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Information about Apo Island

136 Google reviews
Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Distance From City Center
8.1 km
0.74 sq km
Average rating
Number of reviews

Apo Island 

Woman swimming with a sea turtle in Apo Island

Apo Island is a small island 30 km from the Philippines' southeast tip of Negros Island. Because of the island's rich marine biodiversity, it is best known for its dive sites and snorkeling spots. 
The island has one of the world's best-known community-based underwater sanctuaries. It is home to over 650 known fish species and is believed to have over 400 corals. It's a must-dive for any extreme Philippine beach and island enthusiast.

What sets Apo Island apart is its dedication to sustainable tourism practices and marine conservation efforts. The island was also recognized for its "Zero-Waste" journey, making it the first Zero Waste Island Barangay in the Philippines. Through the establishment of marine sanctuaries and strict regulations, the local community has successfully preserved its rich ecosystem, earning its recognition.


How to get there

To reach Apo Island, you typically need to travel to Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. Dumaguete can be reached easily by various modes of transportation, including domestic flights from major cities like Manila and Cebu, as well as ferry bookings from neighboring islands.

When you reach Dumaguete City, you can take a short tricycle or taxi ride to the nearby town of Dauin, which is approximately 30 minutes away. From Dauin, you can arrange for a boat transfer to Apo Island. Boat transfers are available through local operators and typically take around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on sea conditions. Another option is to book an Apo Island tour with transfers from Dumaguete so you can also visit other nearby attractions in the island.

The island is just only 3 km wide on top of the cliff, but it's hilly. After arriving via a guided tour or by renting a boat, you can walk up to the southeastern coast (through Apo village), lagoon, and coral beach. A steep staircase leads you up the hill to the lighthouse. Only follow the stairs to reach it. 

Since there's one line, you can't get lost. You won't miss the sweat as the view from the top of the lighthouse is stunning.

If you want peace of mind and hassle-free travel, you can book Apo Island tours, which include transfers and side trips to nearby tourist attractions.

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Best time to visit

Apo Island is an all-year-round destination, so you can pay a visit anytime. However, it is recommended to visit the island during the dry and summer seasons from December to May so the waters are calm and you can enjoy the amazing view of the island. During this time, the weather is generally favorable for outdoor activities, and underwater visibility is excellent for diving and snorkeling.


Entrance fee

Upon arrival, the island fee will be paid per tourist, even though you don't stay overnight. It's advisable to inquire about any necessary permits or fees and ensure compliance before visiting Apo Island. If you book tours to Apo Island, make sure to coordinate with your tour operator about the fees so you won't be surprised to pay them when you reach the island. 

Usually, the fees will only include entrance fees or environmental fees for the maintenance of the island. The island is worth visiting, plus the locals are incredibly polite.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it called Apo Island?

The term "Apo" originates from the Filipino language and refers to either an "elder" or a "respected ancestor." Local tradition suggests that the island was named by its inhabitants as a gesture of honor or esteem, likely owing to its notable position or importance within the region.

What is the way of living of locals in Apo Island?

The small town uses rainwater as drinking water. There's power just 3 hours a day (19-22) and no wifi access.

Is there WIFI on Apo Island?

There is no Wi-Fi access on the island. There are some areas or restaurants with Wi-Fi connections, but they only allow access to those who will eat at their restaurant.

What can you do at Apo Island?

Diving and snorkeling are the island’s core activities. Usually, resorts on and off the island have diving facilities with various skill levels.

Apart from diving and snorkeling, visitors to Apo Island can enjoy activities such as swimming, beachcombing, hiking, and birdwatching. The island also offers opportunities for cultural experiences, such as interacting with the local community and learning about their conservation efforts.

Is diving worth it in Apo Island?

Yes, it’s one of the major diving spots in the Philippines. Instructors are typically PADI-certified. Diving is great, lots of coral, lots of fish and incredible tortoises. You can also do some turtle watching activities.

Is it easy to reach the lighthouse in Apo Island?

Yes, it’s easy to reach the lighthouse. Around 30 minutes climb, mild to moderate difficulty.

Can you stay overnight in Apo Island?

Yes, you can book accommodations on Apo Island, ranging from simple guesthouses to eco-friendly resorts. Some accommodations on the island also offer day trips. It's recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability.

Are Apo Reef and Apo Island the same?

No, Apo Reef and Apo Island are different places. Apo Island is a small volcanic island found off the southeastern coast of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. It's famous for its diverse marine life and efforts to protect the environment.

On the contrary, Apo Reef is another natural wonder located in the Mindoro Strait, off the coast of Occidental Mindoro province. It's recognized as the largest continuous coral reef system in the Philippines and is well-known for activities like diving and snorkeling. Even though both are called "Apo," they are separate destinations located in different parts of the Philippines.

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