We used to scuba dive and it’s been over two decades since we last visited Anilao. To our pleasant surprise, the roads leading to this resort barangay have improved by leaps and bounds and development has not ruined its natural wonders! Renowned for its vibrant and rich marine life, Anilao has been attracting both local and foreign divers since time immemorial. As stated in Wikipedia – Anilao is popular with divers and snorkelers. The waters surrounding the area are teeming with marine life, plenty of corals and amazing diversity of fishes. The northwest shore of the Calumpang Peninsula, from Anilao to Bagalangit, is lined with local resorts that cater primarily to local tourists. Although the beach at Anilao is not recommended for swimming, thatched bamboo rafts, rustic cabins and picnic cabanas are available for rental. From these resorts, you can also rent a boat for island hopping and visit the diving spots, coves, and islands like the Sombrero and Maricaban islands.
For those unfamiliar with its landscape, do not expect long stretches of beach as there isn’t any. Its sheer beauty, plus the fact that you can go island hopping where spectacular shorelines exist, more than make up for the absence of the latter. By the way, most resorts have got pools anyway, or you may still choose to swim in the sea right at your resort’s shore. These were exactly what we did. And we likewise rented a boat to go snorkelling and enjoy Sombrero Island’s kilometric stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters!
Before visiting any destination, we usually check out the ratings of hotels and/or resorts on Tripadvisor. With comfort and the all important budget as main considerations, we decided on staying at the highly-rated King Solomon Dive Resort. The place is small and simple – 6 bedrooms with cable tv, hot and cold shower, and can fit 4 persons each. There’s a small pool, plus an al fresco dining area, a videoke, and free wi-fi. But what truly makes this resort special is its staff, led by the attentive and efficient Lave, with the warm service of Margs, Charles, and Jeffrey, and not to forget, the impeccable cooking and delicious food of Abby! Rates are very affordable at Php 2,500 per room per night, exclusive of food which are most fairly-priced. We were actually made to feel like we were simply borrowing a friend’s vacation home, which we loved!
One surely does not have to be a diver to enjoy Anilao. Paired with King Solomon Dive Resort and with its close proximity to Manila, the duo’s certainly the perfect beach getaway choice!