Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Turtle time at Apo island

With so many islands to visit in the Philippines we were feeling a bit overwhelmed with options and it took us a while to decide what to next. In the end we decided that what we really wanted to do was see some turtles. There are two places in the Visayas famous for turtle spotting Apo Island and Moalboal, both are well known dive resorts but we decided on Apo island as the snorkeling was easy and right from the shore. 

My best (and pretty much only) turtle photo

Two turtles at once!!! 

Beach on the other side of the island where turtles lay their eggs

To get to Apo we caught a ferry to Damugete, followed by a jeepny along the coast to Malataypay and then a little banka boat across to the tiny island. We decided to stay at Libertys whose room prices were more expensive then elsewhere in the Philippines but included all our meals, so was actually a pretty good deal (the food was actually pretty good too). It also meant our stay was very relaxing as we didn't have to worry about anything. The place also seemed like the social hub of the tourists and backpackers on the island and we met some really lovely people. 

Swimming turtle

The Photographer swimming over  some huge coral

The island is tiny with a really cute town, very friendly residents and a little trail around the island. It isn't the best for beaches as the main one is filled with boats and all of them are coral based, but the snorkeling was truly fantastic. I was really worried we weren't going to see turtles, this was crazy!! On our first day we saw 8 turtles, on our second about 30!! They feed on the scrub like sea grass right by the shore, you can watch them eating easily, or just swim around the coral and wait to see one heading back out to sea. Swimming alongside these beautiful creatures was a really magical experience and some of the turtles we saw were huge. Over the two and a half days I didn't get bored of snorkeling with them (how could you?). My only regret is that I don't know how to dive yet as it's supposed to be great place for it (next time - we have plans to go back already). 

Diving down to turtle level

Popping up to breath

Post lunch swim

Apo island, main town and rocky beach


Location: Apo Island

Highlights: Turtles!!! Many many turtles!!!

Lowlights: Our broken underwater camera - the one place it would have been most useful. Luckily we managed to get it to work for a few shots (before freezing) , but it really didn't like The Photographer so i am very lucky to have even one turtle photo (we took so so many but the camera froze/ crashed almost everytime).

Top tips: To see turtles feeding head to the far end of the beach from Libertys, the best coral can also be found here (for snorkeling) if you swim out away from shore) - if you can hire or bring fins. '

Profile pictures: Unfortunately none of my 'turtle selfies' worked out very well.

Epiphany's: 0

Walking round the island

Room with a view

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