Where: Apo Island, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Central Vizayas, Philippines
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: Jul 2015
What: Fin noggin' with sea turtles of Apo Island in the beautiful province of Dumaguete
We always wanted to swim with the gentle sea turtles of Apo Island, a small volcanic island about 12 hectares, located 7 kilometers along the tip of Negros Island. It is also listed as one of top 100 dive spots in the world.
Booked an early flight from Manila to Dumaguete that are available daily.
From Dumaguete Airport, go out and catch a bus or jeep going to Malatapay Port in the town of Zamboanguita.
Malatapay Port is the jump off and nearest point from the tip of the island of Negros to Apo Island and a 15-20 minute boat ride will get you to Apo Island and their rates are automatically 2 way. (for rates see Pricing)
*PROTIP - You will have to walk through the water to board and get off the boat. Make sure you change into your slippers (the water may have some sharp rocks) and either wear shorts or roll up your clothes.
Depending on your planned itinerary, you have many places to stay in Dumaguete City, or if you choose to be near Apo Island, you can look for resorts/accommodation in the towns of Dauin or Zamboanguita. Or If you really plan to stay longer, there are also few accommodations on Apo Island.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
+ Resort is near Apo Island
+ Has a big swimming pool with deep and shallow areas for kids (and even nice lights at night!)
+ Rooms are good, has all amenities (clothes hanger and tables cabinets) that we look for
+ Bathroom is nice with showers hot/cold and looks cool with a view of a small mini garden.
+ Staff and people are very friendly and helpful
+ Restaurant is pretty good and serves good int'l food (French,Japanese).
+ Free Breakfast, has unlimited cereal, coffee, fruits and your choice of Int'l, American or Filipino breakfast.
- Rooms look a little bit old fashioned (like early 90's tiles on bathroom etc.) but no problem with that
- Rooms has a little old-ish / funky smell, but can easily be remedied by air freshener or something.
Price: $$ 3-5,000PHP for 2
Service: 5 star - Service & staff, from front desk to waitress were very helpful and nice.
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - Nice designed rooms has lots of space, clean pool, and nice view of Apo.
Restaurant (foods): 4.6 star - Breakfast was great, but limited menu were a bit pricey but nothing special.
Bar: 4.9 - There is a hut a few steps from the resto which is their bar, looks cozy and nice.
Overall: 4.87 /5 star
Listed as one of the Philippines' famous diving sites, Apo Island has one of the world's best known community-organized marine sanctuaries. Home to over 650 documented species of fish and estimated to have over 400 species of corals. Take note that one will have to pay 100 pesos entrance fee as a tax even if not staying overnight.
1. Snorkel and Swim with Sea turtles - Green Sea turtles come routinely to the south west coast (near the beach off the bakery near Liberty resort) for eating and cleaning. Snorkeling here will surely result in a pleasant encounter with these beautiful sea creatures. Snorkels and lifejackets are available for hire at the shops that line the lane off Liberty lodge and the tourist assistance center, for about 250 pesos.
2. Dive - There are two dive shops are located on the island itself. The reefs along Apo island tend to be among the best dive spots in the world. however, watch out for poor visibility when seas are rough which is often.
3. Trek / Explore the Island - The island is only 3km around. And there is an eco trail is a 45 minute trek (difficulty level = 3/5) from the lagoon avenue (you can see on google maps) to the view deck which is on the southern tip of the island. Carry at least a liter of water per person, bring your shades and hat, wear full clothes. The trail can be steep so make sure you wear walking / running shoes.
4. Trek to Lighthouse - The trek up the lighthouse (difficulty level = 2.5/5) consists of concrete steps most of the way and muddy trails on some parts. It takes you to the tallest point on the island, with a modern solar powered lighthouse on one side, and the old abandoned lighthouse next to it. However the views on the eco trail are better than the views here.
and finally, our favorite thing to do..
5. Relax at the Beach - The beaches are small , but clean, and just few tourists (mostly residents of the island - who were less than a thousand). You can easily sit on the beach at any time, rent a shade and table and have lunch cooked, or even sleep on it at night. After 10 pm, all lights on the island go off (since the generator is switched off) and the view from the beach of a star studded sky is definitely to see.
Accommodation - Dorm Bed - 800
Accommodation - Family Room - 1,000 - 2,000
Accommodation - Resort Room - 2,500 +
Transportation - Flights from MNL to DGT - 6,000php for 2 pax (promo rate)
Transportation - Special Tricycle from DGT Airport to Zamboanguita - 500php (250 /head)
Transportation - Ceres Bus / Jeep from Dumaguete City to Malatapay Port - 30php
Transportation - 2 WAY Outrigger boat from Malatapay Port (or a resort in Dauin) - 1,500 - 2,000 4pax
Activities - Snorkeling - Guide - 300php
Activities - Snorkeling Equipment - 100php each for fins/goggles/life vest
Activities - SCUBA - ~ 1,500 complete with gear + 300php conservation tax
Food - Lunch meal for 2pax - 500 PHP
Buy - Souvenir shirts - 200 php for a nice Apo Island shirt
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