Last updated on September 2nd, 2018 at 01:25 am
Visiting Anilao was a surprisingly amazing experience for us. We honestly didn’t expect that Anilao would have so much beauty and many cool things to do in Anilao because it seemed like such an ordinary province and it’s so close to our home in Pampanga. Anilao is really a quiet place and a perfect destination for diving, snorkeling and relaxing in the province of Batangas.
Anilao is located south of Manila and is abundant in marine life especially in the northwest shore of the Calumpang Peninsula. This is where most local resorts are found and from here you can rent boats to go island hopping and diving.
How to get to Anilao
From Manila, there are buses leaving for Batangas regularly. You can board the buses from Alabang, Buendia or Cubao where there are hourly trips to Batangas. It takes approximately 3 hours to reach Batangas and costs around 150 PHP, or $2.50 USD.
Upon arriving in Batangas, there are several ways to reach Anilao. One option is hiring a tricycle for 300 PHP ($6 USD) for a 40-minute ride. Another way to get to Anilao from the bus terminal is to ride a jeepney. It costs 35 PHP per person to reach the municipality of Mabini’s market, then you can take a tricycle to your resort. You can also reach Anilao from Mabini by getting off at Anilao Port instead of the market and hailing a tricycle from there. The ride from the port lasts 10 minutes and costs around 60-100 PHP per tricycle.
Jeepneys don’t travel directly to the resorts, only tricycles do. However, it was quite hard for us to deal with the tricycle drivers in Anilao. They charged 100 PHP per person, which was way overpriced and more than the 45 PHP rate that it typically cost. When we found out we’ve paid too much on our way to the resort, we made sure to pay the right amount on our way back.
Best time to visit Anilao
As a beach destination, the obvious choice would be to visit Anilao in the summer months of March to May. While this is a sensible option, it is also the peak season for all beaches in the Philippines so make sure to book everything in advance.
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Anilao is from November to February as this is the dry and cool season. Little to no rain can be expected while the sun is not as hot as it is during the summer. For those who are going to this paradise mainly for diving, the best time to visit Anilao is October to early June as well as January to March.
Transportation around Anilao
As we have mentioned, the best way to reach Anilao’s resorts from Mabini Market and Anilao Port is through the tricycle. Fares are negotiable and can go as low as 60 PHP for a ride to the port or 90 PHP for a trip to the market. When you reach your resort in Anilao, you will hardly need to travel by land, though. The fee for renting a boat in Anilao to go diving or island hopping comes with the dive or tour package that you will avail.
You can always get more information from your hotel or resort regarding the best ways to reach a certain destination in Anilao. Book your accommodation in Anilao before your trip with Booking and Agoda!
ATMs and Currency in Anilao
If you’re traveling from the US and other Western countries, you’re in luck: The cost of living in the Philippines is much lower. The country uses the Philippine Peso as its currency, where $1 USD = 53 PHP, more or less. Click here to see the exact exchange rate of PHP to your currency. Please take note that there are few ATMs in Mabini and there are no ATMs in Anilao. Make sure to make your withdrawals in Batangas City or even in Manila to avoid any hassle. If you’re traveling with a foreign card, here’s a couple of tips to avoid ATM fees: Most resorts and many packages can already be availed before your trip so book as much as you can online.
Daily budget for Anilao
When considering your budget for a trip to Anilao, some of your main concerns would be the cost of food, lodging, transportation and diving fees. Fortunately, there are many affordable meals in Batangas and in Anilao. You can get a decent plate for 80 PHP while mid-range restaurants charge around 190 PHP for a meal. You can go all out on food for 350 PHP, while a bottle of beer only costs around 30-75 PHP.
Experienced divers with their own gear pay around 1,500 PHP ($28 USD) for a day tour while renting gear and adding food to the tour can take 2,500 PHP ($47 USD) from your budget. Those who need a diving instructor can expect to pay 3,500 ($66 USD) for a day tour. Island hopping is another popular activity in Anilao. Sombrero Island has an entrance fee of 200 PHP and the boat tour for 10 costs around 2,500 PHP. On the other hand, boat rentals to Masasa Beach can cost around 1,500 for a boat with 3 people and 4,500 for a group of 10 people.
There are many budget resorts in Anilao for those who want to save up on lodging expenses. For $20-35 USD, you can have a nice warm bed in Anilao. Mid-range accommodations go for around $40-60 USD, while luxurious rooms can be afforded for as low as $65 USD or as high as $350 USD. You can also try AirBnB in Anilao. Click here to get $25 USD off your first booking with AirBnB!
Things To Do In Anilao
The water was so beautiful- blue, transparent, and calm. It was perfect for snorkeling and diving. We actually tried snorkeling in Anilao and the experience was great. Snorkeling was one of our favorite things to do in Anilao.
Day trip to Sepoc Island
We had a day trip to the island and from Anilao, you can get there at around 15-20 minutes by boat from Eagle Point Resort (it´s their private beach). The island was so quiet and really beautiful There was no place for staying but you can have your lunch and relax there. They have everything you need.
Once you’re there, you can swim and do snorkeling. You can walk around the white sand and enjoy the paradise. Just check those shots that we took in our visit.
If you feel active during your stay, you can try kayaking since the water is calm and it´s perfect for you to explore around.
The staff will provide snorkeling masks that you’ll use. We loved the masks they provided us because it was modern and really comfortable to use for snorkeling.
Hiking Mt. Gulugod Baboy
If you’re a beginner interested in an easy trail to hike, head to Mt. Gulugod Baboy from Anilao. The peak offers gorgeous coastal views and can be reached within 2-4 hours from the jumpoff.
Getting a massage
Whether you’re coming from scuba diving or just want to be pampered, you should definitely get a massage (or hilot in Filipino) in Anilao. The most perfect ones are done at the beach where the calming sound of the waves and the hilot is sure to put you to sleep.
More Things to do in Anilao
Walking around the seashore
It would be great to walk around the seashore while enjoying the view of the islands and the majestic colors of the sea. It’s really worth your time to capture the beautiful sceneries. You’ll love it as much as we did!
So much time for relaxing in swimming in Anilao, you can choose which match better for you the pool or swimming in the sea in Anilao. We enjoyed swimming in the pool and the sea for activities and things to do in Anilao like snorkeling.
Watching a sunset
There was an infinity pool and couchs for relaxing and enjoying the amazing views of the islands. We enjoyed watching the sunset daily as well! The area was really quiet and relaxed since the place didn’t have many rooms. You will really have a chance to rest peacefully there.
Food to Try in Anilao
Vivere Azure will make you enjoy more the paradise. You’ll get 3 meals per day included in your booking. The breakfast, lunch and dinner meals were awesome and we had so many choices. You’ll find both Filipino and Western food there. The food was indeed great but the view was even better.
Where to stay in Anilao
This is one of our favorite hotels in the Philippines. From our room with views that were dreamy to the clear water and the islands on the landscape, we loved everything! We also got toiletries for the three of us. Traveling with a kid in the Philippines, it was our first time to encounter this with hotels so hands up to Vivere Azure for that! Yes, we were surprised of such good treatment from the staff.
The room was big enough for us three and it had a desktop, a couch and a balcony as we mentioned above where we were enjoyed the views while working or just having a coffee.
Festivals in Anilao
Each year, Batangas City (only an hour away from Anilao) holds a 2-week celebration called Sublian Festival. This event honors religious figures through an indigenous dance called subli. It is therefore the perfect blend of Batangas’ roots and its Spanish influences. During the festival, traditional Filipino games are played, folk songs are performed and local delicacies are tasted. It is celebrated in July and is the perfect time to get to know the culture of Batangas.
Festivals usually celebrate the abundance of a locale and the gratitude of the people for all the blessings, and Sigpawan Festival does just that. Originating from the word sigpaw (a small hand-held net), this celebration happens every 15th of August and honors Lemery’s seafood industry and other native products. If you’re visiting Anilao during this time, the city is only an hour away from Mabini.
Internet in Anilao
Internet was working well in this paradise. It was great for our video-making and doing our online job without any problem with connection.