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Choosing a place to stay in Anilao?

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#1 Wanderer

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 09:05 AM

Has anyone stayed at either Club Ocellaris or Aqua Ventures in Anilao? Thinking of going in about a month, so will still be the wet season there. Any color regarding the quality of diving, accomodation, and food would be appreciated. Do their locations limit their diving in anyway relative to other resorts in the area given geography or weather? Trying to decide between these two but if you have any other thoughts on other resorts, would appreciate that as well.

Thanks!

#2 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:49 PM

I was at Dive Solana in June, awesome place, good food, close to the muck sites.

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#3 eyu

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:21 PM

We always stay at Acacia in Anilao, an excellent dive resort with very good food and a camera room. PM me and I can give you a dive guide/divemaster who knows where pigmy seahorses, lacy rhinopias, hairy frogfishes and flamboyant cuttlefishes are.

Edited by eyu, 11 August 2012 - 04:28 PM.

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#4 troporobo

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:53 PM

Search and ye shall find many threads that answer your question. Here are a couple of examples

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=45396

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=47034

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=38514

#5 okuma

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:40 AM

We have stayed at Club O and found it to meet basic diver basic needs. Clean, they served good local food and located in a prime location.
The guides are out standing!
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#6 jrosenf

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:51 AM

In May, I returned to Club Ocellaris for the 7th time, so obviously I'd highly recommend them. The dive guides are the best I've ever encountered (Peri and Alexis, in particular), the food is delicious, the staff is great and the accomodations are fairly basic but comfortable.

I've always visited in April or May except for one trip in September 2006. As you're aware, it is the rainy season. The biggest effect it had on the diving was that the seas were larger and choppier than in April or May thus limiting the viz and the ability to dive some of the exposed sites. Fortunately, most of the sites were still accessible throughout the trip and we even saw a whale shark (something I've never seen before or since in Anilao). Also, the water was a few degrees colder, but that was no big deal.

On choppier days when the boat trip would have been particularly uncomfortable, they hired a jeepney to drive us and our gear to the given dive site.

Overall, the number of critters we saw was slightly less than we typically find in April or May but not significantly.

#7 divengolf

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:43 PM

I was there in May 2012 with a group from Underwater Photo Guide (Scott Geitler). We stayed at Crystal Blue for 10 days and it was fine. As I understand the arrangements, the guides do not work exclusively with a particular resort or diveop. They go wherever the business is.

There is a lot of info in the Phiippines forum on Scubaboard. Worth doing a search.

#8 gina

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:49 AM

I've always visited in April or May except for one trip in September 2006. As you're aware, it is the rainy season.


I am thinking of a trip to the Philippines/Anilao next year so I'm watching this thread with interest. The trip would probably be in late May/June. Could you tell me what sort of conditions/weather to expect then?

Thanks,
Gina

#9 jrosenf

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:49 AM

June is the beginning of the rainy season so you'll start to get more rainy days. Water temp during April/May is typically in the low 80s F and seas are usually calm to small chop.

From http://www.uwphotogr.../anilao-diving/, I find this to be pretty accurate:

Best time to dive Anilao

Anilao water temps, visibility, weather

October to the end of May is the main diving season in Anilao. July and August can get wicked monsoons. Please note that the water can get significantly cooler in january and february, around 25C/77F. The best months are probably november and april - may, with april and may being the most crowded months at the resorts. Visibility is consistently fairly good at 40-50ft.

#10 denniscloutier

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

The rainy season also brings rougher water. We were there in the third week of June this year and we lost a couple of days of diving due to a near miss by a tropical storm. We didn't see much rain, but the water was too rough to safely load the boats. Also, some of the resorts close down towards the end of June. We were in Dive Solana and for the last week of our trip we were the only guests there. A little creepy actually. The diving was still great though.

Generally the weather was great, but I think your risk of missing some diving due to weather rises as you get closer to the end of June.

As some others have mentioned, the guides move around between resorts, so we had Alexis as our guide throughout, and there were only two of us diving with him for the last week. He did a great job, not just as guide, but also as photography coach. Having a dedicated boat and guide for your buddy and yourself is a bit more expensive, but it was a great experience.

Edited by denniscloutier, 13 August 2012 - 09:13 AM.


#11 Wanderer

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for all the great feedback and advice. I decided on Club O, given all that I've read on them. Was also considering Dive Solana as it seems like a nicer resort. I'm a bit nervous about going during monsoon season in Sept and I hear the resorts are all a bit empty. In fact, I called a few and they were all empty of divers and so I would have to hire a private boat/DM which is relatively expensive. Thanks again all!

#12 Drew

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:27 PM

I would choose a spot where minimal boat travel to the sites I want to hit. Going across to the sites like Sombrero etc will be uncomfortable. I usually stay within 10 min boat ride of my fave sites. For Basura, you can get your resort to hire a Jeepney and dive from shore. It's easy to access from the restaurant parking lots etc. That's what I do when the boat rides are too rough and uncomfortable.

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#13 Wanderer

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:17 AM

Drew, good point on location. I'm going primarily for macro/critter hunting. Arthur's has a great dive site map pdf.

http://arthurs-place...g/DiversMap.pdf

Do you have a sense as to what the most popular or "best" sites are? Club O is more on the northern side of Mabini whereas Arthur's, Dive Solana, and Crystal Blue are on the tip of the peninsula. Does anyone know if the waves on one side of Mabini is rougher than the others? Have heard that when things get bad, it can be difficult to get onto the small dive boats they have and that car/shore dives are the best alternatives.

#14 Drew

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

Well it is typhoon season and sometimes the western resorts can't launch because of rough seas. But the cyclones and tropical storms generally start in the Pacific and work their way westward. Then you have the viz issue once the waters are churned up! How lucky do you feel? :)
Basura can be dived in bigger seas from shore because the slope is quite steep in some areas. But the dives will be deeper thus shorter and many of the critters are above 45ft. I've never been there in a Cyclone or tropical storm so I can't say what those conditions are like, but I'd assume it'd be book reading time or maybe a run to town for a pizza @ Pizza hut! :)

I stay right on Twin Rocks and the Mahinit (Mainit) Batangas Bay sites are about 10-20 mins away by boat or car. Those are my favorite spots for many years. That and Basura area are the best for critters.

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