Located in the southeastern part of Negros Island in the Philippines is the tiny volcanic island called Apo Island. Known for its majestic sea turtles, beautiful bed of corals, and diverse marine life, the island is a haven for those who love diving and snorkeling.
This trip was special because it was my first time seeing sea turtles, locally known as pawikan, up close. I’m so happy that I was finally able to cross this off my bucket list!
Now, for the important part: how to get there to be able to swim with the turtles and see the colorful bed of corals.
Option #1: The DIY Way
- From the Ceres Bus Terminal in Dumaguete City, get on a bus bound for Bayawan, or any bus that will pass by Malatapay, which is where the boats going to Apo Island are docked.
- Get off at the Malatapay public market. You can see a signage that says Apo Island from there. Just follow the road. Walking will only take a few minutes.
- Go to the reception area and pay for your boat rental. The rate (as of May 2017) for a boat that is good for six people is Php 3,000.00.
- As you arrive in Apo Island, you will have to pay the required fees before you can start your adventure.
- Entrance fee – Php 100.00
- Guide fee (good for 4 people) – Php 300.00
- Snorkeling gear (mask + snorkel) – Php 100.00
- Fins – Php 100.00 (optional)
- Life vest – Php 100.00 (optional)
- Table – Php 300.00
Option #2: Harolds Dive Center
If you want to make your trip to Apo Island convenient, I recommend Harolds Dive Center. They will take care of everything for you. Note that you have to be there at 6:45 AM so you can join their daily trips.
Harolds Dive Center is located on the ground floor of Harolds Mansion Hostel, Dumaguete City.
Rates (as of May 2017)
- Apo Island Snorkeling Package: Php 1,200 per person
- Dauin (Coastal) Snorkeling Package: Php 500 per person (Read about my experience here)
- Transportation and boat transfers
- Park fees
- Snorkeling gear
- Lunch (with water, fruit, coffee, and tea)
For more information, such as diving rates for certified and non-certified divers, please contact them through these channels:
- The boat ride going to the island can get a bit rough and you will get wet from the splashes. It’s advisable that you change into your swimwear before you board your boat.
- Don’t worry about your things. The boats have a special compartment to protect your belongings from getting wet.
- Boats will leave the island before 3:00 PM because the waves get bigger in the afternoon, so make sure you go there early to maximize your time.
- If you want to stay overnight in the island, there are resorts too, but I heard getting back to the mainland the next day can be quite difficult for some.
Accommodations in Apo Island:
Apo Island Beach Resort
Telephone numbers: 035 226 3716 / 035 422 9820
Mobile numbers: +63 939 915 5122 / +63 917 701 7150
Mobile numbers: +63 906 3617 254 / +63 919 6223 671
Liberty Lodge and Dive
Mobile numbers: +63 920 2385 704 / +63 920 9124 593
Check out my Siquijor & Apo Island travel video! (Watch in HD/720p)
Do you know of other ways to get to Apo Island? Feel free to share them in the comments! 🙂
I am a twenty-something free spirit from Cebu, Philippines. I love to travel, take photos, and write about my experiences. When I’m not traveling, I go freediving wherever. I aim to inspire others to care for the environment, especially our oceans as it is the lifeblood of our planet.