THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO APO ISLAND!
Apo Island is a volcanic island located 30km off the coast of the south-east tip of Negros Island in the Philippines. Notorious for its dive sites and snorkeling, an Apo Island Tour is not to be missed!
I have put together this complete guide of Apo Island including where to book an Apo Island Tour, how to get to Apo Island and what to expect when you’re there!
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WHERE IS APO ISLAND
Apo Island is located 30km off the coast of the south-east tip of Negros Island in the Philippines.
Apo Island is a 45-minute boat ride from Dauin, a small coastal village just 30-minutes south of Dumaguete.
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Apo Island Tour
WHERE TO BOOK AN APO ISLAND TOUR
There are two options for getting from Dumaguete to Apo Island for a snorkeling trip:
Option 1: Ultimate Package
Atlantis Dive Resort in Dauin, just 20-minutes south of Dumaguete City, offers the ultimate package for scuba diving and snorkeling tours every day of the week to Apo Island.
The tour kicks off after a complimentary breakfast at the Atlantis Resort before jumping on the boat at 8am for the 45-minute journey over to Apo Island.
There are 3 stops throughout the day to different dive and snorkel sites around Apo Island. A barbeque lunch is also included on the boat and the tour ends back at Atlantis Resort around 4:00 pm.
Cost for snorkeling: 4095 pesos / includes tour guide, boat transfers, mask, snorkel and fins hire, barbeque lunch and marine park fees.
Cost for diving if certified: 2300 pesos per dive / includes dive instructor, dive equipment, barbeque lunch and marine park fees.
To book accommodation and a snorkeling trip to Apo Island with Atlantis Resort, Click Here.
Option 2: Budget Package
If you are staying in the Dumaguete, the cheapest option to get Apo Island is to take a 1-hour jeepney ride from Dumaguete to Malatapay and from here you can take a motorised outrigger boat over to Apo Island which is a 30-minute journey. Boats to and from Apo Island run frequently throughout the day.
Cost for jeepney from Dumaguete to Malatapay: 20 pesos
Cost for the boat from Malatapay to Apo Island (round trip): 2500 pesos
Cost for marine park entrance and snorkelling fees: 150 pesos
Cost for snorkeling equipment on Apo Island: 150 pesos per day
Apo Island Dumaguete
Apo Island Tour with Atlantis Dive Resort
WHAT TO EXPECT AT APO ISLAND
Apo Island Dumaguete is so aesthetically pleasing to the eyes that you won’t want to close them! We anchored up the boat on the outer edge of the reef near the main beach port of Apo Island. Shortly after anchoring, we all jumped off the side of the boat and were snorkeling with turtles in no time!
The Apo Island Tour is an entire day of snorkeling with sea turtles, reef fish, sea snakes and hundreds of colorful corals.
Snorkeling with turtles in Apo Island
HIKING ON APO ISLAND
There are also a few small mountain peaks on Apo Island that you can hike. As the Atlantis Dive boat didn’t actually take us right to the shoreline we had to paddle a kayak over from the boat to Apo Island with our camera gear.
When we hit the shoreline, it was a short 10-15 minute hike to the highest peak which boasts panoramic views of Apo Island and the neighboring islands of Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
A barbeque lunch and cold refreshments are included with the Apo Island Tour with Atlantis Dive that is served on-deck around 1:00 pm.
Fun Fact: Apo Island is the longest lasting community lead marine protected area in the Philippines since 1986.
Top of the peak on Apo Island Dumaguete
Secluded Beach on Apo Island
Lunch on the boat near Apo Island
PIN LOCATION OF APO ISLAND DUMAGUETE
WHERE TO STAY NEAR APO ISLAND
Dumaguete, near Apo Island, has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Dumaguete to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: ATLANTIS DIVE RESORT
MID RANGE: SIERRA HOTEL
BUDGET: OPTIMUM PENSION HOUSE
LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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Another option for accommodation in Dumaguete is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR APO ISLAND
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF APO ISLAND
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Apo Island Dumaguete, please leave me a comment below.
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