A Guide to Diving in the Apo Island
PHILTOA Central Visayas Fam Trip Day 4 – Previous Post: Island’s Leisure Boutique Hotel Review
Dumaguete City, Philippines — We woke up early to pack our things and prepare for another land trip back to Malatapay – our jump-off point to Apo Island Marine Sanctuary. The Yacht-like locally made boat was already there when we arrived and few minutes after we boarded, we finally reached the Divers Paradise commonly known as The Apo Island.
Apo Island Beach Resort Cove by Ola Welin
Upon arrival, we waited for the other group at the Apo Island Beach Resort – our breakfast host for the day. After having breakfast, our group was divided into two since the dive master does not have ample time to assist us all while diving.
Boat to Apo Island
While others are diving, some of us went to the beach shore near the town center to watch for Pawikan which is also popularly known as a green sea turtle.
Apo Island Resort
While everyone is swimming with pawikan’s, I just decided to stay right next to a Nipa Hut and chat with locals. I learned that Pawikan’s are now being protected by the locals unlike before where the turtles are being eaten and sold in the nearby towns.
Apo Island Resort Rooms
I guess the best thing to preserve the environment is by empowering the locals which will make them feel they are should be more responsible now that tourism is their primary source of income.
Apo Island Resort Beach Front
After almost an hour, we headed back to Apo Island Beach Resort to pack our things and head to Dumaguete for lunch and to meet local travel agents, resort owners, transport provider, and tour operators in Dumaguete City. (see separate post)
Kids in Apo Island
Diving in Apo Island is every scuba enthusiasts dream come true. To get to Apo Island – located just off Negros Island – you will have to travel by boat from Dumaguete City.
Anemone Crab by Ofir Yudilevich
Apo island is home to over 650 species of fish and 400 species of coral. The southern end of the island is where you will find all the delightful marine life hidden in and around the coral reef. The coral reefs are a protected wildlife sanctuary; to allow the sea-creatures and the coral to flourish, fishing is strictly prohibited.
Coral Head at Chapel Pt. by Ola Welia
However, these restrictions do not affect scuba-divers’ enjoyment of the underwater scenery. Tourists are strongly advised to have a professional guide with them to ensure that no one gets into difficulties.
Hawksbill Turtle and Instructor by Jiraporn
You will be amazed by the blue-crystal-clear waters beckoning divers to come and witness Apo Island’s aquatic life. Once you have submerged yourself, head towards the coral reef where a rainbow of aquatic life skillfully blends into its surroundings. Observe from a safe distance where you can see barracudas, tuna, and coral reef fish, a few of the many inhabitants.
Marine Catfish by Ola Welin
Sea-visibility is at 10 to 40 feet so this is ideal for underwater photography, with the water temperature usually between 27 degrees to 31 degrees Celsius.
Nemo Clown Anemonefish Ocellaris by Pavel and Liba Gross
Diving in Apo Island is possible throughout the year, but it is best to visit the island from January to May when the weather is most favorable. The water surrounding the island offers an impressive amount of marine life to enjoy. If you want to experience mind-blowing drop-offs, then head to the northern part of the island where you can see mantas, jacks, and tuna in their natural setting. The sea-current is usually strong on this side.
Table Coral by Ola Welin
Journey over to the western side if fishing is your thing, where the place is teeming with fish. Watch out for white reef sharks! And if you dive far enough (depending on your skill level) you will see parrotfish, snappers, turtles, triggerfish and lots more. Apo Island is definitely the place to be for diving and for people who just love the beach.
Some Dive shots were used with permission from Apo Island Beach Resort
Apo Island Beach Resort
Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines
0910 – 219.3359
Visit SMX this August for the Philippine Travel Mart 2012 and discover beautiful destinations in Central Visayas.