny island is never a problem as it is only about 3 km around.In fact, you can explore it in less than a day.Needless to say, walking can get you wherever you need to be.Dry months can be hot and humid so make sure to wear sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated.If going on a trek to the lighthouse or the view point, wear appropriate footwear as the trail could be steep and slippery.
How to get to and from Apo Island
If coming from Manila, there are daily flights to Dumaguete serviced by both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.It is roughly less than 2 hours away and tickets costs around PHP2000 to PHP6000 one way.You can also get in from Cebu and Davao for as low as PHP800 provided you book months in advance.From the airport, it is about a 15-minute tricycle ride to the bus terminal.Fare should be around PHP50 to PHP100 .
Those coming from Cebu can also make their way to the South Bus Terminal and board a Ceres bus bound for Liloan, Santander.Fare is PHP200 and travel time is around 4 hours.From Santander Port, catch the fast craft headed to Sibulan Port Terminal in Negros Occidental.This should take around 15 to 20 minutes and fare is PHP67.Upon arrival, ride a jeepney to the bus terminal for PHP20.
From the bus terminal, board a Bayawan bound bus and get off at Malatapay Market.Travel time should be around 2 to 2.5 hours and ticket costs PHP200 for A/C and PHP125 for non A/C.Walk to the registration area at the port and get on a boat.Boats can be rented from PHP2000 to PHP3500 round trip.Price depends on the number of passengers the boat can carry.If you’re not travelling in a group, it’s best to join other people and share the costs.
Is Apo Island a safe place to visit?
Apo Island is so tiny that practically everybody knows everybody.You won’t have to worry about crime, traffic or beggars.Whatever crime that occurs are against the environment so be a responsible tourist, do not touch the sea turtles, and dispose your trash properly.Dive masters are experienced but do check the equipment conditions.Don’t go snorkelling on your own when the weather is not so good as the water can be really rough.Also, boats cannot leave the island after 4pm to ensure everyone’s safety.
Enlaces de interés de Filipinas
- Viajes económicos
- Cagayan de oro
- Pueblo de la coronación
- El nido
- Datos de interés
- Turismo de lujo
- Bartón de puerto
- Días festivos
- Puerto princesa
- Viaje en solitario
- Bahía submarina
- Top 10 de aventuras
- 10 principales atracciones
- Seguro de viaje
- Consejos de viaje