Diving in Anilao

Diving in Anilao a perfect spot for Snorkellers to explore

Marine Life Highlights in Anilao

Aegires villosus
Chromodoris Magnifica
Noumea flava

Dive Sites in Anilao

Beatrice Rock

Beatrice Rock, as some sources say, a namesake from one of the early divers in Anilao. It is a sloping reef with several short drop-offs swarming with fish life and decorated with Feather Stars, large Barrel Sponges, and Soft and Hard corals.  This site never runs out of colorful Anthias plus common residents such as Triggerfish, Jacks, Surgeonfish, and Snappers, along with Nudibranchs, Eels and Clownfish.

Occasional visitors include Turtles, Blue-ringed Octopus and Sharks typically seen during strong currents. Beatrice Rock’s visibility is from 10 to 25 metres with depth ranging from 14 to 27 metres and can be reached by a 30-minute boat ride, best dived at neap tide.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 14m
Maximum Depth: 27m
Average Visibility: 10-25m

Secret Bay

Also known as Mainit Muck due to its nearness to Mainit dives sites, Secret Bay became known in late 2009. Located south of Anilao, this dive spot has critters easily spotted at the shallows and is always compared to Lembeh for its underwater zoo vibe. Species of Octopus like Wonderpus, Mimic, Blue-ring, Long-Armed and Mototi Octopus are all present in Secret Bay mixed with other critters such as Thorny Seahorse, Frogfish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Anglerfish, Jawfish, Scorpionfish, Bobbit Worm, Coleman Shrimp and Garden Eels, with various types of Nudibranchs making it an ideal night dive.

Average depth is 10 metres and maximum of 21 metres with calm currents during the day but may have strong currents in the afternoon and during Amihan or cool northeast wind season. Visibility ranges from 15 to 21 metres and Secret Bay can be accessed by boat.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 21m
Average Visibility: 15-21m

Bonito Island

Lying east of Maricaban and Tingloy Island, Bonito Island is a marine sanctuary having a reputation of being a diver’s paradise. Characterized by coral heads on sandy slopes and scattered big and small rocks, large Basket Corals and Soft Sponges, it results to an unbelievably stunning underwater scene perfect for underwater photography.

Usual sightings are species of Clownfish, reef fishes and Dart fish and when currents pick up, swarm of Snappers, Jacks, and Fusiliers can easily be spotted while Stingrays, Moray Eels, Sea Urchins and Sea Cucumbers can be seen laid on the sandy bottom. Currents can be strong in the area with visibility of 10 to 25 metres and depth of 5 to 24 metres, recommended for beginners. Access to Bonito Island is by a 1-hour boat ride.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 24m
Average Visibility: 10-25m

Kirby's Rock

Kirby’s Rock is a notable dive site in the form of a boulder at 35 metres filled with life as Sea Fans and Yellow Sea Cucumbers cover the big rock while on the other side, hard and soft corals including colorful Sponges and Crinoids are aplenty. The dive starts east side of Caban Island going down to a sandy bottom and still sloping downwards into the deep. Fish life is also prolific and divers will get to spot a  variety such as Long Nose Hawkfish, Golden Pygmy Seahorse, Harlequin and Yellow-lined Sweetlips, Twin-Spot Lionfish, Black and White Frogfish, Schooling Trevallies and Purple Fire and Blue-Lined Dart Goby.

Average visibility is 10 metres and maximum of 20 metres with slight to moderate currents. Dive depth goes from 5 to 30 metres and Kirby’s Rock can be reached by a 15-minute boat ride.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 10-20m

Layag Layag

Situated northwest of Caban Island and southwest of Anilao, Layag Layag is a steep but shallow reef with extensive coral formations alongside dispersed rocks and boulders sloping to sand, small rocks and crushed corals. It is considered as one of the best dive sites in Anilao having healthy reefs and a lots of marine life. The Red-tooth Triggerfish nestles on the crushed corals, Squids, Turtles, Sea Snakes, and Octopus are regulars with the Spanish Dancers as the highlight make up the usual scene.

There are also reef fishes, Tunas, Jacks, Batfish and rare sighting are the Sharks. Dive depth on this site is 10 to 15 metres with visibility of 10 to 30 metres with slight currents. A 15-minute boat ride will take you to Layag Layag, normally on the way to Dari Laut.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 15m
Average Visibility: 10-30m

Twin Rocks

Twin Rocks is the most dived site in Anilao lying on its west coast and the favorite of underwater photographers as it has a little bit of everything – colorful reefs, pelagics, and macro life from the most common to the camouflaging predators. The two rocks are separated by one metre which is under marine protection preventing all kinds of illegal fishing resulting to clean and conducive environment feeding Soft Corals, Crinoids, Acroporas, Sea fans, Fire Corals and Blue Corals.

Schools of Carangidae, Batfish, Jacks, large Barracudas, Fairy Basslet, Yellow Snappers, Mackerels, Damsels, Giant Trevallies, species of Anthias and numerous Nudibranchs are scattered in the area that makes macro life a little bit challenging to find. Critter sightings of Coleman Shrimps, Porcelain Crabs, Rabbitfish, Surgeonfish and Lionfish are common and predators like Jawfish, Ribbon Eels, Mantis Shrimp, and Warty Frogfishes on the prowl. Typical visibility is 10 to 20 metres and dive depth of 14 to 16 metres, accessible by boat.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 14m
Maximum Depth: 16m
Average Visibility: 10-20m

The Cathedral

A marine sanctuary northeast of Anilao just off Bagalangit point, the Cathedral is marked by a small cross planted in 1983 by former Philippine president Fidel Ramos and blessed by Pope John Paul II, hence the name. The cross can be found in between two seamounts which seems like an underwater dome without a roof where a coral was embedded in the past.

Presently, it is home to a number of marine life that includes Triggerfish, Wrasse, Angelfish, Damselfish, Moorish Idols, Pufferfish, Surgeonfish, and Butterflyfish with the scene adorned with vibrant Feather Stars, Soft corals, Nudis, Sponges, Feather Duster and Christmas-tree Worms, and Hydroids.Currents can be strong in the area with visibility of 10 to 25 metres and depth ranging from 20 to 30 metres. The Cathedral can be reached by a short boat ride.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 20m
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 10-25m

Diving in Anilao

Just a 3-hour drive south of Manila will take you to Anilao, a diver and underwater photographer’s macrolife destination. It is located at Batangas province which has beachfront resorts with backdrops of mountains and forest providing a spectacular panoramic view. Diving in the Philippines first started in Anilao and became known worldwide for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters blessed with bountiful marine life. Though swimming is not advisable in Anilao beach, there are picnic cabanas, bamboo rafts, and cabins which can be rented from resorts, and island hopping is offered to tourists who want to visit the Sombrero and Maricaban islands.

Climate in Anilao is tropical as Philippines is located at the equator with wet and dry seasons. The months of January to May are the dry months while June to December are the rainy months though heavy rainfall usually occurs from July to October. Typical temperature is at 24 degrees Celsius and reaches 32 degrees Celsius especially during summer from March to May. Water temperature is 25 to 27.5 degrees Celsius and visibility of 10 to 15 metres. The depth in Anilao ranges from 5 to 30 metres with recommended 3mm full wetsuit with booties.

The coral variety in Anilao is truly remarkable as Philippines is a part of the Coral Triangle. Different species of hard and soft corals flourish in its waters that is home to a diverse marine life. During mid-1960s, a whole coral reef was placed on a rock formation near the shore that proliferated and made Anilao the leading dive destination in the Philippines up to this day. Some soft coral formations are still unexplored and home to unique critters. The dive sites are mostly in the southern part and is accessible by a boat.

The waters of Anilao is home to a diverse marine life from pelagics to what it is known for, the critters. The local guides are already experts on finding even the tiniest critter within the corals that always leaves photographers with incredible shots. The common sightings are Cuttlefish, Seahorse, Rhinopia, Frogfish, Pipefish, Shrimps, Crabs, Wonderpus, Mimic and Blue-ringed Octopus, numerous Nudibranchs, and every kind of juvenile fish. On the pelagic sightings, schooling Jacks, Turtle, Barracudas, Bluefin and Giant Trevallies, and Reef Sharks on dive sites with strong currents are usually spotted.

Best Diving Season:March to May
Weather:January to May (Dry Season) June to December (Wet Season)
Water Temperature:25°C and 27°C
Marine Animal Highlights:Cuttlefish, Seahorse, Rhinopia, Frogfish, Pipefish, Shrimps, Crabs, Wonderpus, Mimic and Blue-ringed Octopus, numerous Nudibranchs, and every kind of juvenile fish
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility:10m to 15m

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