Wondering who I am meeting up in Apo Island? Someone who you will surely love! 😀
But before that, let us know a little bit more about the island.
Apo Island is a volcanic island covering 12 hectares in land area, 7 kilometers off the southeastern tip of Negros Island and 30 kilometers south of the Negros Oriental capital of Dumaguete in the Philippines. The name “Apo” was derived from a Filipino word for “grandchild”. (By Wikipedia)
How to get there?
1. TO DUMAGUETE CITY
To reach the island, you must go to Dumaguete City first. You can either take a plane or boat or land travel to reach the city.
2. DUMAGUETE CITY TO MALATAPAY PORT
From Dumaguete City, take a tricycle going to either Ceres Bus Terminal or directly to Malatapay Port (can be so expensive). Malatapay Port is located in Zamboanguita where the boat going to the island is dock. Dumaguete City to Malatapay Port is around 30 minutes to an hour.
If you will take a tricycle to Malatapay Port, make sure to bargain and ask some locals about the fare. Some drivers would charge higher because of the distance and they do not have passengers in going back to the city.
In our case, we hailed a tricycle from Dumaguete City to Liquid Resort in Dauin (where we will stay for the night). The driver charged us Php400 but if we contacted the resort, it is only Php300. From the resort to Malatapay Port, it is Php 250 per way.
3.MALATAPAY PORT TO APO ISLAND
The moment you arrive in the port, go directly to the tourism office. The staff will accommodate you for the boat that will take you to the island. The rate depends on the number of passengers (rate below). The rate is for two-way already.
It takes 30-minute bumpy boat ride to reach the island. Make sure to let the boatmen keep your things unless those are waterproof or placed inside a dry bag. You will surely get wet. So, you now know what to wear and bring. 😁
So why go to Apo Island and travel that far?
If you are a nature lover, you will surely love the place. It is surrounded with plants/trees. It is rich when it comes to marine life. It is truly perfect for relaxation away from the busy life and the hustle and bustle of the city.
I heard that you can tour the whole island by foot in a day. So for those who want to see everything in the island should try this.
But the most common purposes for tourists in going there are to do scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming with the turtle.
There are many foreigners going in the island and most of them go there for scuba diving. Of course, it is worth it because of how rich the marine life and how much the people care about it.
For the day use guests like us, usually are there to snorkel and see the turtle. And if you are lucky, you can even have a photo op with the turtle or have them as your photobomber. Also, do not forget to see their beautiful corals, find nemo and have a picture with the school of fish.
What to do when you get there?
But wait.. Control your excitement first! You cannot just directly hop off your boat and run to the sanctuary to snorkel. There are some things you have to do.
First, go to the tourism office in the island (near the resort) and pay the environmental fee of Php 100 each.
Next, look for the group of people where you can hire a guide and rent snorkelling gears. (See rates below.)
So if you have those at home, better bring it to minimize your expenses. It is advisable to use booties because you will be stepping on rocks/stones and not fine sands. The mask is needed to be able to appreciate more on what you can see underwater and the vest since the sea is deep.
If you are bringing things, better rent a cottage and if you will be staying there the whole day. The cottage costs Php 300. Your stuff is safe since the owner will be there to guard it.
Foods in the island can be a little bit expensive. So, it is better to bring lunch, snacks and drinks. But if you were not able to do it, you may ask the cottage owner to cook lunch for you. You will just give them the payment for the ingredients and only pay them the labor.
Where to stay?
If you are planning to stay overnight or more, look ahead for the resort you will be staying.
What we can find in the docking area of the boat are Apo Island Beach Resort (same owner with Coco Grove Resort and Coco Grande Hotel) and Liberty Lodge and Dive Resort. Just contact them for the updated rates. The electricity in the island is only from 6PM-11PM unless the resort has its own generator.
If you are planning to visit the island, you may check the photos below. We took it during our trip last November 2015. 😃
If you’re amazed on the photos, the more when you will be there. So include Apo Island now on your bucketlist or place to visit. We all need a break from a busy schedule, polluted city and stressful mind.
As they say, “Mother knows best”. But for this, Mother Nature is the Best. 💚💙❤️