Diving Anilao

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Anilao, Philippines

Anilao Diving
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Country: Philippines  Area: Southeast Asia

Water Temp: 23 - 30°C (73 - 86°F)

Visibility: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

Depth Range: 5 - 40m (16 - 131 ft)

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Anilao is on the island of Luzon, about 3 hours' drive south of Manila, in the Batangas province of the Philippines.  It is best known for muck diving.

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Anilao is known among divers for its macro life and muck diving.  There are huge areas of coral reef and a range of Indo-Pacific critters in the local waters.  Most of the dive sites are in the southern area.  Divers can find shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs, small squid and cuttlefish, as well as frogfish, pipefish and seahorses.  Rhinopias and hairy frogfish, blue-ringed octopus and bobbit worms also await.  Anilao has a large number of hard and soft coral and local guides can help locate the smallest macro subjects on them.

Larger marine life includes schools of jacks, the occasional turtle and giant seahorses. 

Diver with the Frogfish,  Credit

Marine Conservation

Anilao is a Marine Protected Sanctuary.  The PCSSD (Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving), the Haribon Foundation (a Philippine environmental conservation organization) and a number of other non-governmental groups have initiated projects aiming to set up protected areas, education local fishermen about the need to conserve, and establishing management systems for conservation and rebuilding.  Reef clean-ups are also sometimes organised.

Coral shrimp, Credit

Climate

October to early June is the dry season and main diving season.  The best months are November/December and April/May, with April and May being the most crowded months.  July and August can have strong monsoons.  Temperatures are slightly cooler between January and March.

The view, Anilao, Credit

 
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Shore Diving

Secret Bay - a muck diving site with mimic octopus, wonderpus, pipefish, seahorses, frogfish and more.  Maximum depth of 21m(68ft) and also used for night dives.

Hawksbill Turtle, Credit

 Boat Diving

Twin Rocks - known for macro and wide-angle opportunities.  Soft corals, schooling jacks, small fish, jawfish etc. can be found here.  Maximum depth is 16m (52ft) and visibility over 20m (65ft).

Nudibranch, Twin Rocks, Anilao. Credit

Beatrice - famous for strong currents, swarming anthias and wide-angle opportunities shooting upwards against the corals.  15-30mins by boat, with depths ranging from 14-27m (46-88ft).

Beatrice Rock, Anilao, Credit

Kirby's Rock - walls filled with marine life and a number of macro subjects. 15mins by boat with depths of 5m - 30m (16-98ft).  At just over 30m (16ft) is a boulder of solid rock with sea fans, yellow nudibranchs, hawkfish and harlequin sweet lips.

Mainit Point - known for strong currents, barracuda, giant and bluefin trevally. 15mins away by boat, it's famous for short drift dives.  The drop off is a formation of solid rocks and walls of rock coated with soft corals and surrounded by tuna, bluefin jacks and surgeon fish.

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How to Get there

Anilao is about 3 hours' drive away from Manila International Airport (MNL), also known as Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  Several major Asian airports run flights to MNL and serve as layovers for visitors from the US and Europe.

Into the boat, Credit

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Where to Eat & Drink

There are no restaurants or nightclubs in the area.  Bars and restaurants tend to be at the resorts.

Beautiful! Credit

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Other Activities

Some of the resorts offer kayaks for rental.  On the south side of Sepoc, a narrow peninsula, facing Mindoro Island is a stretch of white sandy beach between a massive rock outcrop called Sepoc point. Mt Gulugod Baboy is an easy climb and popular hiking destination.

Rich ecosystem, Credit

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Tips

Many divers combine Anilao with a trip to Puerto Galera, or Cebu/Dumaguete.  Puerto Galera is an hour away by speedboat, while Cebu or Dumaguete are an hour from Manila by air.

A 3mm full wetsuit with booties is recommended.  Many divers choose to wear light gloves and occasionally a hood after several days of repetitive diving. 

Lovely sunset, Credit

Bring a light rain jacket, and ample sun protection.

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Haejin Jung

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the east sea

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