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sinetwo

Anilao, reasonable accommodation + proximity to dive sites?

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Hi hivemind! 

 

I'm looking for reasonable accommodation in Anilao, with very close proximity to dive sites with great spotters and camera equipment. The budget is around 50usd per person per day for accommodation with diving on top of course. 

 

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. The main focus is quality of guides and the dive operation for ourselves please.

 

Thanks!

SineTwo

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Hi sinetwo

On Robert's (troporobo)  recommendation we spent a week in 2017 at Buceo in Anilao.  

I don't know how it would fit your budget but at the time, we thought pricing was reasonable and mid-range for the area. Rooms and service were good. Given the fairly steep slopes leading to the shore, there was a bit of a climb up and down from the restaurant/dive centre to the rooms. Food was ok.

Dive boats were the local "bankas" off the resort beach which were fine for diving but slightly scary for actually boarding and disembarking down a very narrow plank. 

It was 3 dives a day, short trips to the dive sites. There was a good camera room, the dive operation and guides were good and I came away with loads of pics that I was very happy with! 

Of course that was 5 years ago and pre-COVID but if we were returning to Anilao we'd check it out again. 

 

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Hi Tim, I've actually been to buceo, and I agree it's pretty steep! But the diving was easy enough and reasonable. Any other suggestions from you or your friends? 

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SineTwo: That is going to be a tight budget for Anilao but it can be done.  First do your calculations based on total cost.  Food is normally included in the room rate as there are no other options, and diving might be cheaper than you think, as most places charge USD 50-60 per person per dive and some charge a bit less.  

Resorts on the budget end of the spectrum include Arthur’s Place, Anilao Beach Club, Anilao Scuba Dive Center, Philpan, Planet Dive,  maybe Eagle Point.  All are very close to dive sites. The first five are small, Eagle Point is huge.  Quality varies a lot so look online for photos and reviews. From this list I’d choose Arthur’s, ABC, or Planet. Depending on how many people will be on your trip, ask about group rooms, as some places work out to cost much less that way.  All of them contract with freelance boat operators, none have their own - this is standard practice in Anilao, and I rarely had a very good spotter.  

Tim: I’m still very glad Bruce’s worked out for you!  You might be interested to know that they’ve recently completed a big post-pandemic refresh and renovation. I’d love to go back myself. 

Edited by troporobo
Added note on quality
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Thanks @troporobo! That's all very useful info. I know a few good spotters in Anilao, so perhaps I can dive at one of those resorts and pay for the spotters I know? Or is that not good practice? As in, would the resorts themselves sort out the spotters? 

 

Thanks,

SineTwo

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You can ask resorts to bring in your preferred spotter, but I guess that you’d have to pay separately for them rather than substitute for one of the crew they hire.  It’s certainly worth a try.  

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Buceo is a more expensive than that, including for diving, but is a very well run operation. They have their own spotters. Food is not that great.

On the lower range I really enjoy Bauan Diver's Sanctuary, great for 3 days, not 1 week (as it's quite a distance from most sites, meaning there are not many sites around, but those nearby are great). Last time I stayed there I believe it was 6500/pax for accommodation, food and 3 dives (with extra for additional boat dives and dive guides). Food is good, small buffet (not a la carte) but I really liked it. Own spotters.

Blue Ribbon is good value for money. Their spotters are good. They outsource boats. Food is not great for vegetarians (though that's the case of most resorts, to be fair).

Not a fan of Eagle's Point ($2/day for a weight belt, really? and lots of extra charges) and post-covid it seems quite run down.

Arthur's Place was okay, it's been a while since I went there, I liked the garden. Back then they used only a very small bangka so did not venture out very far.

I liked the room at Planet Dive. I don't think it was that cheap but can't recall for sure. About 4 years ago the equipment was really old, hopefully they have changed by now.

Skip King Salomon dive resort.

I've heard Anilao Scuba Dive Center changed staff/owners after covid and is no longer that great.

There are not that many places were I would describe the food as good, it's a fairly typical fare in most places. Nothing wrong, but nothing super exciting either.

I rotate among Blue Ribbon, Bauan Diver's Sanctuary, and others depending on the group. I have not tried Anilao Photo Academy, Solitude or Crystal Blue. Arthur's Place is probably a good choice on a budget.

 

 

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