UPDATED: September 2018
Apo Island has a massive sea turtle with amazing coral reefs and stunning rock formation. On my continuous trip to this island, I came to summarize everything that I have known about what to do and how to guide you in. But first, Let me show you where APO Island is located. Hover the Map below.
Land Trip From Dumaguete City to Malatapay
Ceres Bus Php 30.00/pax (take from Ceres Terminal)
Jeepney Php 20.00/pax (take from Terminal of Siaton/Zamboanguita situated across Robinsons)
Passenger Van Php 50.00/pax (take a ride from the Bayawan Terminal near the bridge in Dumaguete City)
Rent a Van Php 1,800.00/van (12 Pax Capacity Roundtrip Rate with Driver’s Fee and Gasoline) You can rent a van here
Boat Rental From Malatapay to Apo Island
(30 – 40 minutes boat ride) Kindly check the photo below for the accurate details of the boat rental rate from Malatapay.
These are private boats and costs are for round-trip already.
For solo travelers, a rate of Php 300.00 each way is possible only that make sure you are in the Malatapay port as early as 7 in the morning or 8 am the latest. Especially if you only plan to stay for a day as there are not a lot of boats who accepts solo traveler to join the group.
If you plan to do mainly snorkeling and or diving for a day, you can book your day tour at Bongo Bongo Divers in Dauin or at Harold’s Mansion in Dumaguete City which they cost at Php 1,200.00/pax for a day tour inclusive of lunch, please contact them directly to get the exact details. Note that in Harold’s they don’t step foot in the island, it’s merely on the boat to do some snorkeling or diving, you may, however, ask them first before you delve into this activity.
Apo Island Resort situated in the western part of the island facing the mainland, this is more than a 20-year-old resort that has a structure of making you feel so relax. Rates and more details are on their website.
Contact Number: (035) 226 – 3716; +639399155122; +639177017150
Mario’s Scuba Diving and Homestay
The owner is a Filipino diver who is raised from this island. They offer various diving sessions. It’s a homestay that ranges from Php 500.00 to Php 1,000.00, location is at the back of the old chapel, an elevated part of the island which one can enjoy the sea view from afar.
Contact Number: +639063610254; +639063617254; +639196223671
Situated in front of the island, alongside the coast guard’s office, can be seen as soon as you arrive at the place during the Amihan season. They offer scuba diving and affordable rate of their rooms. Please do check their website for more info. I wasn’t able to stay in this place, but tried their restaurant for dinner and was given the chance to check some of their rooms.
Contact Number: +639202385704; +639209124593
A 2-story clean place in the middle of the village. I’ve stayed here for 2 nights, they offer free coffee, free mosquito killer if there are a need and free light breakfast for a Php 500.00/room good for 2.
Contact Number: +639262234842 Look for Keken
Located on the way to the temporarily closed marine sanctuary. Offers the cheapest room for rent at Php 150.00/pax. They can extend their service to cook your fresh food too.
Contact Number: Lost their number at the time I was there, but boatmen knew this place when you arrive. Will post the number once I got the new one.
You can also stay in the city of Dumaguete here or perhaps click here for those resorts nearby
Locals are selling various street food in the afternoon like barbecue, kikiam, fish balls, tempura, hotdogs and etc.. Don’t fret for their price is really cheap for an island.
Majority of the small cottages in front of the turtle sanctuary, who offer to cook food for you depending on the availability. Fresh Fish is always served, fish is only limited during Habagat time or monsoon season. If seafood or fish are unavailable, there are plenty of native chickens, which is good for “tinola” or local soup with moringa. Keken’s Place situated at the end of the cottages area is where I usually set for my lunch. They charge Php 50.00 each person for the cooking fee and Php 250.00 for the table set up with chairs. This Php 50.00 cooking fee is not required if you order food from them which is Php 150.00-Php 200.00 per meal which mainly consists of 1 cup of rice, 1 viand (usually meat or fish) and vegetable as a side dish.
I highly recommend their “Kinilaw”, it’s one that I like having when on this island especially if there’s newly caught fish. “Kinilaw” a local raw fish soaked in a coconut vinegar and some spices.
Keken’s Place Contact Number is +639262234842
Cottage Rate: Php 250.00-300.00 (depending on the size of the table)
Liberty’s Lodge & Restaurant
They offer a variety of food from Filipino food to pasta and serves a huge amount of plate. Serving ranges from Php 60.00-250.00.
Apo Island Resort
Serves Filipino Food and Seafood
Price Range: Php 80.00-300.00
Eat Fresh Fish and Seafood
Fishing with the Local
Mesmerizing with the Green Sea Turtles
Snorkeling at the different sanctuaries (Never missed doing this)
Capture the beautiful Sunset at the Rockpoint
Take photos at every corner
Cooking lesson with the local
Videoke every 6 PM to 9 PM when the electric power is ON
Playing Billiard & Basketball
Fees to Pay
Negros Residence Php 25.00
Outside Negros Php 100.00
Guide’s Fee for Turtle sanctuary Php 300.00 (1 guide for 4 persons)
Guide for the sanctuary is a new policy on the island which started last March 2015.
Rental Fee if needed:
LifeJacket Php 100.00 (lifejacket that are for snorkeling purpose only, those life jackets on the boats are for the safety measure use only on the boat)
Snorkeling Kit Php 100.00
Aqua Shoes Php 100.00
The island has a limited water supply, as they are dependent on the rain, hence, they buy water from the mainland if the supply lasts.
Kindly bring drinking water with you although there are available bottled water for drinking at the small or “sari-sari” store, but will never know when the supply lasts.
Electricity is from 6 pm to 9 pm only sometimes until 10 pm. Bringing of power bank is advisable.
I also recommend bringing your own aqua shoes if you have, to protect you from the slippery areas.
And the very important thing is to bring your own emergency kit as the island don’t provide all that you need. They only have a limited supply as well, their supply is good for the local living on the island.
Mosquito repellent will save from all those mosquitos lurking around too.
So, here you go! my quick guide for Apo Island. Here’s the video to visually show you the place.
Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is a spontaneous traveler from the Philippines who had a great experience traveling her own country first before she embarked to other countries. She thrives to be more independent in her own skin. Connect with her at email@example.com