Every diving trip to the Philippines should include a trip to Apo Island.
Apo island, one of the worlds top diving locations in the world. In the Visayan dialect; Cebuano the word “Apo” means grand child. Apo Island is the grand child of the volcanic mountain in Negros Oriental. Apo is a small volcanic island with an area of 72.4 hectares and a coastline of 4.8 kilometers. It is located in the Bohol Sea only 26 km South of Dumaguete, the Capital City of Negros Oriental. Apo Island has a population of approximately 900 people. The island has a school, no road, only a side walk, and there is limited electricity from a gas generator. All fresh water and groceries come from the main land via Malatapay which is the nearest village to Apo Island. You can get a passenger boat transfer to Apo island and back to Malatapay. Apo Island has three resorts, three home-stay place and three dive shops. The islands icon is the “Boluarte Rock”.
Diving around Apo Island is considered “the best” of the Visaya’s because of its great corals and dense marine life. There are a total of 11 dive-sites; 2 cliff, 3 steep slope and 5 coral slope and 1 flat slope dive site. Nitrox is not yet available in Apo. The most famous dive site is the Marine Sanctuary in front of a lagoon in the South west side which is supported by the Silliman University in Dumaguete City.
Very unique in Apo is also the guaranty to see Sea Turtles on nearly all dive sites. Even during a snorkeling trip right in front of the Bay-bay village you can see several loggerhead Sea Turtles grazing the sea weeds that are growing there in the shallow water. The third and last village called Cogon is on the East side of Apo Island. Keep in mind that diving gloves, spear-guns and anchoring is strictly prohibited at Apo. They do have buoys all around the island.
Apo Island Dive Sites: Description: Depths Divers/Snorkelers:
Chapel Flat coral slope & wall 6-30m OWD/Good
Katipanan Flat coral slope 6-20m OWD/excellent
Rock Point West Steep coral slope& wall 6-30m AOW/ excellent
Rock Point East Steep coral slope & wall 6-30m AOW/ excellent
Marine Sanctuary Steep coral slope 4-20m OWD/ excellent
Kan Uran Steep coral slope & wall 5-20m OWD/good
Mamsa Point Steep coral slope & wall 6-25 AOW/ excellent
Cogon Coral slope 8-20m AOW/ excellent
Coconut Point Coral slope 5-30m Rescue/ excellent
Largahan Flat coral slope & wall 3-20m OWD/ excellent
Boluarte Flat coral slope 5-30m OWD/ok