Tag: snorkelling

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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February Monthly Recap – What I’ve been up to in the Philippines

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It’s been just over a month since I packed my bags and left the UK for some sun & adventure in the Philippines. So what have I been up to for the past month?

A Brief Overview of the Past Month

On the 5th February, I arrived in Manila and met my friend Vicki. We spent a couple of days in Manila, had our first Jolibee’s and went to the Mall of Asia.

Two days later, we hopped on a night bus to Banaue, where we visited the Batad Rice Terraces. I’ve written a more detailed post on that which can be seen here.

Batad Rice Terraces

Batad Rice Terraces, Philippines

Then it was back to Manila for a flying visit to meet Lara who would be joining us as we travelled the Philippines. That same day, we hopped on a bus and a boat to Puerto Galera, Mindoro where we had a couple of days of relaxing beach time, watched a drag show and visited a waterfall.

Next up in Mindoro was Sablayan, where we spent Valentine’s Day on an overnight tour to Apo Reef.

After this, we spent 4 nights in Boracay where we relaxed and drank a cocktail or 3.

On the 19th, we headed for the island of Negros. The first stop was Bacolod which had a lot of cool street art and some Ruins to visit. The second stop was Zambonguita, near Dumaguete, where we stayed in a beautiful resort called White Chocolate Hills. We also visited a turtle sanctuary on Apo Island.

The next island we visited was Bohol, where we stayed on Panglao Island. The boat ride there was awful because the sea was so choppy. We saw tarsiers and the famous Chocolate Hills during a full day tou

Then it was onto Cebu where we visited the Cebu Taoist Temple and had our first experience of Filipino karaoke.

Today I flew from Leyte where we visited Ormac and Tacloban, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan/Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Here’s a rough version of the route on Google Maps:

 

What are my plans for March?

So today I arrived in Manila, where we got a bus to Tagaytay to see the Philippines’ smallest volcano. The plan is to travel around Luzon until the 21st March then to fly to Palawan for 8 days of island hopping, beaches, snorkelling and birthday celebrations. On the 30th March I’ll be flying to Borneo.

Some last thoughts…

I intend to write in more detail about some of the places I’ve been to in the past month. Unfortunately, most of the places I’ve visited haven’t had great WiFi, which isn’t ideal for keeping a blog up to date.

If you want to keep up to date, I regularly post updates on Instagram (@alexexplores) and Twitter (@alexexplorestw).

Thanks for reading!

Alex

 

 

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