When you travel around the Philippines, a lot of times you are surrounded by loud noises from tricycles, mopeds, and cars. For us, it was really refreshing and a nice break when we visited the small Apo Island where there are no roads. It’s all beach, ocean and small walkways. We stayed at Marios Homestay and absolutely loved it.
Marios Homestay offers three kinds of rooms. You can choose to sleep in a dorm, a small private room or a larger one. We stayed in a small room which was perfect for the two of us. We had a queen size bed, a safe and a large bathroom. Be aware that the toilet works with manual flushing. As on the whole island, electricity is only available from 6 pm to 10 pm, but the fan works all day with solar power.
Marios Homestay also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For us vegans, we usually had two delicious choices like vegetable noodles, rice or a curry. For breakfast, we had banana pancakes which made us very happy. Because it’s a remote place the meals are a bit pricey but our total bill was only about 60 USD for 2 nights, 5 meals, 6 beers and 2 water refills.
The island itself is a real gem and definitely worth a visit. To get there you have to take a bus from Dumaguete to Malatapay (if you want the fast and a bit more expensive solution, take a tricycle) and from there you take a boat to the island.
Here you will find several prime spots for diving with beautiful corals and plenty of sea turtles. Marios Homestay also offers diving and you can walk from there to your boat in the diving gear.
In case you are more of a snorkeler there are plenty of good spots just off the shore. One of the best spots to see turtles is on the left side of the main beach just next to the protecting red buoys.
But we recommend walking a bit further along the rocks passing a house on the left until you reach the remote Katipanan Beach. It’s the perfect spot to snorkel with turtles and chill all day in the sun.
For those who want to do a bit of hiking, there are two main destinations, the lighthouse north of Mario’s Homestay and Rock Point View Point on the South tip of the Island.