Tag: apo island

Five Places I Loved In The Philippines

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After two months travelling around the Philippines, I thought I’d list my top 5 destinations:

1. Batad Rice Terraces

batad rice terraces philippines

The Batad Rice Terraces

It’s difficult to show how stunning the Batad Rice Terraces are on pictures alone. They are incredible. Built over 2000 years ago by the Ifugao people, it’s easy to see why they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fact that Batad can only be accessed on foot makes viewing more worthwhile. Read more about getting there here.

2. Apo Island

turtle apo island philippines

There are too many turtles to count near Apo Island

Apo Island itself isn’t much to shout about but its surrounding reef is amazing. Boasting over 400 different types of coral and teeming with marine life, this is paradise for snorkellers and divers alike. Oh, did I mention there’s a turtle sanctuary?

3. Sagada

rice terraces sagada philippines

Views of the rice terraces near Sagada

Sagada is a beautiful village surrounded by mountains, caves and hiking trails. It also has an impressive number of restaurants with a large variety of foods. Sagada is very popular with Filipinos living in Manila, who drive there at weekends to enjoy some of the fresh mountain air. Read more about Sagada here.

4. Bohol

chocolate hills bohol philippines

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Bohol is an island close to Cebu and is home to the Philippines famous chocolate hills. Bohol is also home to the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier, which can be seen in a sanctuary. Bohol is a popular stop for tourists and backpackers. Read more about it here.

5. El Nido

el nido palawan philippines

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is situated at the northern tip of Palawan. There are numerous islands to explore along with many gorgeous beaches. The water is incredibly clear which makes it perfect for diving.

Do you agree with this list? Got anything to add? Feel free to comment below!

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Apo Island – One Of The Best Snorkelling Spots In The Philippines

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Apo Island is located just off the south coast of the island of Negros. Lonely Planet had hyped it up to be a great snorkelling/dive spot so naturally we booked a trip there. The resort we were staying at, White Chocolate Hills in Zambonguita, offered use of a private speedboat for trips to the island. This was for a maximum of 6 people and includes use of snorkelling equipment. The individual cost of hiring the boat was 1,250PHP. Here’s where Apo Island is located:

The boat left from the beach right outside the resort and it took around 15 minutes to get to Apo Island. The sea was choppy so we got soaked on the way over to the island.

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Apo Island

The first stop was an area to the right of the turtle sanctuary on Apo Island. There were heaps of fish and coral to look at. There were a few turtles swimming in this area too. Here’s a picture of one of many starfish in the area:

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Starfish near Apo Island

The second stop was a visit to the turtle sanctuary. It’s 200PHP for entry to the park and a guide. The guide will show you turtles close to the shore. To be completely honest, I found the guide to be a little pointless because there were so many turtles that it was easy to find them. Here’s one turtle:

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And another…

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After we’d seen many turtles, we returned to the boat and headed to a snorkelling spot to the left of the turtle sanctuary. This patch had the most colourful coral I’ve ever seen and many fish. A couple of snorkellers in the group saw turtles and sea snakes in this area but I wasn’t so lucky. I did see a couple of clown fish:

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Clown fish near Apo Island

This was a great snorkelling spot and I would encourage anyone travelling in this area to take a trip over to Apo Island.

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