Introduction to Anilao
About two-and-a-half hour drive south of Manila, Anilao, is regarded as the birthplace of diving in the Philippines. There is something for everyone here – from snorkeling, to sites for both novices and the experienced diver. In the mid-1960’s, a whole coral reef was transplanted onto a large rock formation close to the shore. Contrary to popular belief at the time that the adventure would fail, the coral has flourished. As a result, diving has developed and is at the forefront of the industry in the Philippines to this day.
Anilao is a Marine Protected Sanctuary and it is best known in the Philippines for underwater macro photography. However, Anilao definitely isn’t just for macro photography. Anilao also offers some great reef and wall dives, sea mounds and coral gardens.
Here you will find vibrant and colourful Nudibranchs and a huge variety of Critters like Crabs, Shrimps and Cuttlefish. It is not rare to observe the rather strange looking Hairy Frogfish, Blue-Ringed Octopus as well as Mimic Octopus and Rhinopias. Mantis Shrimp, several species of Gobies and Bobbit Worms are also common encounters. The best place for muck diving is Secret Bay also known as Mainit Muck. This is also a great spot for an exhilirating night dive.
Visibility is good and the opportunities for photography are excellent. Unfortunately, as the area has developed, so some of the more negative aspects of this have become evident. In particular, dynamiting, collection of corals and shells and over fishing are just some of the challenges that Anilao and Batangas must face. Luckily, these are being addressed. Most of the best dives are actually found around the islands of Sombrero and Maricaban, a short boat trip away from Anilao.
A short dive north of Anilao is the quiet town of Nasugbu where good diving is also abundant.
Best Time to Dive Anilao
|Best Dive Season||November to May|
Expect colder water in January and February with temperatures going down to 22°C and 24°C on average. Best time to dive is during April and May but dive sites can get crowded during weekends.