Apo Island is one of the best places for scuba diving in the Philippines. There are two ways to experience this Island: Diving or quick visits for snorkeling. This place is very rustic, so if you want to stay here for the night keep that in mind. You can also dive in Apo island while staying on the mainland near Dumaguete, it will just mean you’ll have to wake up earlier.

As a day tour however, it makes for a perfect trip. You can go there from either Dumaguete or Siquijor, and be back on the same day. Let us coordinate your Apo Island day tour, so you will find yourself snorkeling surrounded by sea turtles in the island old marine sanctuary.

Access is by boat from Malatapay Market in Zamboanguita town 25 km south of Dumagute (the capital of Negros Oriental). The boat take around 30-45 minutes to arrive in Apo.

The most convenient way from Manila or Cebu City is to fly to Dumaguete, the capital city of Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete there is a bus going to Bawayan, but you will need to get off the bus in Malatapay. You can also take a ferry to Dumaguete from any nearby island in Visayas : Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and many more.

For travelers already on the road, there is a way to reach Apo Island from the southern tip of Cebu. Take the ferry from Liloan port in Santander Municipality. It will take you across to the town of Sibulan, where Dumaguete Airport is located. From Sibulan you will need to get to Dumaguete – by bus, taxi, tricycle or jeepney.

Apo has a very small number of accommodation possibilities. There are only two beach resorts, and a few more hostels and guesthouses. The best resorts reach full capacity quickly on peak seasons, so booking ahead is strongly advised.

Because accommodation is more basic on this island, let us help you figure out which one is best for you. It is very difficult to understand exactly how it is in here, so don’t hesitate to email us, and we’ll help you understand if it’s for you.

Due to the current sanitary conditions on Apo Island, we don’t really suggest anyone should stay there. The locals living there don’t have proper means of garbage disposal, and shamefully this beautiful sanctuary has turned into a dumpster. The water are still very clean, so it is a great place to dive or snorkel.

Get in touch now and our experts will help you build your entire vacation.

Apo Travel Essentials:

  • Location : Dauin Municipality, 7 km from the southern tip of Negros Oriental
  • Flights : The closet airport is in Dumaguete city, the island is accessible by sea only.
  • Boat : The access to Apo is by a small boat from Malatapay town in Negros Oriental.
  • Best time to visit : Marine life is present all year, but October to June is the best time to visit.
  • Attractions : Scuba diving, snorkeling, sea turtles.
  • Extra tips : Bring Cash since there are no ATMs. Whether you’re planning a day tour or a long stay, bring some food and snacks with you.

What to do in Apo Island?

Apo island diving
Apo is a tiny volcanic island, only 0.74 km in size. It is famous for being a community-organized marine sanctuary. Most of the coral species that are found in the Philippines (400 out of 450) can be found here. The island became one of the first marine sanctuaries in the Philippines, back in 1982, leading to great preservation and documentation of marine life. It also has highly professional dive clubs, and is considered one of the best diving spots.

As you can guess, Apo is a divers’ island, and visitors mostly come for scuba diving. however, it’s also a great place for snorkeling in case you don’t dive, and don’t intent to learn during your visit. It makes a perfect day trip for people who just want to snorkel around. Apart from the many coral and fish you can spot while snorkeling, there are around 60 documented turtles, soft and hard shell, in the shallow waters just in front of the main beach.

What else can you do on Apo? Well, not much. You can tour the island and trek the small mountain on it (starting point is by the lighthouse), but that’s about it. There are only 3 hours of electricity between 19:00 and 22:00 every day. Wi-Fi is hard to find, only available in one restaurant.

Keep in mind, this place is not for spoiled people. Don’t come to this Island if you can’t do without air-conditioning, TV, swimming pools, fancy restaurants and a nightlife scene. The magic of this place lies with its simplicity. If you’re willing to rough it up, you will be rewarded with the experience of discovering the beauties of underwater Philippines accompanied with a very rustic, yet charming, lifestyle.

Is Apo Island the best diving site for you?

If your’e considering a diving vacation in Apo, you might have some trouble deciding whether it’s the right place for you. There a few different factors to keep in mind, as well as comparing it to several similar destinations that you might want to visit. The table below will give you a great overview but keep reading to fully understand how to pick the best package for you.

Apo Island

  • Average price per day : 50 USD
    This price includes: Transfers, Accommodation, Diving Tours and Living costs.
  • Ease of reaching : Moderate
  • Accommodation options : 1 star
  • Best time to visit : October - June
  • Main attractions :
    • Scuba Diving
    • Snorkeling
    • Private beaches
  • Nightlife : None
  • Suitable for : Adventure, romantic


  • Average price per day : 80 USD
    This price includes: Transfers, Accommodation, Day Tours and Living costs.
  • Ease of reaching : Moderate
  • Accommodation options : 3 stars
  • Best time to visit : October to April
  • Main attractions :
    • Scuba diving
    • Snorkeling
    • Island hopping
  • Nightlife : Mostly during high season
  • Suitable for : Adventure, romantic


  • Average price per day : 80 USD
    This price includes: Airfare, Accommodation, Day Tours and Living costs.
  • Ease of reaching : Easy
  • Accommodation options : 2 stars
  • Best time to visit : November to May
  • Main attractions :
    • Diving
    • Waterfalls
    • Wildlife
  • Nightlife : Mostly on weekends
  • Suitable for : Romantic, family, group

Staying on Apo is very cheap. It’s not expensive to get there, nor are the resort’s prices. This however comes with a cost – it’s not so easy to reach, and the accommodation is very basic. There’s a certain charm in that but you’ll have to get by with only three hours of electricity a day, very few restaurants and no nightlife.

Malapascua and Siquijor offer better accommodation and activities. Siquijor being the bigger island of the three, has more things to see inland. Both also offer a very calm nightlife that Apo lacks. Both tend to be slightly more expensive though prices aren’t that high. In terms of diving, Siquijor is the least interesting among the three, while Apo and Malapascua are both excellent, and very difficult to compare. Read more about the specific dives available in Apo above, and about Malapascua on our Malapascua tour page.

Apo’s simplicity shouldn’t discourage you at all. If we had thought it wasn’t worth a visit we would have never recommended it in the first place. It’s just only suitable for certain people – If you’re looking for an adventure, then this place is great. It’s basic, but very beautiful and charming, and as we wrote above, the diving and snorkeling here is world class. Furthermore, thanks to Siquijor’s proximity, you can easily try both.

How does Apo fit into your travel plan?

A day tour in Apo Island is suitable for travelers who are in Dumaguete City. If you are traveling around Negros, it is very advisable to try and get here. For those of you who want to dive, or get your scuba diving certification here, you can check our diving page and see if a diving package is suitable for you.

If your’e still not sure if Apo Island is for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our experts will be glad to assist you. If the basic style is not for you, nearby Dauin has plenty of diving resorts that can host you.


  1. chanitnun

    if i stay in cebu and cloud i joy one day trip APO island ??

    Posted on January 27, 2018
    • Admin

      I assume you are staying in Cebu City or Mactan. In that case, yes it’s possible but really not advisable.

      We could arrange a private van ride for the whole tour, but this would be very expensive as it’s quite a journey. It will be cheaper to fly to Dumaguete and proceed from there. If you wish to do it yourself, be prepared for at least 7 hours in each direction – this means you will hardly have time to enjoy Apo before you’ll need to head back to Cebu.

      For those reasons, i think you are much better off spending 1 night in Dumaguete and going to Apo early in the morning. Once done, you can go back to Cebu using and mode of transportation you desire. Alternatively, just take a day tour to Bohol instead – there are great dive spots there and the chances of seeing a turtle are also very high. Bohol is only 2 hours away from Cebu which makes the trip much much easier.

      Please contact us through this page, and one of our agents will help you plan the itinerary.

      Posted on January 27, 2018
  2. michaela

    hi! do you have a half day tour for apo island? and how much will it cost for a group of two?

    Posted on June 3, 2018
    • Admin

      Hi Michaela!

      Yes of course we do. Price depends on whether you are arriving from Bohol/Siquijor or Dumaguete. It also changes based on the type of dives you want to on the island.
      Also, to give you a quote i need to know your travel dates, since price changes based on season and availability.

      Would you mind filling out our standard inquiry form please? Make sure all relevant details are included. Once you do, one of our guys will mail you within a day.

      Posted on June 4, 2018
      • Bec

        Hi there
        We are staying in Bohol (Mithi Resort) in May this year and I was wondering if it’s possible to visit Apo fo the day departing from Bohol rather than Dumaguete? Unfortunately we have already booked our accommodation so am unable to stay overnight in Dumaguete.
        Kind Regards

        Posted on January 7, 2019
        • Admin

          Hi Bec,

          It is possible, but really not recommended as it is a VERY long trip. We can possibly arrange a speedboat to take you there, send us a mail if interested.

          Bohol island hopping tours include a stop at Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, which has a very nice population of sea tutrles. It is not as impressive or diverse as Apo Island of course, but good enough and you will still have a ton of fun.

          Posted on January 8, 2019
  3. Kim

    do you day trip from from Moalboal to Apo Island

    Posted on March 1, 2019
    • Admin

      Hi Kim,

      No we do not, getting there will take 4-5 hours each direction at least so it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      Apo island day tours are best done while sleeping in Siquijor or Dumaguete.

      Posted on March 4, 2019
  4. Katie Bullman


    My boyfriend and I are travelling to Siquijor tomorrow. We would love to dive on the 1st or 2nd July in one of these islands but need to travel back to Cebu on the 3rd July. Could you recommend whether this would be possible and what our best option would be to fit in a dive in Apo or Malapascua?

    Posted on June 29, 2019
    • Admin

      Hi Katie,

      Malapascua is not possible, it is too far from Siquijor.

      You can check if they have a group going to Apo island, sometimes they do that from Siquijor.

      Posted on July 1, 2019

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