Apo Island: Swimming with Sea Turtles

This trip will not be possible if not for Globe myBusiness and Project Duo Events Production. I’m so thankful to be invited as a guest speaker touring around the Philippines to share my experience with hotels as a travel blogger.

With the Globe myBusiness team

The event was held in Dumaguete City, and I took advantage of the opportunity to visit at least one tourist destination there. I’ve been dreaming of swimming with sea turtles for the longest time. I tried it once in Moalboal, sadly I only saw one and it swam so fast (I thought turtles are slow? LOL😂). I’ve read about Apo Island before and found out that you can swim with sea turtles, so I got really excited on going!

Apo Island is a volcanic island covering 74 hectares in land area, 7 kilometers off the southeastern tip of Negros Island and 30 kilometers south of the Negros Oriental capital of Dumaguete in the Philippines. More about this on Wikipedia. It is known for swimming with sea turtles. As of the moment, the island has over 650 documented species of fish and estimated to have over 400 species of corals.

How to get there:

  • From Manila, take the Dumaguete flight via Philippines Airlines or Cebu Pacific
  • At Dumaguete City, go to the Ceres Bus Terminal
  • Ride a bus going to Bayawan, make sure it passes through Zamboanguita
  • Ask the conductor to drop you off at Malatapay market. Travel time is around one hour
  • Walk towards Malatapay port. From there, you have to rent a boat to Apo Island. Travel time is 30 minutes

We arrived at Malatapay port around 5:30 AM, while waiting for our boat contact person (Mila – 0906-6891049), we had tablea and puto for breakfast there. The tablea (hot chocolate) was so good for only Php 20!

They call this delicacy, puto. It’ basically sticky rice and best to eat with sugar. Somewhat like suman.​​

​​​

Sunrise is always a good way to start your day☀️

Before the boat ride, you’ll have to regisyer your names and pay the boat rental fee. See complete rates below.

I would also like to thank Biboy Arcilla of Project Duo Events Production for giving us a chance to visit Apo Island!😊

With the people behind the success of Project Hop – Mitch, Justine, Bianca. Off we go!

Upon arriving at Apo Island, you’ll have to register and pay the entrance fee, this is used to maintain the cleanliness of the marine sanctuary. You may rent snorkeling gears, life vest and aqua shoes after registration. Hiring a guide is not mandatory but they can definitely help you find the turtles and take your photos, their fee is Php 200.

We’re the only visitors at that time since we were very early. We rented a life vest and snorkeling gears. We also hired a guide to help us locate the sea turtles easily. 

We saw one right away! I made sure to bring my GoPro to capture the moment!

That one swam so fast, so we searched again. The guide said turtles were still sleeping so we had to swim a little further.

Mitch being a mermaid here

And then, we saw a few more!

And then they just appeared one by one. It’s such an amazing feeling swimming with them. I was swimming so fast to get close to them but please note that you cannot touch them.

Since it wasn’t so deep, we decided to remove our life vest and just enjoyed snorkeling.

We had lunch after swimming and food was great! We ordered chicken barbeque and fried fish. Each meal costs Php 200 with unli rice!

And this cute coke😊

We want to explore the other side of island since we were so happy to experience swimming with the sea turtles.

We went to Apo Island Beach Resort. Such a peaceful place, a lot of Instagrammable areas. Room rates starts at  Php 2,700.

It was so relaxing, I don’t want to leave!

Rock formation

So much fun with these guys!

I will definitely go back and bring my family here!

Going back, we paused for a while in the middle of the sea to post for Instagram. LOL!

Accommodation at Apo Island:

If you’re planning to stay at Apo Island, here are the list of accommodation available there:

Apo Island Day Tour

I saw this joiner’s tour online at Harold’s Mansion Facebook page and find it cheaper than renting our own boat. Unfortunately it didn’t fit our schedule since we have an afternoon flight back to Manila, so we opted to do a DIY travel going there. Their Apo Island tour costs Php 1,200 which includes entrance fee, transportation, and lunch. If you’ll be traveling alone, I highly recommend to join this tour.

Travel tips:

  • You can save from the boat fare by joining other groups, especially if you’re traveling alone or less than 3 pax. You’ll be sharing the expenses for the boat rental.
  • Do not put sunblock before snorkeling at this has an effect the sea turtles and other underwater creatures
  • Best to wear aqua shoes as there are rocky areas, it can be rented for Php 100
  • You may bring your own snorkeling gears, but you can also rent it for Php 100 and Php 100 for the life vest as well
  • Don’t take anything from the island like sand, stones, shells or anything that belongs to the sea
  • Food are available in the island, a meal would cost you Php 200. You may also bring your own packed food to save money

 

Before leaving the City of Gentle People, you have to go to this bake shop! They have ridiculously delicious pastries and cakes OMG! They are known for their special silvanas.

The food is also mouth watering!

Peace out! I hope this blog excites you to visit Apo Island and Dumaguete city! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
For more of my adventures, you may visit Althea’s Adventures or follow my Facebook page. Happy travels!☺️

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