Sunday, December 4, 2011

Apo Island homestay and dive (and yes, the rates are cheap!)

By far, nothing beats Mario's in Apo Island. For non-divers looking for a place to stay, Mario's offers clean and decent beds with en suite toilet and bath at very reasonable rates. It's a simple two-story affair with windows and terraces that open to the aquamarine sea--home to a teeming sea turtle population and healthy hectares of coral reef. It's not a beachfront property, but its location in an elevated part of the island affords a nice view and cool sea breeze.

As you might have already heard, in Apo Island it's not only about cheap lodging rates, the best dive spot in the world but its people as well. They make each stay bursts with good memories. My couchsurfing friends Gringo Benedicto and Chris Keung who went to Apo and stayed at H and H can attest to that. The kind people of Apo Island make the experience memorable. The owners of Mario's Homestay and Diving, Mario and his wife Mila, are such a very nice couple with ready smiles like the warm tropical sun.

There are three rooms in Mario's and these rooms are rather big in Apo Island standards. The rooms at the upper floors were occupied the time I was there, so I was assigned at the ground floor room with the wide verandah. The bed is made of bamboo with a mattress on it. The room rates are as follows: Big Room: 2 pax, double bed, P1000/night, P200 extra bed | Medium Room: 2 pax, double bed, P600/night, P200 extra bed | Small Room: 2 pax, double bed, P500/night.
With the island's small swamp near the marine sanctuary shores, mosquitoes could be nasty so the mosquito net available comes in handy at night. In an island the size of barely three SM Mall of Asia, water supply is a problem. But in Mario's, they collect rainwater and store them in a reservoir underneath the house. This way, the guests don't have to fetch water in a well nearby every time they take a bath.

My colleague Alan got his PADI Open Water Diving License recently. As it turned out, Mario is also a licensed PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with 22 years scuba diving experience. Alan got the services of Mario and they went diving in Chapel reef.

Dive Instructor  Mario  Pascobello
Mario offers the following services:
  • fun diving 
  • PADI diving courses 
  • introductory dive 
  • PADI scuba diver open water diver (OWD)
  • advanced OWD 
  • rescue 
  • emergency first response (EFR) 
  • dive master

Here are the rates with government fees included:

  • 1-2 dives: P1100
  • 3-4 dives: P1050
  • 5-6 dives: P1000
  • 7-9 dives: P950
  • 10 dives and more: P900
  • equipment rental: P250/dive or P500/day

 And there's a promo!
Scuba Dive Promo Package:

3 nights shared beds, breakfast included
6 dives
Transportation from Dumaguete to Apo Island
4 people minimum


For inquiries, contact Mario or Mila Pascobello:
(63)906.361.7254 / (63)915.819.3607

*how to get to Apo Island:
 From Dumaguete City, take the jeepney bound for Zamboanguita. These jeepneys are parked near the gas station across Robinson's Place. Tell the driver you are getting off in Malatapay. Fare is around P50.00/person.

In Malatapay, there are boat rentals operated by a boatmen organization. Regardless if you stay in the island for a day or more, the rates are the same. The rates (roundtrip) ranges from P2,000 for small boats (5 pax max) to P3,000.00 for big boats (10 pax max). Solo travelers may join other boats for P300. 

1 comment:

  1. salamat sa info! good rates! will bookmark this!


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