Macro: diving in Apo island is considered to be one of the most beautiful sites of Philippines, so I went there! It is a very small island off the coast of the province of Negro Oriental. The quality of dives is nice, based on beautiful corals, some sea turtles and of macro ! There are only 2 diving clubs on Apo island, you will probably have to leave plunge since Dauin and Dumaguete.

Context: After working 2 months as an instructor at Malapascua, I wanted to do the best dives in the Visayas (Bohol, Panglao, Balicasag, Donsol, Moalboal) and I spent 1 week at Apo island.

# Overview 
# Presentation 
# Diving with
# Dive sites
# Seasons and conditions 
# Diving club 
# Accommodation 
# How to get there 
# My diving review

plongee apo island philippines


poisson grenouille plongee apo island

  • Best dive season Apo Island diving : January to June .
  • Best dive sites : Coconut point, Cogon, Masma, Rock point east, Sanctuary point.
  • Marine life : turtles + all info-pacific fish.
  • Macro : frogfish, nudibranchs, seahorses ...
  • No French diving club in Apo island, nor in Dauin or Dumaguete.
  • Access : Dauin or Dumaguete.


Logo-plongeur-baroudeurRecommendations by category of divers:

> New diver : nice island to do during the baptism / snorkeling day.
> Confirmed : nice but I find the dives better at Bohol (Panglao, Balicasag).
> Experienced : nothing exceptional for you ...
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Where is Apo island?

carte ou se trouve apo island philippines

  • Apo island is a small island (12 hectares) 7 km off Dauin, in Eastern Negro Province (south of Cebu Island).
  • Not to be confused with Apo reef, another great diving destination in the Philippines, which lies between Mindoro and Palawan.
  • There are approximately 1000 people who live on the island, some resorts and a station of rangers.
  • There is electricity only 3h / day (19-22h).


Marine park since 1982

ile apo island philippines

Apo island is a marine park for many years (1982):

  • Macro: fishing is prohibited
  • The boats have no anchor (which is not the case everywhere in the Philippines…)
  • A maximum of divers per site is allowed.


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#Overview #Diving with #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


How is diving in Apo island?

The reputation of dives at Apo Island is not overrated, it has a great diversity of marine life:

recif plongee apo island

  • The island is surrounded by a wall where is mixing gentle slopes and dizzying drop offs.
  • A splendid coral garden all around the island (more than 400 referenced species), where we find a wide variety of hard and soft corals : sea fans, coral tables, fire coral, brain coral ...


nudibranche plongee apo island philippine

  • All Filipino fish at the rendezvousyou (more than 600 species referenced): damselflies, snappers, fusiliers, clownfish, angel fish, butterfly fish, parrots, triggerfish, sea snakes, moray eels, lion fish…
  • Some sea turtles are also present on almost all sites.
  • Big stuff: school of jacks or snappers, barracudas, tunas, sometimes reef sharks
  • Good macro : many species of nudibranchs, a lot of frogfish, scorpion fish ...

Apo island diving video

The best is the video! She could have been nicer if the visibility had been better

Apo island diving photos

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Diving in Dauin: for macro diving fans (muck dive)

Frogfish yellow 4

  • It is very likely that you slept in Dauin if you are going to dive in Apo island.
  • You can also dive in Dauin, but it's just macro, more specifically from muck dive!
  • For those who did not know this thermal it is a dive where you look for rare macros species (like ghost fish, seahorses, frogfish, octopus mimic, blue ringed octopus ...).
  • So there is no coral, we dive on a ground or a slope of black sand and we search!
  • I made 2 two, I did not see much, some nice frogfish, but a lot else ...
  • If you are a photographer, it's about you will surely find nice species to photograph, for all others (beginners or confirmed), it's really not the most exciting dives I've done ...

The full article on DAUIN here

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Apo island dive sites map

carte sites de plongee apo island et dauin

What are the best Apo dive sites in island?

Reef Apo 3

  • Coconut at Apo island
    • So I could only do Coconut. This site is also called " washing machine "! That says everything ! And actually there is ju !!
    • Located in the north of the island, this site is still subject to current and in some places, it's true that it shakes a lot! But as we all know, current = fish, especially the big one.
    • A school of jacks is always present, we can also see schools of snappers and fusiliers, tuna, big jacks (giant trevally), barracudas
    • A great site, but really reserved for experienced divers.

turtle - green-min

  • Cogon  is a site similar to Coconut point, a drift full of big pelagics.
  • Masma Means " trevally »In Indonesian, that sums up what you can see!

  • Rock Point East and Mamsa are supposedly the two sites where you can most likely see reef sharks.

  • Santuary point was the first protected area of the marine park. Make this a priority! the largest variety of coral and fish in the whole island.

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You can almost dive all year round at Apo island but the best diving season is from January to June.

When to dive in Apo island?

Apo island vue dessus2

  • Avoid the rainy season at Apo island of July to September. The boats leave but the visibility is less good than the rest of the year.
  • Cyclone season in the Philippines is from october to december but Apo island is south of the Philippines and is less affected than other areas.

Apo island diving conditions:

  • Visibility in Apo island : between 10 and 20 m depending on the period and the site.
  • Apo island water temperature : 27-29 ° on average.
  • Current Apo island : some sites may have strong currents (like Coconut).


The best Apo island dive centers

  • There are 2 diving clubs on Apo island : Apo Island Beach Resort and Liberty's Lodge.
  • I advise you to dive to Apo island from Dauin. There are a dozen dive centers in Dauin, so of course I haven't done all of them!

The best Apo island diving clubs from Dauin

  • Bongo Bongo
    I wanted to dive with them but they were full.
    They had good reviews and they had the advantage of offering cheap housing on site.
    If you want to dive to Apo island mode fighter is the center that I will recommend. I also advise you to book in advance!

  • Dumaguete diving
    As Bongo Bongo was full, I dipped with them.
    It is a small center with a boat and 2 instructors / divemasters
    We are obliged to take a car to go to the boat.
    Nothing special to say, Friendly staff, everything went well.

  • Accomodation dauin dumaguete Liquid dive-resortLiquid dumaguete:
    I heard a lot of good from Liquid Resort.
    A resort with pretty bungalows, comfortable rooms, swimming pool ...
    If you want comfort and a dive package, this is the bottom I recommend going.

French diving club in Apo island

  • There are not to my knowledge of French-speaking diving club in Apo island, Dauin or Dumaguete.
  • I advise you send an email before to check those who may have French speaking staff.
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  • Spring on Apo island
    There are two springs on Apo island : Apo Beach Resort and Liberty's Lodge.
    Both of course have a diving center.

  • The best, accommodation in Dauin : there are not many but it goes from the homestay to the resort through the nice hotel, they are all here.

  • You can also stay at Dumaguete.


Getting to Dumaguete

The first step will be to get to Dumaguete, the capital of Eastern Negro, from Manila (by plane) from Cebu (several options).

Cebu to Dumaguete route

  • By speed boat with Ocean jet from Cebu city (½ day, price = 1500 PHP).
    • Go to the Cebu city pier, 15-20 min from the airport.
    • No direct connection, we must stop at Bohol (Tagbilaram).
    • Several departures per day from Cebu to Bohol (time = 2h, price PHP 800).
    • 2 departures from Bohol to Dumaguete (7h30 and 12h10), the schedules here (time = 2h, price PHP 700).
  • By ferry from Cebu City (time 4h-6h)
    • There are 4 ferries that connect Cebu City to Dumaguete (time between 4 and 6 hours)
    • Several departures a day, all the schedule here.
  • By plane : Cebu city direct flight to Dumaguete.

carte comment aller a apo island philippines

Dumaguete to Apo Island

Once in Dumaguete, several options for diving in Apo island:

Dauin street3

  • Is you stay in Dumaguete, but you are still far from Apo island (about 1 hour by boat).
  • Is you go to Dauin (1 hour drive from Dumaguete)
    • you are right in front of Apo island (30 min by boat) and you have cheap accommodation.

    • From Dumaguete, just take a jeepney (or a taxi) and 20-30 min (300 PHP) you are in Dauin.
  • Is you go directly to Apo island: few accommodations and / or dive centers.
#Overview #Diving with #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


As is often the case, what is important in the most beautiful dive sites is to go to the best time, which was not my case for Apo island! The coral is splendid, there is of life, sea turtles, a school of jacksbut I had 5-10 m of visibility, which of course spoiled everything!

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