The Marine Sanctuary of Apo Island in Negros gives us a taste of heaven underneath the waters.
Apo Island is a volcanic island with 74 hectares in land area. It is located 7 kilometers off the southeast tip of Negros Island and 30 kilometers of Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental.
The island and its marine sanctuary are known across the globe as one of the best community-organized marine sanctuaries. It is also known amongst local and international tourists for its perfect snorkeling and diving spots. In fact, in 2008, Sport Diver Magazine listed Apo Island as one of the top 100 diving spots in the world.
The marine habitat around the island is a marine reserve under the jurisdiction of the Protected Area Management Board. At present, the marine sanctuary is home to over 650 documented species of fish and over 400 species of corals. There is a rich diversity of corals here, from tiny bubble corals to huge gorgonian sea fans and brain corals.
A very important reminder is to make sure you have your valuables tucked in waterproof pouches. To the boat and getting off the boat, you need to walk through the water up to your knees (and sometimes up to your waist) with waves crashing your body.
When in Apo, you can enjoy snorkeling with sea turtles, reef fishes, sea snakes and hundreds of colorful corals. Travellers come here for a perfect scuba diving experience. You can also trek to few small mountain peaks in the island. The Rock Point and the Lighthouse view decks allow you to get a panoramic view of the sunset and sunrise in Apo Island.
RATES & OTHER INFORMATION
- Entrance fee: P100
- Pumpboat Rentals/Boat Tour: P3000 per 4 people or P4500 per 8 people
- Snorkeling Gear and Life Vest Rental: P150
- Action Camera: P1200
LIBERTY’S LODGE AND DIVE ROOM RATES:
- Standard Room: P500
- Deluxe Room: P800
APO ISLAND BEACH RESORT ROOM RATES:
- Golden Cowrie Rate: P3,400
- Lower Triton Rate: P2,900
- Surf 1 & 2 Rate: P2,800
- Upper Triton Rate: P2,700
- Residence Rate: P2,700
- Dormitory Rate: P800 per person
- Extra Person Rate: P600
RONOR’S LODGING RATE:
- P500 per room
- Contact numbers:
- 0920 912 4593 (Liberty’s Lodge and Dive)
- 0910 219 3359 (Apo Island Beach Resort)
- +(63) 9063617254 +(63) 9196223671 (Mario’s)
- 0915 775 2422 (Ronor’s)
- Facebook Page:
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact location: 25 kilometers south of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental or 7km from the southeast tip of Negros Oriental, 40 minute boat ride from the town of Zamboanguita
First, you need to get to Dumaguete City by ferry connections from Cebu, Siquijor, or Tagbilaran. If you’re from Cebu, you can take the bus bound to Dumaguete via Liloan, Santander route. You can also choose to take a flight to Dumaguete airport from Cebu City or Manila.
Go to Dumaguete City’s bus terminal via tricycle for around P30 fare. You may choose to ride a bus or a jeepney going to Zamboanguita and tell the driver that you’re heading to Malatapay. Fare is around P60. Watch out for a large sign that reads “Apo Island” on the side of the road in Malatapay. Once there, walk 15 minutes through the market area to the boat jetty.
You have two choices in getting to Apo Island from Malatapay: rent a private boat as mentioned above and leave right away or take the public boat for P300 and wait until there are enough passengers on the boat already.
Alternatively, if you’re from Siquijor or Negros Oriental, you can check Coral Cay Resort in Siquijor or the Kookoo’s Nest Rest in Tambobo Bay on the south end of Negros who run dive boats to Apo Island (minimum of two divers).