Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dive: Anilao, Batangas

WHERE: Anilao, Batangas

BEST TIME TO GO: all year round :)


1. If you're coming from Metro Manila, Anilao is one of the nearest areas where you can really enjoy scuba diving. That means you can actually do a day trip and if ever you decide to stay overnight, you'll actually get to spend more time on the resort and underwater than be stuck on the road.

2. Anilao is filled with dive sites which offer varied marine life. The Philippines is home to about 75% of the total marine species, that's why it's no wonder that we have seen A LOT of interesting animals and plant life in Anilao. From planktons to small shrimps to clownfish aka "Nemo" to tunas to sharks to all sorts of rays to Napoleon Wrasse to our favorite, sea turtle (or as we call it, PAWIKAN). According to our dive friends, whalesharks are starting to appear in the area as well.

3. It is cheap if you're going with a group since you can all share in the Divemaster/ Dive Instructor fees as well as the boat.

4. Anilao = BEAUTIFUL SUNSET. Try staying in Dive & Trek and make sure you're on land when the sun sets. Trust us, it's beautiful!

Depending on the resort, day trips (with 2-3 dives) can range from P2,000-P3,500 and overnight stay with 4 buffet meals start at around P2,750. Rates vary depending on the resort. Resorts like Aquaventure, Balai Anilao, Planet Dive and Dive & Trek offer affordable rates, Pier Uno, Outrigger and Vistamar (if you want a resort each and every family member can enjoy, stay here) have mid-range rates and resorts like Acacia, Eagle Point and Portulano offer high-end services. Day trippers are also charged with entrance fees that are usually consumable.

1. If you are a small group (2-3), Anilao may not be the best dive destination for you if you're on a tight budget. Maximum number of people for each boat is 6 for a small boat (plus DM and bangkero) and 10 for a big boat. The rates won't change even if your group has less people. You can of course dive with "strangers" and make new friends. :)

2. The style for most of the resorts in Anilao is this: they offer buffet meals (1 for day trip, 4 for overnight) as part of their package. If you have special food requests, make sure to let the resort know. For us vegetarians for example, the buffet style isn't really a treat but waste of money. Call ahead of time so they can make special arrangements for you. :)

3. While Anilao is rich in marine life, we noticed that compared to the less visited underwater sites in the Philippines, the marine life are generally smaller and they are "scared" of people. They usually swim away quickly the moment they "hear" you coming close. Some divers have also done harm
to the marine environment such as vandalism, touching of marine life (especially the poor puffer fish), pointing of flash towards the poor animal's eyes during night dives and destruction of coral reefs (intentionally and unintentionally). If ever you decide to visit Anilao, please be a careful and responsible diver. One small change underwater can bring about a huge effect on the whole ecosystem. :)

4. Dive Sites You Shouldn't Miss: Mainit (If you want to see sharks, dive here at around 6-7 am), Bahura (beautiful corals and seascape), Koala's, Steps (easy to navigate and is home to unusual kinds of fish), Beatrice, Twin Rocks, Kirby's Rock, Basura (do a night dive here to see unusual marine life) :)

5. If you're bringing a car, take note of the steep and narrow roads going "down" to your resort. Since a lot of resorts are located on the hillside and the rooms/ dining area/ diving area are located WAY downhill, you will be asked to park in the middle area then use the steps to go to the "shore" or diving area. This means you have to climb back up as there are no elevators. Fortunately, some resorts like Vistamar don't give you this challenge. They have wide roads and ample parking space. Resorts like Dive & Trek on the other hand offer a free boat ride to bring you to their resort.

Anilao is a barangay in Mabini town, Batangas. One stretch of road houses most of the resorts of Anilao. With their fast increasing number, you will never run out of places to stay!

Also known as the "mecca" of scuba divers, it is a great place to go if you're a water baby. Sports like sailing and windsurfing are also offered here, and of course, you can snorkel if you don't scuba dive!

Because of its proximity to Manila, it is also a popular destination for day trippers or a weekend getaway for sea lovers. While Anilao is great for underwater and on-water activities, it may not be the best destination if you're looking forward to relaxing under the sun as there are no "beaches". There are different kinds of "beach hang-out places" like beach chairs and nipa huts and an amazing sunset to make up for it, though.

Anilao's waters are generally warm and is perfect for diving. A wetsuit, not a dry one, is what you need for diving. From late November to around February, the water gets a bit cooler but still warm enough for you to enjoy your dive.

Anilao is about 3 away from Manila but it can take longer if you leave late (the traffic gets bad in South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and some parts of Batangas) so make sure to wake up early and enjoy the beautiful morning scenery of Anilao. :)


There are a number of ways to get to Anilao. Click on this for the different directions if you're bringing a private vehicle.

For commuters, you can take the bus going to "Batangas City" from Buendia terminal then ask the driver to drop you off at the Bauan Jeepney terminal. Ask the jeepney driver to take you directly to your resort (if possible) or head to the Mabini dock and from there, hire a driver to bring you to your chosen resort.

Dive & Trek Resort, our favorite! - +63920 9064123 (Resort Supervisor-Allan)/ +639176694273 (Resort-Cora)/ +63917 4042973 (Resort-Myrna)/ (02) 8514123 (Booking Office)/ (02) 8320494 (Booking Office)

Ricky Baccay - +63917 8188806
Janet Bellarmino - +63918 5045220
Paul "Pong" Villaroman - +63917 8990618
Jojo Ng - +63918 9005812
Dong Fergara - +63917 8226333


JA Reano - +63917 8388568 (note: If you want to see turtles, contact this guy!)
Abet - +63919 5797402 (note: If you want to see sharks, contact this guy!)
Allan - +63917 9708007 (note: Abet's cousin who's also good in spotting pelagic marine life)

* Most resorts offer equipment rental, but if you want to get your gears cheaper (P300 for BCD & regulator for daytrip-return the next day), rent from Ellen of Diver's Point. :)

Ellen Chua (Metro Manila) - +632 7253631/ +63918 9203323


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  1. Hi,
    Congratulations for this site. Good Luck !!!
    We are publishing a "black-and-white" handbook for the Batangas Province Foundation Week in December 3-8, 2010. It will be given free to all LGUs, business leaders, schools, and stakeholders of Batangas. This will contain the list of registered resorts, hotels, event-venues, and tourism-related establishments in Batangas and the national capital region - for event planning - with a section for "special" destinations in other provinces (in small box ads costing Php600-1,100).
    Those interested may contact the Batangas Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry - BPCCI and the Philippine Action Group for Social Responsibility. batangaschamber (at) yahoo and philippineaction (at) gmail.

  2. The way you built your site is really good. Talking about Batangas, I've been planning to have a vacation there soon. Your post helped me in getting familiar with the place.

  3. Love your site and the details you gave are very informative. Kudos!