Scuba diving guide Anilao: Best diving centers, liveaboards, dive sites and recommendations

A yellow and black nudibranch on the reef of Anilao Batangas, the Philippines

Anilao, a small barangay in the town of Mabini, is considered a marine protected sanctuary and is also one of the best spots in the country for underwater wildlife photography. Anilao Batangas is ranked third for muck diving, following the Lembeh Strait (Indonesia) and Mabul Island (Malaysia).

Only three hours away from Metro Manila, it’s also a preferred destination of both foreign and local divers, particularly for beginners who have uncertainties about going to several far places in the Philippines for their first diving venture. The pristine waters surrounding Anilao is home to a diverse variety of fish, rich coral reefs, and plenty of underwater creatures.

Anilao Batangas is also popular for its many rare critters that you will encounter at the dive spots, particularly the small nudibranchs. With the number of first-class liveaboards, beachfront resorts, and dive centers found in the area, Anilao Batangas is a great destination for local and international divers.

Recommendations for diving Anilao, Batangas

The Anilao Batangas dive spots are just 10 to 25 minutes away from most Anilao dive centers and beachfront resorts. So, you can choose any accommodation according to your budget or comfort needs because travel time is not a problem.

Liveaboards Anilao, Batangas

If you want to experience this amazing Philippine dive site at its best, we recommend booking a liveaboard. The Solitude One and the Resolute liveaboards offers trips to Anilao Batangas.

The Solitude One liveaboard in the Philippines
The Solitude One liveaboard in the Philippines

A trip with the Solitude One liveaboard starts at $ 295 per day. The latest prices and availability can be checked here.

Diving center Anilao, Batangas

Another option is to book your dives with a local diving center in Anilao. You can schedule 2 dives in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, but make sure to save some energy for a night muck dive at the pier. Your Anilao Batangas diving adventure will not be complete without it. Also, don’t forget to keep your underwater cameras in the full battery before diving because Anilao is considered a haven for underwater macro photography.

In the ''Diving centers'' section below, we have outlined our recommendations for a diving center.

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Aiyanar Beach and Dive resort

N.A.
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PADI
PHP 25,000
N.A.
Accommodation available, focus on underwater photography

Anilao Diving and Resorts

PHP 1,300
N.A.
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PADI
PHP 22,000
N.A.
Rental of scuba gear, accommodation available

Blue Ribbon Divers

PHP 1,700
N.A.
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PADI
PHP 22,000
N.A.
Rental of scuba gear, accommodation available

Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort

PHP 1,300
PHP 3,750 for 2 dives (min. 2 divers required)
N.A.
Other
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Rental of scuba gear, accommodation available

Best diving centers Anilao Batangas

Diving Center 1: Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort

This resort is regarded as the first high-end diving center in Anilao that serves underwater photographers. It offers dive courses, a dive facility, an underwater camera room, and complete gear rental. Other water sports that can be enjoyed are banana boating, wake boarding, and jet skiing.

Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort have all the facilities that a diver needs such as wider, custom-designed fast boats, equipment, and everything that makes the diving experience more enjoyable.

Its diving center is well-equipped with facilities and gear that is perfect for all diving needs. It rests on a 120-square meter of a well-designed space that aids in the effective flow of divers that leave and arrive at the resort at the onset of peak operation.

The PADI courses of Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort are priced between PHP 3,000 to PHP 25,000 depending on the course. Courses include Scuba Review (PHP 3,500), Discover Scuba (PHP 4,200), Discover Scuba Follow Up Dive (PHP 3,000), Scuba Dive (10 years old) (PHP 16,500), Open Water Diver (PHP 25,000), Advanced Open Water Diver (PHP 21,000), Rescue Diver (PHP 25,000), and Nitrox Diver (PHP 14,000).

Diving Center 2: Anilao Diving and Resorts

This Anilao Batangas Diving Resort conducts scuba diving courses for both advanced and beginner levels. It also has gear rental, scuba dive trips, and other water sports activities such as fishing and jet ski, as well as island hopping.

The diving resort consists of three major components--- the dive package arrangements and resort accommodations, fun dives, and PADI dive courses. Anilao Batangas Diving Resort is also deemed as the top venue that offers macro photography in the entire Philippines.

Its dive packages include dive tickets, weights belt, tanks, one round of dive boat for two dive sites, and service of professional guides for two dive sites.

The price of its dive packages ranges from PHP 1,300 to PHP 7,200 depending on the dive course. The dive packages include Shore Entry Dive with Guide (PHP ,300 per dive), Additional Dive (P1,875 per dive), Night Dive (P2,950 per dive; minimum of two divers), Group of 2 Divers, and more (PHP 3,750 per diver per 2 dives), and Solo Diver (PHP 7,200 per 2 dives). All rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Optional to these dive packages are additional equipment such as a regulator set (PHP 500 per day), BCD (PHP 500 per day), and complete gear rental (PHP 1,750 per day).

All divers in this diving center should show a diving logbook or C-card with record training at any level. The divemaster controls all dives and also, each dive is limited to non-decompression.

If you will reserve in this diving center, you need to confirm it through a 50 percent down payment.

Diving Center 3: Blue Ribbon Divers

Regular drives are offered in Verde Island and dive sites are also readily accessible through this diving center. Blue Ribbon Dive Resort serves all types of divers and even soon-to-be divers. It is a PADI 5-Star Dive Resort that provides training for students at their own pace to ensure that they can dive safely and competently until the end of their course. This diving center has authorized divemasters and several full-time instructors.

It serves regular fun divers who aim at getting wet and seeing the coral or macro, and also underwater photographers. It also focuses on safety and before each dive, full dive briefing is enabled onshore and ensuring groups are divided between divemasters, based on photographers versus non-photographers, rate of air consumption, and skill level.

Safety procedures are also reviewed constantly. Emergency oxygen is also provided on all dives, along with a proper assessment of conditions before the dive and carefully choosing the dive site.  The dive experts also consistently check for weather systems and currents through various online resources. Blue Ribbon Divers have their team of divemasters and instructors as well as an onsite boat crew to ensure a level of safety for all divers.

Diving Center 4: Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort

One of the largest dive centers in the province, Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort offers a one-of-a-kind Anilao Batangas diving experience. It has everything you need for a complete diving getaway, which includes affordable dive packages, certified instructors, and a Safety Stop Dive Shop.

Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort is also best-known for its 3 m deep training reef pool. It’s designed for new divers who want to experience reef diving but not in the vast and deep sea right away. For those experienced and certified divers, this Anilao Batangas dive resort offers a 2-dive package for solo divers (PHP 7,200) and groups (PHP 3,750/person). If you feel like going for more, additional dives cost PHP 1,875/dive/person. All rates are inclusive of tanks, weight belts, and professional service guide (so excluding equipment).

The dive center also offers a basic introductory scuba diving course for PHP 3,360 per person, complete with diving equipment. With the best dive masters on board, you’ll learn how to explore the underwater paradise of Anilao Batangas in no time. Aside from scuba diving, Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort also offers snorkeling trips, kayaking, night diving, and first-class accommodations.

Liveaboards in Anilao, Batangas

Below, we have outlined a few options for a liveaboard in Anilao, Batangas. Note that the availability of liveaboards in this area can be limited during the year.

Liveaboard 1: Solitude One

The Solitude One liveaboard is a magnificent 52-meter ex-merchant vessel. It went through a complete makeover in 2013, and this steel-hulled boat is currently a purpose-built dive liveaboard. It has integrated home comfort, functionality, and smart design.

This liveaboard has ten magnificently designed cabins and each has a single climate-controlled air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, as well as other home comforts like bathrobes and hair dryers. If you wish to relax on the Solitude One liveaboard, you can select between the beautiful sun deck where you can observe dolphins that are breaking the surface or lounge with comfortable chairs. You can also go for fine dining in the Solitude One liveaboard and divers can satisfy themselves through a wide selection of snacks and cuisine available for an entire day.

You will experience scuba diving in the spectacular diving sites of Anilao with convenience since the size of diving groups is kept small. Professional and experienced dive guides are on hand for assistance with any concerns. Through a digital camera studio, a large camera rinse tank, and a camera set up a bench, the Solitude One liveaboard can provide a memorable dive vacation.

The jacuzzi on the Solitude One liveaboard in the Philippines
The jacuzzi on the foredeck of the Solitude One

Price: The price per day starts at USD 296 or PHP 14,327. The latest prices and availability can be checked here.

Liveaboard 2: MY Resolute

MY Resolute is considered to be one of the longest-running dive liveaboards in the country. With a competent crew on board, it provides pristine dive conditions along with sightings of hammerhead, nurse, grey reef, and white tip sharks on each dive.

On its top area, the MY Resolute liveaboard serves only 16 guests, and around eight comfortable cabins are also present, each with individually controlled en-suite and AC bathrooms. The bow of the boat provides loungers with an amazing spot to soak up the sun while the indoor salon provides a cool area with a camera room and entertainment system. The large live deck is situated at the rear of the boat and it gives sufficient space for individual gear storage.

Price: The price per day starts at USD 215 or PHP 10,460. The latest prices and availability can be checked here.

Best Anilao Batangas dive sites

Below, we outlined the best diving sites in Anilao:

Dive site 1: Anilao Pier

This was initially called the “Janao-Janao'', which describes Anilao’s geographical shape. The average depth is around 5  meters as you are just diving below the pier. During your dive, you can find for example little crabs, shrimps, and octopus. The best time for this dive is at sunset or night (night dive) when the sunlight changes, it gets darker and the (night) marine life will be active.  

Dive site 2: Anilao Beach Club House Reef

The whole island is considered a natural reserve, and there are about two fish protection sites around the island. Diving is enjoyable in the northern part, but the other sides of the beach clubhouse are also spectacular.

Dive site 3: Cathedral Rock/3’s Cuevas

Here you will be able to discover a lot of tropical fish such as surgeon fish, wrasse, butterfly fish, and angelfish; nudibranchs; sponges; anemones with clown fish, and soft corals.

Dive site 4: Dive and Trek (Cavern)

This was made as a bus stop in the past since large pelagic fish are situated on this site. The cavern contains a cross above it, which is made from concrete. The cavern also has a Virgin Mary statue and inside, it is brimming with groupers, napoleon fish, and midnight snappers.

Dive site 5: Eagle Point

This particular seaside haven was developed with a high priority on comfort and adventure. It is also considered as a year-round destination spot for underwater scuba divers, nature lovers, adventurers, and open water sports enthusiasts, as well as for those who would love to take a break from the busy urban life.

Dive site 6: Koala

This is a diving spot that most new divers prefer due to its gentle slopes and medium currents. The slope starts at 9 meters depth and goes down till 23/23 meters. At Koala, you can find many anemones with clown fishes.

Dive site 7: Ligpo Island

It is a small island situated in the province of Lemery, Batangas, which is near the coastal area of Anilao. You can go around the island during a dive. Things can be found here are a large pinnacle which is going down till 34-35 meters and turtles.

Dive site 8: Ligpo Cave

It is a large area filled with soft corals and is usually 10 to 30 meters in depth. Keep an eye for the giant trevally and jack fishes.

Dive site 9: Lipo Pinnacle

The trip to the Pinnacle is usually done best in two dives to take advantage of the shallow walls with colorful fan and bush anemones and the deeper wall with large fan corals.

Other diving spots in Anilao are Kirby’s, Matu Point, Secret Bay, and Twin Rocks for those who want to go for muck diving and explore rich underwater environments.

For those seeking perfect wide-angle photography opportunities, they can go to Beatrice Rocks. On the other hand, the most spectacular soft corals can be sighted at Devil’s Point. For beginners, any diving site along the shore can be explored, specifically Eagle Point. As for advanced divers who are searching for strong and healthy currents, they can proceed to Mainit Point.

Best time to visit Anilao, Batangas

Diving in Anilao can be all-year-round. Nevertheless, there are specific periods most recommended for diving than others.

The primary diving season in Anilao is from early November to May. Normally, the rainy season falls in July, August, and September, and typhoons are possible. At this time, poor to zero visibility may be quite possible and the tides at sea are relatively high. The water at Anilao is colder in January and February and the temperatures may decrease to an average of 22 degrees to 24 degrees Celsius. The average temperature throughout the year is 27.3 degrees.

The best time as well as the peak season for diving in Anilao is during April and May. However, the temperature during these months can go up to 28.8 degrees. November, though, is also one of the best months to explore the area and the visibility is the same from November to May, as you can expect to see up to 30 meters in terms of diving conditions, especially if the weather is good. The natural conditions on most dive sites are suitable for learning scuba diving. Nevertheless, strong currents might exist in numerous places such as Mainit Point.

During the rainy season, which is from July to September, the visibility is generally poor. Should you decide to try Anilao Batangas diving during this season, make sure to check the daily local weather report to check if diving is suitable.

How to Get to Anilao Batangas

Option 1: By bus from Metro Manila to Anilao

If you will be commuting to Anilao, you can ride the bus going to Batangas City and get off at the Grand Terminal.

In Metro Manila, there are bus terminals that are present in LRT Buendia and Taft in Pasay City, as well as in EDSA-Kamias and Cubao, Quezon City. You just need to wake up and leave early in the morning to evade the traffic. If you will be selecting a bus with a CALABARZON signage, travel time is expected to be shorter since it will pass by numerous cities and towns like Malvar, Tanauan, Lipa, and others.

The average travel time going to Anilao is about two to three hours, depending on the traffic. The fare is around PHP 120 to PHP 180 based on your route and point of origin.

Option 2: By jeepney from Metro Manila to Anilao

If you will be riding a jeepney to Anilao from the Grand Terminal, you need to alight at the final stop—the Mabini Multi-purpose Port or the Anilao Port. The estimated travel time is about 40 minutes from the terminal and the fare is around PHP 37.

You can also ride a tricycle going to the resort and there is also a tourism office in Anilao for your travel-related concerns. f you plan to spend the night in Anilao, take a day tour and find a boat that you can rent for island hopping.

Option 3: By airplane

There is no airport in Anilao or any other towns and cities in Batangas. The nearest one is in Metro Manila and you can find cheap flights via Skyscanner. Afterwards, you can choose between Option 1 and 2 to reach Anilao.

Accommodations in Anilao Batangas

Bubblemaker Dive and Beach Resort

Situated on the Mabini beachfront and includes a restaurant, the Bubblemaker Dive and Beach Resort features free WiFi in all areas, a terrace (specifically on certain rooms), air-conditioned rooms, and a private bathroom. The resort also provides an American or continental breakfast. The room rate starts at PHP 2,500 per night via Booking.com.

El Pinoy Dive and Leisure Resort

This is a 17-room dive resort that includes balconies on all rooms, which face the splendid Maricaban Island the sea. The resort also provides packages including buffet meals and the use of amenities and facilities like game boards, darts, billiards, and a dipping pool.  The available water sports in the resort include wakeboarding, banana boat, speedboat, jetski, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Price: PHP 4,605 to PHP 6,738 per night/person via Agoda.

Altamare Dive and Leisure Resort

The Altamare Dive and Leisure Resort face the Mabini beachfront and it features a terrace, garden, and an outdoor swimming pool with a view of the sea on the horizon. Guests will be able to enjoy meals in their restaurant or a drink at the bar.

The rooms include a closet, a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a bidet, a desk, an electric teapot, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV. Some rooms also have a seating area. Guests can enjoy either an a la carte or continental breakfast.

Price: Starts at PHP 2,465 per night via Booking.com.

Anilao Awari Bay Diving and Leisure Batangas Resort

Anilao Awari Bay Diving and Leisure Batangas Resort is the ideal resort option for those who want to create memories, share moments with friends and family, relax and rejuvenate, and experience world-class diving sites. The resort can be reached in two to three hours from the southern Manila area. It is located on a private stretch of shoreline overlooking the spectacular Balayan Bay.

Being in Anilao Awari enables you to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Tourists and families will enjoy its 8,000 square meter luxury accommodation for everyone to enjoy activities like island hopping, karaoke, island hopping, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, beach volleyball, and swimming. Kids will love the kiddie pool while adults can also enjoy the calm and peaceful ambiance of the dive or infinity pool for adults.

As for room accommodations, the rooms include new flat-screen television sets with cable connections, complimentary tea and coffee, whisper-quiet air conditioners, private shower and bathroom facilities, and cold or hot water.

Price: PHP 4,844 per night/person via Agoda.

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