Apo island is a 12 hectare volcanic island located 7 kilometers off the southeastern tip of Negros Island or 25 kilometers south of Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental province. It is a small island known for its underwater activities such as snorkeling and diving because of rich marine life. Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, has a Marine Sanctuary which is considered as one of the oldest protected marine reserves in the Philippines.
On our 2nd day in Dumaguete City, we were treated by Islands Leisure Boutique Hotel and Spa in Dumaguete City for a day tour on Apo Island. It is one of the activities they offer to their guests.
GETTING THERETo get to the island, one should take a Ceres bus bound for Bayawan City that passes through the municipality of Zamboanguita. Tell the bus attendant to drop you at Malatapay Market, travel time is about 40 minutes and fare is 50 pesos. Walk to the shore where you will find an information center. From here, you just have to register and hire a boat that will take you to Apo Island. The boat (motorized outrigger) ride costs about PHP 2,000 (medium boat good for 4 passengers) or PHP 3,000 (big boat good for 8 passengers) round trip.
MALATAPAY WEDNESDAY MARKETSince it was a Wednesday when we went there, Malatapay Market is so alive where a lot of agricultural produce and other products are on sale. Wednesday is the best day to visit Apo Island, so you could also checkout the market.
BOAT RIDE TO APO ISLANDThe boat ride to Apo island takes only about 30-40 minutes depending on sea condition. Upon reaching the island, you need to register and pay a fee of 100 pesos to the office. It is a marine sanctuary fee used for maintenance and preservation of the island.
We proceeded to one of the resorts to have our lunch and rested for a while.
After having our lunch, we readied our snorkeling gears and went to the beach.
SWIMMING WITH THE MARINE TURTLESWe were so excited! We were told that we could see some turtles swimming freely in the sea. And we were not disappointed as we saw several turtles swimming. We didn't even have to go to the deep part of the sea, even on the shallow area you'll be able to catch them swimming. Too bad we didn't have an underwater camera to capture the moment. But it was still a very happy experience swimming with them. It was my first time to swim with these lovely creatures. Please be reminded that you are NOT allowed to touch and feed the marine turtles and do not disturb them while they are eating.
On one side of the island, you'll also find a small stretch of shoreline with nice fine sand. This is where you could spend your time if you wish to go sunbathing or just to bum.
If you wish to stay overnight, the island has resorts with reasonable accommodation rates. Since we're just here for a day trip, we prepared our things a boarded our boat going back to Malatapay at around 3:00 PM. Boats taking passengers back and forth are not allowed to leave the island later than 4:00 PM. They make sure that boats get back to Zamboanguita or Dauin before sunset, for safety reasons.
Just recently, Apo Island was voted as one of the Top 10 Philippine Gems. Be sure to visit Apo Island if you're traveling to Negros Oriental and enjoy its rich marine life and tranquil environment!
HOW TO GET TO APO ISLAND
- In Dumaguete City, take a tricycle to Ceres Bus Station, fare is 8 pesos each.
- Take a bus bound for Bayawan City and tell the bus attendant to drop you at Malatapay Market in the municipality of Zamboanguita, travel time is about 40 minutes and fare is 50 pesos.
- Walk towards the shore where an information center is located. From here, you just have to register and hire a boat that will take you to Apo Island. The boat ride costs about PHP 2,000 (medium boat good for 4 passengers) or PHP 3,000 (big boat good for 8 passengers) round trip.
This trip happened last September 11, 2013. Thanks to Islands Leisure Boutique Hotels and Spa for bringing us to Apo Island.
More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.
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