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Dumaguete City, in Negros Oriental is one of those places where one can spend a tranquil and slow weekend. But off the coast of Dumaguete City lies a tiny island, called Apo Island, which offers something far more adventurous. Cliffs of limestone circumscribe this Apo Island. These cliffs are towering and have an average height of 20 meters. Since the limestone cliffs are stable, they are perfect spots for climbing.
To get to Apo Island, you must first reach Negros Oriental. All three types of routes, by land, by sea, and by air, are open. If you choose the air route, you can take the 40-minute plane ride from Cebu towards the city of Dumaguete. And if you are coming from Manila, he can take a direct flight towards Dumaguete. The travel time is about one hour and thirty minutes. Daily ship routes reach Dumaguete City from several ports in Visayas and Mindanao. And there is a twice a week ship voyage from Manila direct to Dumaguete. The travel time for the sea voyage is about 36 hours.
Once in Dumaguete, the Department of Tourism suggests the Bethel Guest House for good tourist accommodation. However, you may choose to look for other accommodations on your own. You most likely will find it impossible to book into a five-star hotel. What you will find are hospitable people who will be willing to help you find a comfortable place to stay. From Dumaguete City, you can take a 35-minute boat ride towards the Apo Island.
The Apo Island has a land area of 12 hectares. The terrain is hilly but the Apo Island Beach Resort, formerly known as the Kan-Upe Cove Resort, has spectacular dive sites and eight honeymoon cottages. The dive sites boast of astounding gardens of corals and amazing marine life. And of course, the adventurous and thrill-seeking tourist must never pass up the opportunity to climb the limestone cliffs.
For rock climbing, you should first contact local climbers who will arrange the mountain treks. The recommended group of local climbers is the Ceurnos de Negros Mountaineering Club. Five routes have already been established and these routes range from 5.6 to 5.10. For the more adventurous, one may seek other untried routes. Once at the top, one may view the terrific expanse of the sea, the whole Apo island and the surrounding islands. There are some extremely adventurous tourists who may take the twelve-meter dive off one of the limestone cliffs into the ocean!
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