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Resort Report: Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort

Anilao is the most popular dive destination in the Philippines. Originally discovered by local divers from the Manila area, the region surrounding this village at the southern tip of Luzon Island is now very much on the international diving radar, thanks to its status as one of the most biodiverse underwater ecosystems on earth. Dozens of dive shops and resorts line the shores, offering accommodations in every category from budget to luxury. For international visitors seeking personalized diving services and a touch of luxury ashore on an Anilao dive vacation, the property that stands out from the crowd is the Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort.

The Resort
The Aiyanar Resort property is located on the western side of a peninsula that separates Batangas Bay and Balayan Bay. This strategic location puts all of the region's top dive sites within easy range, and the resort can be reached by land transport from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Guest rooms at Aiyanar nestle into a wooded hillside to provide guests with unobstructed ocean and sunset views. With just 24 rooms, the resort is focused on delivering personal service in a relaxed and uncrowded setting. All rooms provide a full range of modern comforts, including air conditioning, WiFi Internet connectivity, satellite television and private balconies. The resort's public amenities are centered in a two-story clubhouse set on the beach and just a few steps away from guest rooms. This facility includes a waterfront restaurant, bar and lounge. There is a full-service spa and fitness center on the premise, and a well-appointed beach club and water sports center offering a range of motorized and non-motorized water sports. The resort's ocean-view pool deck is a focal point for relaxation, while the infinity pool includes a 15-food deep area that is used for dive training and checkouts.

The resort dive center includes a climate-controlled classroom and meeting area, individual gear lockers, showers, and a large and well-equipped camera work room with ample charging capacity. The center offers a complete line of rental equipment and is the first and only resort in the Philippines to provide Bauer "PURE AIR" Certified fills. Nitrox is also available. A fleet of fast launches and stable outrigger Bankas are configured to provide ample onboard space for photographic equipment. Boats make daily trips to more than 40 local sites, including the acclaimed reefs of Verde Island, as well as longer excursions to sites across the Verde Island Passage at Puerto Galera. To ensure personal service, divers are divided into small groups of four or less and accompanied by dive guides who are experts at finding cryptic marine life.

The Diving
Anilao has earned a reputation as one of the planet's best muck diving and macro life destinations. Underwater photographers come from around the world to fill memory cards with life-list finds such as rhinopias, pygmy sea horses, pipe fish and harlequin shrimp. On any given site, divers can find hundreds of species of shrimp, crab, squid, cuttlefish, octopus and other invertebrates. This area is known as the nudibranch capital of the Philippines, where more than 600 known species of these colorful sea slugs have been identified, with more discovered each year.

Most critter hunting at Anilao takes place in sand-bottom and silt-laden slopes and bays, but there's a lot more to the underwater scene. In fact, you don't have to be a small-find enthusiast to enjoy this destination. These waters provide a diverse range of underwater experiences and landscapes that includes walls, caverns, wrecks, pinnacles and reefs covered in a highly diverse range of hard and soft corals.

While many sites offer calm, sheltered conditions, divers can also visit current-washed points that hold massive schools of jacks and barracuda, or ride the currents along underwater ridge lines in the company of sea turtles and rays. Underwater topographies that allow for extended multi-level profiles combined with short boat rides to create opportunities for up to four dives a day, along with night dives. Anilao is not a destination known for an abundance of sharks, but black tip reef sharks may be found among the crevices and valleys of coral reefs, and gray reef sharks sometimes patrol deeper sections of slopes and walls. More common sightings in the big-fish category include grouper, bream and giant trevally.

The diversity of diving experiences available at Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort makes it a prime choice for any diver looking to experience the full diversity of the Philippines underwater scene. Caradonna Adventures works with the resort to offer special packages and can arrange all details of travel as well. You can plan your Philippines diving adventure with the help of an experienced agent by calling 800-329-9989 or sending a note to