Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Swim with sea turtles in Apo Island, PhilippinesSea turtles—one after another—first in the shallows less than 20 meters off the beach; and then a couple more sightings 18 meters underwater, totaling nine in less than two days! It's a heart-stopping experience that this tiny island in the Philippines generously affords its visitors!
Apo Island was once a poor fishing community that plundered its surrounding waters using dynamite, until one marine biologist initiated conservation efforts and educated the residents to care for their surrounding waters. Apo Island is actually the first ever successful community-based marine conservation program site in the Philippines, and the abundance of sea turtles acts like a trophy for the residents, reminding them of the good that they have done to their environment (and what still lies ahead!).
It's an amazing, amazing underwater experience you don't need a diving license for! But of course, as anybody who has gone to the depths of this island will tell you, it's so much better the deeper you get!
I've written about Apo Island and other underwater encounters in my beautiful country, THE PHILIPPINES, on my blog, www.two2travel.com. Do check it out if you have time!