Perched on the edge of the Calumpang Peninsula near Batangas, the area around Anilao is the closest diving locale to Manila. Just 2.5 hours road journey from the Capital, Anilao sits in the heart of the Philippines best-loved diving in the ‘Coral Triangle’, which for many divers is the ‘muck diving’ capital of the Philippines.
Smaller critters regularly seen include the mandarin-fish, leaf and frog fish, cuttle fish, different species of octopus, rare shrimps and crabs, sea horses, ghost pipefish and many different types of nudibranch. For those carrying wide angle lenses, the batfish, groupers, triggerfish, jacks, mackeral and occasional solitary large tuna are all frequent visitors to the reefs.
With a backdrop of lush green hills and mountains running down to shingle coves and the clear blue waters of the sea, many of the 40+ dive sites are blissfully sheltered with great visibility, and most importantly, are rich in marine and coral life. Snorkelling opportunities are also excellent, making Anilao a rewarding destination for both divers and non-divers.
Our featured resort, Buceo Anilao Dive Resort, provides very comfortable rooms backed by first class diving facilities on-site, ensuring that you have the most relaxing stay.
SECRET BAY (aka ‘MAINIT MUCK’)
Secret Bay, also known as ‘Mainit Muck’, is one of the most famous, muck-diving dive sites in Anilao, where you will find Mantis shrimp, gobies, wonderpus octopus, nudibranchs (daytime), squid and cuttlefish (at night). You can also find Seahorses, ghost pipefish, ambon scorpionfish, tiny frogfish, colemani shrimp, and bobbit worms! Secret Bay is excellent to dive at any time of the day, but especially at night. The best diving is between 3 to 21 metres.
Twin Rocks is one the most popular dive site in Anilao. Appreciated by underwater photographers because it offers wonderful access, in a small area, to an amazing macro environment that exists around two rocks, hence the name! At Twin Rocks, you can see ribbon eels to schools of carangidae, countless nudibranchs, clownfish, surgeon fish, lionfish, damsels, big schools of barracuda, mantis shrimps, Coleman shrimps, porcelain crabs and rabbitfish. Maximum depth is 16 metres, with visibility typically at 20+ metres.
Verde Island is a 1.5 hour boat trip away from Buceo Anilao Dive Resort. The dive sites here offer amazing visibility (normally 30m+) and an abundance of marine life. One of the best dive spots in the Philippines due to its pristine, clear waters and awesome under water views. After dropping in on the top of pinnacles at around 5m, negative entry might be a required if the currents are playing up. As you follow the wall down, you will see thousands of Red Tooth Triggerfish, Antheas and Butterfly Fish. Whip corals and Gorgonian fans are scattered across the reef wall, with some elusive macro inhabitants, the Whip Coral Shrimp and Pigmy Seahorse. Verde Island is often referred to as ‘Fish Soup’ due to the huge numbers of fish that swim in its waters. With strong up and down currents, Verde Island is not suitable for novice divers.
Buceo Anilao Dive Centre
Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort is situated on-site at Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort and is a fully equipped PADI dive centre, Swiss, Spanish and Filipino owned and managed.
The Dive Centre offers four scheduled boat dives each day, plus shore entry dives are also available on the house reef. Primarily reef diving, with lots of fish life and lots of macro critters!
We recommend that you book your dive packs with Regaldive prior to departure, in order to secure your diving or course and so that the dive centre is expecting you. Options available include 4, 8 and 12 dives packages, plus 4 or 6 days diving options (4 dives per day). Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
A range of diving courses is available for those looking to learn to dive. Please enquire for details.
Extras in Resort
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Night Dives - Beach / Boat: POA
- 2 dive trip: POA
- Full day Apo Reef or Coron wrecks: POA for 5 divers+
Marine park fees:
- Sanctuary Dive: 300 pesos ($7) per person per day
- Apo Reef Diver: $60
- Apo Reef Snorkeler: $16
- Coron Wrecks: $1 - $5
Equipment Rental day (2 dives) - Payable locally:
- BCD, regulator, wet suit and computer:POA
- Rental discount: 10% for 5 - 14 dives, 15% for 15 dives+
- Nitrox fill: $5 per fill or $40 for 10 fills
The Philippines is an island nation located in Southeast Asia with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. These islands are home to spectacular scenery, pristine beaches, incredible sights and lively cities. Dramatic drop offs, wrecks, caves and a richly varied marine life also guarantee fabulous diving. Combined with the renowned Philippine hospitality and warmth, an unforgettable dive holiday awaits.
You will find a true blend of cultures; the people are generally of Malay descent, but Philippine history has introduced Chinese, Spanish and American elements as well. The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country where eight out of ten Filipinos are practising Catholics. Filipino hospitality is legendary and the Philippines is the fiesta nation of Asia. Fiestas celebrate harvests, births and victories, as well as religious events. The Filipinos like to party and celebrations are found in every ethnic group and may be large regional events or small local happenings.
Resorts have been hand picked, not only for their comfort and surrounding scenery but most importantly, for their proximity to incredible dives sites. Whilst out of the water guests can relax on some of the best beaches in the world, enjoy the local markets, festivals and sights or even spend a night in the exciting and bustling Manila or more laid back Cebu.
As the Philippines is a strong Catholic nation, festive holidays such as Easter are very busy. Either book well in advance, or avoid the main religious holiday periods where possible.
Anilao is a year round diving destination. November to June is the driest time of year whilst December and January are the coolest months. There is an increased chance of rain from June to August but this is also the quietest time with less divers in the water.
The climate of The Philippines can broadly be described as hot and tropical. Most people visit The Philippines during the dry season. However, many regular visitors attest that the best time to visit is during the wet season and that the proliferation and variety of marine life is best June, July and August.
Dry season: December to May
Wet season: June to November
During the dry season, easterly winds prevail and air temperature is in high 20's to mid-30's°C. February to May are generally the hottest. Wet season winds are from the west, with air temperature in mid to high 20's°C. You can often strike lucky and have weeks of brilliant blue skies and unlimited sunshine. On the other hand, the rains, when they come, are impressive and prolonged. There are few rivers, so run off and its effect on water visibility is not generally a problem.
Please note that the Philippines is a large country and has many climatic variations from east to west and south to north.
Best underwater visibility: April to July
Water temperature average: 24-30°C
8 hours ahead of GMT.
Filipino is Officially the national language of The Philippines. This language is based on Tagalog which is the most widely used of the 70 plus dialects used within the country. English is also prevalent throughout the country, especially in tourist destinations. English is also widely used as the medium for education, communication and business. Eight major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.
The unit of currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). 1 Peso = 100 Centavos. The US dollar is the most widely recognised foreign currency. Euros & GBP are also readily exchanged.
The majority of larger towns have ATMs, however, facilities for money withdrawal or changing are far less widespread away from the main centres of population. There are bank machines at the airport. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in most towns, but you may be required to pay an extra 10-15% surcharge for their use. Outside of the main towns, not all places accept credit cards. Please refer to your individual destination notes for each resort, but as a guideline, please see below:
- Malapascua, Ocean Vida and Hippocampus: Credit cards cannot be accepted, please ensure you carry sufficient cash. USD and GBP are accepted and Ocean Vida has a licensed exchange.
- Dumaguete: Banks and ATMs are available in Dumaguete town. Pura Vida and Atmopshere accept credit cards.
- Palawan, Dimakya Island Club Paradise: Accepts credit cards
- SY Philippine Siren: GBP, Euro & USD Currency. Credit card payment only possible when docking at the following ports: Cebu, Philippines. 3% charge applies.
Tipping is expected for many services. The standard is 10% of the total bill or optional where there is a 10% service charge.
GETTING TO ANILAO
Anilao is reached by a 2.5 / 3 hours road transfer from Manila.
Singapore Airlines offer daily connections from the UK to Manila, via Singapore. Malaysian Airlines also offer the route, via Kuala Lumpur or KLM, via Amsterdam fly daily into Manila.
Once you have arrived at Manila Airport, you will met and transferred by road to Buceo Anilao Dive Resort, this transfer will take approx. 2.5 hours.
If you reach Manila after 18.00 hrs, an overnight stay in Manila may be required, depending on local transfer schedules.
OVERNIGHTS IN MANILA
These can be arranged as part of your package with local transfers. A Venue Suites is a modern 3 star property in the bustling district of Makati with good shopping and local eating choices. An upgrade to the Dusit Thani or Intercontinental can also be offered.
Regaldive can offer packages to the Philippines on a number of different airlines.
London - Manila: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines and KLM all fly daily via their national hubs.
London - Cebu: Singapore Airlines via Singapore on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong daily.
Carry-On Luggage Restriction: Effective July 1, 2015
Philippines Office for Transportation Security has issued new rules that include 'Scuba Diving Equipment' (including regulators) on the list of blunt instruments that are not to be in carry-on/cabin baggage on flights originating within the Philippines. Please ensure that all scuba equipment is secured within checked-in baggage on all domestic flights and on all departing international flights.
Manila - Cebu: Multiple daily flights
Manila - Busuanga: 2 flights daily
Manila - Dumaguete: 2 flights daily
Baggage on internal flights:
The below only applies only to extra flights within the Philippines built into your itinerary, not if it is part of your international ticket.
Baggage allowance: Checked bag - 20kg / Hand baggage - 5 to 7kg. Please note that the internal flight to / from Busuanga (Palawan). This is a shorter air strip and the airline may not permit any extra weight.
Payment for extra kilos on check-in (guideline):
Cebu Pacific: Php 150 per kilo
Philippine Airlines: Php 169 per kilo
Whichever island you are staying on, you are met at the airport/ferry port and transferred to your resort. Whether by flight, jeepney or banca boat, there are fantastic sights to enjoy on your journey there and back. Although some transfer can take up to a whole day, most clients pass feedback that this was a very interesting part of their overall trip.
The below information is to give you a general idea of transfer times between regions; actual transfer times may differ slightly according to individual arrangements and ferry timetables, tides etc.:
Cebu - Dumaguete: 4 - 5 hours by vehicle, ferry and hotel shuttle
Cebu - Bohol / Panglao / Cabilao: 3 to 4 hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle
Cebu - Malapascua: 4 – 5 hours by vehicle and outrigger
Cebu – Moalboal: 3.5 hours by vehicle
Dumaguete - Bohol / Panglao / Cabilao: 3 hours by hotel shuttle, ferry and vehicle or 3 to 4 hours by Outrigger conditions permitting
Dumaguete - Malapascua: 8 - 9 hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Panglao - Cabilao: 1.5 - 2 hour vehicle and boat
Panglao - Malapascua: 7+ hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Cabilao - Malapascua: 7+ hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Manila - Cebu: 1: 15 hour by internal flight
Manila - Coron, Palawan: 2.5 hours by internal flight and hotel shuttle
Manila - Puerta Galera: 3 hours by vehicle and boat
Manila – Anilao: 2.5 hours by vehicle
Manila – Caticlan, Boracay: 2 hours by internal flight, vehicle and boat
Please always check your own entry requirements regardless of your nationality. Your passport should always have at least 6 months validity on date of return from travel. Always check for last minute changes in entry requirements and other nationalities should check with their consular office.
British nationals can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59 day stay. Other nationalities should check with their own consulate.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up to date advice please consult your travel clinic or GP. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider. We recommend protection, as a minimum, against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio.
Buceo Anilao Resort
The Best Corals We Have Seen Anywhere!
"All the complex arrangements you made for us went smoothly and efficiently. Thank you very much.
We had a wonderful time. I did 26 dives and Malcolm well over 30.
On arrival at Pura Vida, we were pleasantly surprised to find that in the comfortable ‘family room’ we each had our own bathroom, and the verandas of our two adjoining bedrooms were shaded by lovely trees.
There was a great variety of dives: the corals at Apo Island were the best we have seen anywhere, and another highlight was a morning dive among whale sharks, at a place where they are regularly fed to attract them. You could go for quite a good walk along the beach in front of the resort.
With hindsight, we would probably have opted for more time at Pura Vida, and fewer days at Buceo Anilao. The latter is a beautiful place with lovely views and sunsets, but the dives were less diverse. However we saw lots of unusual creatures including mimic octopuses and hairy frogfish. Being built on a steep hillside, there were over 100 stone (concrete?) steps up to our “cabanas”, so any less able visitors would have to specify a room nearer ground level.
Although it calls itself a “Beach and Dive Resort” the beach is short and narrow, and there's nowhere you can go for a walk. Yet the swimming-pool is lovely, nicer than the one at Pura Vida, and there are about half a dozen excursions on offer (we didn't have time to do any of them).
I can't praise the dive crews highly enough. Perhaps because of my age (nearly 83) they did everything for me, and we were generally allocated one guide for just the two of us. I usually went through my nitrox faster than Malcolm, so sometimes he was directed to join another group while our guide accompanied me to exit.
The food was very good throughout: helpings usually too large for me, and they wouldn't consider giving me half-portions – but Malcolm often helped me out!"
Anna and Malcolm I
- Glasgow | 01 May 2018