Mabini, Philippines · 14 hotels available
Anilao, located in Batangas, is known to be the “birthplace of scuba diving” in the Philippines. This statement could be true because of its rich marine biodiversity and pristine waters. Only three hours away from Manila, it’s a great place to go to for a quick weekend trip.
There are no direct flights to Anilao. The nearest airport is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay. From NAIA, ride a taxi to the bus station where you can ride a bus going to Batangas.
There are no scheduled boat or ferry trips to Anilao.
From Manila (choose from Cubao, Alabang, or Buendia terminals), take either JAM Liner, JAC, or other major bus liners going to Batangas City. Buses leave every hour. It takes around 3 hours to reach Batangas City Bus Terminal. Once there, take a jeep bound for Mabini and in less than an hour, you will arrive at Anilao.
You can also bring your own vehicle if you don’t want to take public transportation.
If you don’t own a car, the tricycle is a favored mode of transportation if you can’t walk around. If you choose to go to your hotel via tricycle, the fare can reach between PHP 60 to 100 per person.
There are more than 20 known dive sites in Anilao, and some of these are Eagle Point, Devil’s Point, and Twin Rocks. You can even learn how to scuba dive for around PHP4,000-5,000.
Meanwhile, another exciting activity to do in Batangas is hiking. Mountaineers hike up Mt. Gulugod Baboy (Pig’s Spine), a 525-meter peak. It’s a great trek for beginners.
If you’re not the adventurous type, you can just take an island tour to Sombrero Island, a hat-shaped island with powdery-white sand.
Vacationing in Anilao is never complete with trying at least one-day dive tour. Choose from any dive site near your resort and ask for an instructor or guide to get you geared up. Once you surface, you can join your friends and go island hopping in Maricaban Island and Sombrero Island.
Ladies who want to try something new can try mermaid swimming and learn to be like Ariel from The Little Mermaid by someone who trained Anne Curtis Smith in Dyesebel.
There are some restaurants near Anilao, mostly around Mabini. It’s best to try OMG! Olvida & Myra’s Grill that serves good old BBQ and other grilled meats. For more formal dining, try The Other Place Restaurant and order the Batangas Express, a soupy seafood mix with chili.
Some of Anilao’s dive sites offer night scuba diving, so it’s worth trying (with a guide if you’re not so experienced). Other than that, there are many resto bars open throughout the night to serve you up some booze.
Anilao boasts stylish but affordable hotels and resorts in contrast to larger, more expensive ones. Backpackers can stay at the Anilao Backpackers for only PHP 500/night.
Luxury travelers, on the other hand, can book a suite at Anilao Discovery for an average PHP 5,300/night. If you want modern amenities with the right budget, best to sleep at Pier Uno at PHP 2,700/night.
• Avoid Lipa City when you’re going by bus to Anilao. It can get congested there.
• The best time to go is during October to June, with the peak season being January to April.
• Don’t worry about spending your pocket money as most establishments accept credit cards.