Islands and Beaches

One of the World's Best Dive Sites is Right Here: Apo Island

Negros Oriental

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Feb 25, 2015

Hidden under its crystal clear waters is a seabed covered with so many corals.

Apo Island; photo courtesy of Negros Oriental Tourism

VIEW: A Diver’s Haven: Apo Island

You’ll find more than 400 species of corals in the island. Such as:

  • Bubble Corals
  • Brain Corals
  • Fire Corals
  • Gorgonian Sea Fans
  • Stag Horns
  • Table Corals
Apo Island; photo from

It is also home to over 650 documented species of fish. Like schools of:

  • Groupers
  • Hump Head Parrotfish
  • Snappers
  • Tunas

Apo Island has preserved its waters because of community-organized marine sanctuaries. It has about 500 families living on the island.

The first sanctuary site was created in 1982 where local fishermen selected an area along 450 meters of shoreline and extending 500 meters from the shore. They were assisted by the staff of the Silliman University Marine Laboratory and through this initiative it has also led to the creation of hundreds of other marine sanctuaries in the Philippines.

Rock formations near the boat landing area on the west side of Apo Island; photo from

If you plan to explore the island this summer, expect to pay an environmental fee (about Php100 per head) to enter Apo Island and to snorkel or dive in the marine sanctuary. The fees are used to maintain the sanctuary healthy and clean.

Sport Diver Magazine (2008) has listed Apo Island as one of the top 100 diving spots in the world.


How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Dumaguete (estimated cost of Php4,000++, round trip, one hour and 15 minutes).

Apo Island is located off the southeastern tip of Negros Island, about 25 kilometers or a 30-minute drive south of Dumaguete City. You can also ride a bus form Dumaguete going to Bayawan and ask to get off at Malatapay. From a fishing village of Malatapay, Dauin, you can rent a boat (30 minutes) going to Apo Island.

You can ask your hotel (estimated cost of Php1,300++ per head, round trip) for transfer arrangements from Dumaguete City to Apo Island.


You can also visit the Negros Oriental Tourism Office at EJ Blanco Drive, Piapi, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental during business hours (08:00am-05:00pm, Monday to Friday) for inquiries about Apo Island.


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