Anilao: Travel Guide to the Scuba Diving Capital of Luzon

Anilao

About Anilao

Three hours away from Manila is the coastal town of Mabini in Batangas, home to the “so-called” birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines – Anilao. This town boasts of teeming marine biodiversity with the abundance of corals and dense underwater life, making it a must dive destination in the country.

Anilao may not have white sandy beaches but its underwater ecosystem is 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 World’s Marine Shorefish Biodiversity”.

Anilao
Anilao has high concentration of nudibranches.

Its proximity to Metropolis makes it a great weekend dive destination or even a day tour. Anilao is truly a world class diving destination, a must visit place for divers and non-divers alike.

How to Get to Anilao

To get to Anilao from Manila via public transport:

  1. Catch a Batangas City bound bus in Buendia, Cubao or Alabang (Jam Liner, JAC, Alps, Tritran, etc), fare ranges from P140 to P160 and travel time is at least 1.5 hours during off-peak hours. Buses bound to Batangas City leave almost every hour, 24 hours a day. Avoid Batangas City via Lipa as travel time takes longer. Book your bus from Manila to Batangas here: BOOK YOUR BUS FROM MANILA TO BATANGAS
  2. Get off at Batangas City Bus Terminal and transfer to a Mabini bound jeep to take you to Anilao Port, fare is P40 per pax and travel time is around 45 minutes.
  3. At Anilao Port, catch a tricycle to your resort, fare starts at P60 per trike to P100 and travel time takes at least 10 minutes.
Anilao
Frogfish

Transportation Summary

Route/Mode of Transportation Travel Time Fare
Manila to Batangas City Grand Terminal (Batangas City bound bus) 1.5 to 3 hours P157
Batangas City Grand Terminal to Anilao Port (Mabini/Anilao bound jeep) 45 minutes P40
Anilao Port to Resort (tricycle) ~10 – 15 minutes P60 – P100

Where to Stay in Anilao

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

I have tried staying at Aqua Reef Venture, Pier Uno,  Acacia Dive Resort and Vistamar and my experiences with them were all good. Planet Dive and Anilao Outrigger are also among the favorites, they are known for their cheap diving packages. Meanwhile for non-divers, Dive & Trek and Portulano Dive Resort are favorites.

Recommended/Highly Rated Accommodations in Anilao

Sea Spring Resort

Sea Spring Resort
Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
Starts at 3,000 PHP

CHECK RATES

Camp Netanya Resort and Spa

 Camp Netanya Resort & Spa
Anilao, Mabini, Batangas
Starts at 5,000 PHP

CHECK RATES

Sombrero Island
Sombrero Island

What to Do in Anilao and nearby

  • 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 and beach hopping in Sombrero Island, Masasa Beach, Oscar Beach and Sepoc Point all in Tingloy
  • Water Sports, Scuba Diving Lessons, Free Diving
  • Trek Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Masasa Beach
Masasa Beach

Tips

  • Best time to go is from October to June.
  • Mobile signal is available in the island.
  • Electricity is available.
  • Most establishments accept credit card.
  • Avoid weekend if you are planning to go to Masasa Beach / Tingloy as it is usually crowded.
  • Public boat from Anilao to Tingloy departs as early as 7AM to as late as 430PM during peak season.
  • Return trip from Tingloy to Anilao starts as early as 6AM and as late as 230PMYou can do it as a day trip from Metro Manila or Southern Tagalog.

Comments

  1. cassy

    Hi! Is the price still the same til now? The 2,500 and 1,500? Thanks! 🙂

  2. […] as the birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines due to its proximity from Metro Manila, Anilao has continued to attract many thrill-seeking souls around the world. There’s a lot of things […]

  3. […] cooking process at the same time dish originated in Mabini, Batangas, it’s so popular in that province they held a festival for it. Held annually this event is to pay […]

  4. […] 2-3 hours ride from Dasmariñas, Cavite to Anilao, Batangas. Mabini, Batangas is a home to Anilao. Anilao is well-known as the “scuba diving haven” in the Philippines. This place features a remarkable […]

  5. I wonder if okay sya sa mga non-divers?

    1. myrian valenzuela

      may pag asa pa pala sa aming di marunong lumangoy. Even snorkeling i never tried, i was so
      afraid of underwater. Hanggang swimming pool nalang yata ako.

  6. 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!

  7. Priscila

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

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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?

    1. Daniel

      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 😉

  11. I often heard about this place but never been there. I hope I can visit Anilao in the future. Great captures you have. Superb!

  12. lucky charles caturam

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

  13. Jam

    A question, though: How does one get back to Manila? Thanks 🙂

  14. Edgar

    kudos for information, well done.

  15. Philippines Wedding Information

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

  16. Milet Miranda

    Hi There! Do they have diving packages for beginners at aqua reef venture? Thanks 🙂

  17. Che Dones

    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.

  18. looking forward to dive here. <3 the colors!

    1. Dive na Rain 🙂

  19. 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… 🙂

    1. Ako naman I hope to climb Gulugod Baboy soon 🙂

    2. Razel

      Oh how we love gulugod baboy! Weve been there two days ako, ayoko na bumaba! We are planning to go back, sana soon!(:

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