Travel Guide: Anilao (Mabini, Batangas)

Three hours away or around 170 kilometers south of Manila is the coastal town of Mabini, Batangas, home to Anilao, the “so-called” birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines. This town boasts of teeming marine biodiversity, with the abundance of corals and dense underwater life, making it popular not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.

Anilao

The town may not have white sandy beaches but its underwater ecosystem its biggest attraction. Numerous dive sites are scattered on its water and around the nearby islands. It is also close to Verde Passage, dubbed as the Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity in the world.

Its proximity to Metropolis makes it a great dive destination during weekends or Holiday on a day tour. A truly a world class diving destination, a must visit place for divers and non-divers alike.

Anilao

Anilao has high concentration of nudibranches

How to Commute to Anilao

To get there from Manila via public transport, catch a Batangas City bound bus in Buendia/Cubao (Jam Liner, Tritran, etc) and get off at Batangas City Bus Terminal (~P157). From there, catch a jeepney to Mabini that will take you to Anilao Port (~P40.00), then hire a tricycle to bring you to your resort (P60-P100).

Buses bound to Batangas City leave Buendia every hour, 24-hours a day, fare cost is P157.00. Total travel time from Manila is at two and a half hours during off peak hours and at three to four hours during day time and rush hours.

Anilao

A blue ribbon eel

Transportation Summary

Route/Mode of Transportation Travel Time Fare
Manila to Batangas City Bus Terminal (Batangas City bound bus) 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours P157.00
Batangas City Bus Terminal to Anilao Port (Mabini/Anilao bound jeep) 40 minutes P40.00
Anilao Port to Resort (tricycle) ~10 – 15 minutes P60.00-P100.00

Where to Stay

Since the discovery of Anilao as a premier dive site, numerous dive resorts have sprung up in the area that cater primarily to scuba divers although non divers are also welcome. Most resorts have their own swimming pools that are used for scuba diving lessons and for recreation specially for non-divers.

I have tried staying at Aqua Reef Venture, Pier Uno,  Acacia Dive Resort and Vistamar and my experiences with them were all good. I love Aqua Reef Venture and Acacia Dive Resort’s buffets :)

Planet Dive and Anilao Outrigger are also among the favorites, they are known for their cheap diving packages. Meanwhile for non-divers, Dive and Trek is a favorite. Portulano Dive Resort has positive reviews too including the good experience of my travel blogger friend Chyng Reyes.

Anilao

Frogfish

Activities

  • Scuba Diving in more than 20 known dive sites, the number is still growing with the discoveries of more and more sites. Some of the popular dive sites include Koala, Ligpo Island, The Cathedral, Eagle Point, Arthur’s Rock or Dead Point, Twin Rocks, Mainit Point, Red Rock, Sombrero Island, Beatrice Rock, Bahura, Layag-Layag, Kirby’s Rock, Caban Cove, Darly Laut, Sepok Wall, Bethlehem, Mapating Rock, Merriel’s Rock, Devil’s Point, Red Palm, Bonito Island and Malajibomanoc Island among others. Day tour diving can cost for as low as P2500.00 for two dives with buffet meal. The cost can still go down to as low as P1,500 if you have gear, if you opt to bring your own meals, if there are enough number of divers in a boat to bring the share cost to its lowest or if you are doing a shore dive. Intro diving is as low as P1500.00.
  • Snorkeling. For non divers, the shallow and low-current dive sites are great for snorkeling. The house reef of Dive and Trek is a marine sanctuary frequented by divers and snorkelers alike.
  • Island Hopping in Sombrero, Tingloy and nearby islands and shores
  • Water Sports
  • Trek Mt. Gulugod Baboy

18 Comments on “Travel Guide: Anilao (Mabini, Batangas)

  1. Nice pics! Such a wonderful diving place Anilao is. We stayed at Eagle Point Resort but there have been an increase in lodging and accommodation in the area. So long as the diving sports are there, these places will always be in business. Nice write up!

  2. hi ask ko lng po, magkano rates and accomodation sa mga resorts na nabnggit mo. i checked thier website pero wala namang nakalagay. thanks

  3. Greetings from Japan… thank you very much for your write-out on Anilao… my missus and I are planning a dive trip there this August… appreciated the information!

  4. thanks for the informative post; we’re planning to go here soon. are there also sites here good for skin diving / free diving?

  5. I’ve been diving for more than 3 years pero never pa akoa nakadive sa Luzon aside from Palawan. Prolly this is my next diving destination after Apo Island next month.

    Nice Photos. Just wondering what camera you’re using under water?

    • Apparently, he’s using a Nikon D60 in Aperture Priority mode at F/20 (from the picture metadata) and edits with Photoshop CS3 for Windows ;)

  6. pwede po ba magovernight on any island near mount gulugod baboy?

  7. You got different species of fishes ..Nice shot guys !!

  8. Hi There! Do they have diving packages for beginners at aqua reef venture? Thanks :)

  9. visit Calayo Cove in Nasugbu Batangas. Stunning rock formation and islets. that’s probably 7kms away from Kawayan Cove. You will fall in love with the place and it’s cheaper than Munting Buhangin. The mountainous side is perfect for running.

  10. The beach of Anilao is our favorite after our climbs in Gulugod Baboy. But still we haven’t tried diving. Our favorite resorts are PhilPan, because it’s cheap and Aqua Venture, we also love the food there… heheh!

    Sana soon, makapag-dive na din… :)

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