Anilao Beach, Batangas

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Only 140 km south of Manila, Anilao’s proximity makes it a popular destination for weekend diving trips. Even excursions are ideal in this southern town where resorts are situated within short boat rides to excellent dive sites. Diving is mainly in coral slopes and shallow gardens among sandy patches. Choose from any of the 24 dive sites between the coast of Anilao and Maricaban Island. The most popular site is the Cathedral (average of 60 ft.), a roofless cavern with a blessed cross flanked by two large sea mounts. Ideal diving season is from November until May.

This remote area of rich underwater assets is only 3 hours drive from Manila. It is the closest weekend paradise for divers based in the city. Located in the southeast tip of Batangas and nestled in the midst of the quiet town of Mabini, Anilao possess no presence of powdery sand beaches but the ocean facing it promises a tantalizing life of sea water creatures.

It’s totally clean blue waters can prove alluring to swimmers. Located in Mabini, Batangas, considered the summer mecca of diving fanatics. Scuba diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, sailing, and wind surfing are popular activities. World windsurfing competitions have been held in Anilao. There are a number of resorts in the area that offer accommodations and diving facilities, plus the services of training clubs that provide courses on diving.

Not only scuba diving but also snorkeling, sport fishing, sailing, and wind surfing are popular around Barangay Anilao, Mabini on Balayan Bay. World windsurfing competitions have been held there.

There are a number of small resorts in a wide price range as well as the new (late 1990) Vistamar Beach Resort. It is located on a 2 hectare (5 acre) site and has a 28room hotel with a restaurant. The resort is fully equipped to handle diver’s needs as well as other aquatic sports and has a 150 vehicle parking lot. It has picnic pavilions with tables as well as showers for the day tripper. It also has convention and seminar facilities.

The water temperature is 28%C (83%F), visibility for divers 1264m (40210ft), depth of dives 346m (10150ft). Locations are suitable for novices, intermediate and advanced divers. Equipment may be rented, emergency repairs are available as is air.

There is about 35 dive sites around Anilao. Some of the most popular are Sombrero island, Bonito island and Maricaban. Sombrero island is a marine sanctuary preserved to protect aquatic animals. Another spectacular site is Mapating Rock- a drop off to about 130 ft. Sharks and pelagic fishes, Damselfish, groupers and blennes are common inhabitants of the area.

Divers may view all kinds of tropical reef fish as well as some ocean species, mantas, sharks, shells, crabs, crayfish, starfish, many kinds of coral and sea wrecks. Collecting coral or shells and spear fishing is prohibited.

Due to Anilao’s steep location, resorts are built mostly along the hillsides of the mountains overlooking the sea. Steep roads, and vertical steps inside the resorts can bring exciting health benefits to weight watchers but quite dangerous for children. Thus precaution should be maintained.

Getting there

Due to its proximity to Manila, Anilao is frequented by weekend divers and day trippers. One simply has to take 2 to 2 1/2 hour land trip to Anilao from Manila. There are daily buses that run from Pasay City to Batangas, after which you may take a jeepney to Anilao. It is advisable to get yourself a car or have one arranged for you as Anilao is somewhat out of the way for most of the jeepneys.

Located near Mabini, Batangas. To get there take a bus with signboard “Batangas City”. Ask the conductor to say when they have reached the Bauan stop. Sometimes one can find a jeepney going direct to Anilao at that point. Otherwise take the jeepney to Bauan and ask about a jeepney to Anilao. (overall it’s about a 3 to 4 hr trip). By private car the trip is much shorter. Certainly the closest diving to Manila.

More pictures here and here

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