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Dive Review of Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort in

Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort: "Great diving, but very basic accommodations", Apr, 2018,

by Matthias Kowalsky, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 10247.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments On balance, Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort is probably one of your best options in the Anilao / Mabini area as it is a cut above the more established resorts in the area (and, hence, also more expensive). The focus is obviously on macro diving & underwater photography and not on the comfort of the accommodations, which appear a bit like an afterthought. The dive operation itself is well-run, comfortable boats (two of them are speed boats), and good dive support with staff handling tanks and all other gear. The dive facilities are large and well-organized, with lots of space to store personal belongings, hang wetsuits, etc. Nitrox was consistent at 31-32% and was included in the package price (no extra charges). Large camera room and camera facilities since almost every guest at the resort has a camera. Dive briefings were sporadic at best, but the crew takes directions or requests from guests for each dive (wide angle, macro, specific macro requests, etc.) and will adjust/recommend based on conditions.

In terms of macro diving, this is heaven. Lots of nudibranchs on every dive, varieties of tiny crabs, shrimp, flamboyant cuttlefish, ornate gobies, baby frog fish, hairy frog fish, etc. - you name it and the dive guides will find it! Our dive guide was a reasonably experienced underwater photographer himself and was able to help secure some great shots. Water temps were 79-81 degrees F in April, no current, depth generally between 40 and 75 ft, resulting in average dive times of 60-65 minutes. Viz 20-40 ft, but aside from macro critters, there is nothing to look at.

From the exterior, the hotel looks very nice and modern, but the accommodations are lacking some pretty basic necessities. For example, the room does not even have a chest of drawers to store clothes, so you'll basically be living out of your suitcase the entire time you are there. We had initially booked a "suite" room (which isn't really a suite but rather a room that's a bit larger than the rest) but were downgraded to a standard room a week before our arrival because the hotel had overbooked the suite room category. Supposedly all the rooms have the same view and balconies, but that is clearly not the case. Our "view" was of the dining room which was basically right in front of our room. Other than the lack of some basics, the room was clean and comfortable. The air conditioning worked well. There are a lot of large, beautiful trees on the property, which makes for nice shading and appearance, but the staff probably hate them as the crew seems to be constantly sweeping dead leaves all day long.

The food is plentiful but not very good for the most part (just fuel for diving). Frozen vegetables, pasta sauce out of a jar, white rice, and lots of meat. If you are vegetarian or vegan, I am not sure what you would do because there is almost nothing that falls into this category. The dining room staff are very friendly and try their best, but the kitchen staff appears unable to do more than what they are used to.

We had a package including meals but were still charged for mysterious meals that we had never ordered, so that required some careful review and adjustment of the room bill upon checkout.
Overall, I can recommend Aiyanar for the diving but adjust your expectations with respect to the accommodation.
Websites Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Komodo, Raja Ampat, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Palau, Hawaii, Red Sea, Caribbean, Mexico
Closest Airport Manila NAIA Getting There Transfer from/to airport can take somewhere between 2.5 and 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions in the Manila metro area, so allow plenty of time especially on departure day

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Generally best to follow the very experienced dive guides, since this is muck diving and the dive guides can point out all of the macro critters
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Extensive UWP camera facilities with camera room, charging area, setup area, bins for extras, etc. There was an onsite UWP photo pro who was available for general questions as well as offering very reasonably-priced classes/one-on-one instructions for those so inclined. We did take advantage of two one-hour sessions and benefited greatly from her knowledge level.

All crew are very experienced in handling cameras, from the basic point and shoot setup to very large camera/video rigs, so you can feel very comfortable about the crew in that regard.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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