Apo Island – A Hidden Gem

Sometimes big treasures are wrapped in small packages. It holds true with this little island in the central part of the Philippines called Apo. Known to be a paradise for divers and sea enthusiasts, this volcanic island is fast becoming a tourist attraction.

If you’re traveling from Manila, you book an hour flight to Dumaguete City and upon arrival take a tricycle going to the bus terminal for a 20-minute bus ride going to Malatapay Port in the town of Zamboanguita. From there, another 45-minutes by boat going to Apo Island. It is an open sea so expect that waves are not very friendly at times, but if you’re lucky enough, sometimes it can be very calm that you might even spot a pod of dancing dolphins. Rocky cliffs stand proud as the island’s façade; the beach is pebbly and may appear unappealing and it comes as a great contrast to what the isle offers under their turquoise waters.

There are only 2 resorts in the island and a few homestays scattered in between. If you plan to stay overnight, you have to prepare to give up the comforts of the city life. They only use generator for electricity from 6 AM until 10 PM only, so expect to have no aircon, TV or WiFi. You won’t really need it anyway, because the sea will totally consume your whole day.

Apo Island is home to giant sea turtles and once you swim from the beach it’s just so easy to spot them in the clear blue waters. They float freely without having to fear for their dear lives, because this little island and its people have worked together to protect the turtles and all their marine resources. They not only protect the marine life here but they also raise awareness for every tourist that visits the island.

Aside from the giant turtles, you’ll be amazed with the healthy marine biodiversity. Snorkeling around their beach coast will introduce you to the teeming life underwater; you’ll see huge corals of different forms that houses hundreds of different and colorful fishes. Yet the most popular attraction is the growing number of clown fish colonies here, you can easily spot them from afar because of their vibrant orange color. You can never track time when you’re in the water because there’s just so much to do.

No matter how badly you want to stay underwater though, darkness would still sink in and thus give you another opportunity to try out another unique activity and that is stargazing. Of course this is a case to case basis because you need an ultimately good weather, but if you’re lucky enough to have one, then you’re up for the biggest treat of your life by far.

Since they turn off all the lights at 10 in the evening, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the whole sky. Grab a beach towel, feel the cool sea breeze and lay underneath the vast twinkling universe of stars. The whole experience is so majestic; occasional sightings of shooting stars and the sound of waves will just give you the satisfaction of inner calmness.

Words are not enough to describe the experience of visiting this hidden gem called Apo Island but if you need a breather from the everyday hustle bustle of city life, this island would be the perfect getaway.


The Guide To Backpacking Australia Like a Professional

When it comes to backpacking, no matter where you plan to do it, the start of your trip can be very intimidating, especially if you are just starting out in this type of travel. Australia is a very special and unique place, which means that you can never truly know what you are in for until you experience everything that it has to offer first hand. That being said, we are here to help you explore Australia like a real professional. Whether you are traveling alone or you are a part of some sort of an organized tour, these tips will turn you into an Aussie backpacking expert in a matter of minutes. Please, enjoy!

Prepare For the Bus Ride
Before leaving your home, make sure to pack everything that you are going to be using during the trip. When it comes to bus rides, they are one of the cheapest, as well as one of the most effective ways to get around Australia, especially if you are going on a backpacking adventure. In order to make your trip as fun as possible, many Australian bus companies are willing to offer some great travel package deals. Since Australia is a pretty big place, some travel distances might be longer than you expect. With that said, make sure to bring your headphones, as well as your neck pillow with you.

Communicate With Locals
When exploring Australia, you should always be ready to communicate with locals. Most Australians are very nice people, and they would be more than willing to tell you everything about their favorite beaches, bars, and restaurants. Speaking to locals is always a good idea because they can give you the information that you will not be always able to find on your favorite travel website. If you are one of those people who enjoy finding hidden gems, one of the best ways to do so is to communicate with locals.

Plan Ahead
What makes backpacking such a unique experience? What makes it such a unique experience is the fact that you can never really know what you are going to experience or even where you are going to end up! That is why you should always make your travel plans in advance. After all, you want to be ready for anything and everything, don’t you?