Apo Island, Near Negros Island, Philippines


NOTE: There is a detailed update of this article in the pipeline.  Stay tuned!


Apo Island is a small island 6km off the South East coast of Negros Island in the central Philippines. Not to be confused with Apo Reef which is 30km West of Mindoro.

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All images on this site are clickable for bigger versions.




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In 2012, I came here on a diving trip to the South East of Apo Island, near/in the Marine Sanctuary.

The diving was sweet, but my camera doesn’t go beyond 10 meters, so these shots are from a quick twenty minute surface snorkel that I did between dives at lunchtime. This was in the same area.

Visibility near the surface was poor and what I remember was that most of it was like this:
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However, I also have these snaps, which make things look far more tasty:
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I can’t tell you much more than that, I’m afraid.  These pictures were taken a good distance from shore (~180m) in about 4 metres of water. There’s not much boat traffic around, so you should be pretty safe, propeller-wise.

EDIT: I came back in 2017 and stayed on the island for a week, having a good look around all the spots you can reach by swimming.  I will be writing this up in detail when I get a chance (probably during December).  In the meantime, what you need to know is that there is great snorkelling about 50m offshore.  For the best bit, when standing on the beach at the village looking out to sea – turn left and walk 100m to the end of the beach and then head out to the drop off.  There is lots of good hard and soft coral.  For example:

There are lots of small reef fish and a good chance of seeing turtles.  Don’t bother paying to go into the marine reserve area – there are plenty of turtles outside.

There are four homestays in the village at about 700PHP.  Plus the two higher-end ‘resorty’ places.

Island electricity goes off at 10pm.




There are two tourist resorts on Apo Island.  Apparently you can also stay in homestays in the village from about 500PHP (which I discovered too late!).

Apparently, there is no public boat to Apo Island.  You could try and hitch a ride on a dive-boat from Dumaguete, otherwise you are stuck with the expense of a private charter.  I did see one map mentioning a ferry route from Malatapay, but I don’t know whether it is valid. (Edit: you can get a shared public boat if you wait around the jetty on the mainland).


I came on a dive trip from Dumaguete on Negros island.  That cost 3000PHP for the 2 boat-dives. The operator was Howard’s backpackers who seem to be well in-control of the backpacker-tourist market there.

Written: Feb 2012  . . . . . . . .         Last updated: Nov 2017




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