One of the most researched and protected islands of the Philippines – Apo Island offers a lot of reasons worth your visit.
Apo Island is a perfect place for relaxation, to explore underwater world, snorkeling with the turtles, hiking around the hills and much more. With it’s modest architecture and magnificent natural heritage will not leave you disappointed. It’s a great chance to integrate into the humble life of local people – to remind yourself, you don’t need much for your primary satisfaction of living.
If you decide, to go for swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob, before your adventure at the Apo Island, here’s some brief directions, how to get there.
- Oslob – Liloan (Local bus, 0.62 EUR/person)
- Liloan – Sibulan (Ferry, 1.27 EUR/person)
- Sibulan – Damaguete (“Tricycle” 1.44 EUR/person)
- Damaguete – Zamboanguita (Local bus, 0.51 EUR/person)
- Zamboanguita – Apo Island (Boat, 6.17 EUR/person)
Trip to Apo Island takes about 45 minutes by boat and be prepared, you will get wet. To enter the island you must pay a fee, what costs you 2.06 EUR. On Apo Island it’s not so easy to find a cheap accommodation, because there’s not many resorts, so it is good to make a reservation before your arrival. We found an idyllic typical house next to the big lagoon, two minutes from the beach for only 10.28 EUR/2 persons/night. Warning: on the Apo Island it’s hard to get a food, there’s no specific restaurants, except in the resorts where you can usually get at least a breakfast. In a small shops around the Apo Island you can find only basic supplies and some “instant” food. Surely you will not be thirsty – bottled water is sold on every corner, as well as local beer San Miguel.
Apo Island is famous as a very inclusive diving spot (it’s listed as one of the top 100 diving spots on the world by Sport Diver Magazine) with beautiful reefs and colourful sea life. During the day (from the morning until 5.30pm approximately) you can see at least five species of sea turtles on the main beach. Snorkeling is free, according to the basic rules for turtles safety. Next to the beach, agencies offer a snorkeling equipment (2.06 EUR/day rental) and everything you need to make your stay comfortable. The area of the turtles is not over covered with the tourists, so you actually get a feeling of their “natural habitat”.
Apo Island has only one trekking tour – “Amihan Eco Trail”, which a part of leads to the other side of the island. There’s located another small village with only 18 typical wooden houses and locals who warmly greet every guest. On the way you can find many stairs and secret paths to other interesting points as Lighthouse, where you can enjoy a spectacular view over Apo Island.
Interesting fact is, that an electricity is limited from 6pm – 9pm. It’s also hard to find a wireless connection and because of that, has an island a special charm by night time. When Apo Island gets an electricity seems like everything comes to life. There’s a strong tradition of “video – karaoke” and it’s a lot of fun for everyone who participate! Choose your favorite song and become a famous local “Rock star” or simply enjoy your quiet privacy. Apo Island will accept you exactly as you are, as long you behave respectful to the life.