The Historical Lighthouse at Maniquin Island
Maniquin Island, also known as Maniguin Island," "Maningning Island," or "Hammerhead Island," lies only 1 to 2 hours by speed boat from our dive Shop in Shangri-la Boracay. It is 47 kilometers (25 nautical miles) away, heading 209° on the compass.
Maniquin Island has the best snorkeling near Boracay. But, it is best known for its cylindrical lighthouse. The historic lighthouse guided ships into the Sulu Sea. They followed along the Cuyo East Passage shipping route.
Learn more about the historic lighthouse of Maniquin Island!
Shining a Light on History
The 1906 lighthouse stands near the southeastern point of Maniquin Island. It stand atop a narrow ridge about 33.5 meters (110 feet) high. The rest of Maniquin Island is only 4.5 meters (15 feet) high. White sand beaches, coral reefs, and deep water surround Maniquin Island.
The original Spanish design for the lighthouse was more elegant. Before its construction, an American re-design emphasized speed of construction and lower cost. Thus, the tower was the first reinforced concrete lighthouse tower in the Philippines. Upon completion it had been faster to build, with higher quality and at less cost.
A newer, solar-powered, fiberglass tower now sits next to the historic tower. Both are 30-meters (98 feet) high. Visibility is 37 kilometers (20 nautical miles).
Your Maniquin Island Excursion
Maniquin Island is the best snorkeling site near Boracay. Yet, it is 4 to 5 hours one-way by traditional bangka boat from Boracay (we have speedboat and catamaran). This distance helps keep the area in pristine condition. For example, there is no pollution at Maniquin Island.
Speed boats from Scotty's Dive Center make the trip in only one hour (depending on the waves). This allows you to snorkel all day at Maniquin Island and sleep in Boracay at night. With an incredible visibility of more than 30-meter (100-foot), you may see:
- bluestripe snapper (bluestripe sea perch, blue-line snapper)
- butterflyfish (butterfly fish)
- cetacea, other
- eagle ray
- garden eel
- hammerhead shark
- hard corals
- humphead wrasse (Māori wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleon fish, Napoleonfish)
- jackfish (jack, northern pike)
- manta ray (devil ray)
- nudibranch (sea slug, Spanish dancer)
- regal tang (palette surgeonfish, blue tang, royal blue tang, hippo tang, flagtail surgeonfish, Pacific regal blue tang, blue surgeonfish)
- shark, other
- soft corals
- other aquatic life uncommon to Boracay
You can also photograph the crabs that are on the beach at night. The downside, if staying on Maniquin Island, is that this same beach is the only camping area. This is why our speed boats take you back to Boracay!