Anilao in a Nutshell - Anilao is located about 3 hours drive south of Manila on the island of Luzon, in the Batangas province of the Philippines. Divers and underwater photographers are attracted to Anilao for the incredible diversity, rich reefs, variety of fish, unexpected critters and nudibranchs turning up at every corner. The beachfront resorts are nestled against the jungle and provide exotic scenery while riding to and from dive sites.
Virtually every variety of juvenile fish and critter imaginable can be found in Anilao. Shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs, small squid and cuttlefish are arguably more plentiful than any other dive destination. Frogfish, pipefish and seahorses are also fairly common and we've even seen Rhinopias and Hairy Frogfish. Wonderpus, mimic and blue-ringed octopus can also be seen. Bobbit worms and many other critters await patient muck divers. Anilao has a large number of species of hard and soft corals - perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. Local guides take pride in locating even the smallest macro subjects living on the corals, oftentimes leaving photographers with a tough decision on which subject to shoot.
Larger marine life is also found in Anilao, including large schools of jacks, the occasional turtle and giant seahorses. At Mainit point, which has strong currents, we've seen up to 4 great barracuda hunting, along with giant and bluefin trevally. Reef sharks are occasionally seen down deep at dive sites with stronger currents and on very rare occasions people have seen small whale sharks.
Anilao has some unique soft coral forests, generally found at 70 - 130ft deep, which are mostly unexplored and can turn up rare critters such as seahorses and rhinopias.
Water Temperature: Water temp is generally 27.5C/81F but in January and February this can drop to around 25C/77F. We recommend diving in a 3mm full wetsuit with booties. Many divers choose to wear light gloves and occasionally a hood after several days of repetitive diving. Be sure to bring a light rain jacket, and ample sun protection.
Visibility: Typically 40-50ft
Weather: The average annual temperature is 27.2 °C
"Twin Rocks" - one of the best. Prolific life at 10ft to 130ft and all depths between. Great for macro and wide-angle. Soft corals, schooling jacks, small fish, jawfish and much much more.
"Beatrice" - stronger currents, profusion of swarming anthias, great wide-angle opportunities shooting upward against corals
"Kirby's Rock" - great visibility, a beautiful wall filled with life, and a surprising number of good macro subjects
"Secret Bay" - popular muck site that sometimes has mimic octopus, wonderpus, pipefish, seahorses, frogfish and more
Muck sites - the "hot" muck sites change season to season, contact Bluewater Travel for the latest spots and critters seen.
Weather - October to early June is the main diving season in Anilao. The best months are November / December and April/May, with April and May being the most crowded months at the resorts. July and August can have strong monsoons, so it's best to avoid those months. The critters and rich marine life are found year-round. If you don't mind slightly cooler temps, then Jan - March is great too, and often has more critters underwater.
Topside & Non-Diving Activities - Anilao is relatively limited in terms of non-dive activities.
✓ Various excursions
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