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Anilao - Nice reefs or just macro?

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We are thinking about a trip next Feb to the Philippines. Quite like the fact that Anilao is not too far from Manilla therefore saving internal flights and cutting down on travel time.

 

Only thing is, we are real coral nuts, especially hard corals and would like to know what you guys think of the reefs? We love muck diving and critter spotting but most of all we love to look at pretty corals and fish.

 

Spent a fair few hours reading trip reports and looking at pics, some say suitable for macro and wide angle but can't find anything specific about the reefs.

 

Really just looking for a good mix of life, we dived Lembeh for 5 days and while it was fun for a while we were ready for the reefs of Bunaken after our 5 days were up.

 

If Anilao is not for us, where else would you suggest that is within easy reach of Manilla that has pretty reefs and curious critters?

 

TIA

 

Sharon & Roddy

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Anilao has some nice reefs that are suitable for WA. If you go to my website, www.stewartsy.com or head directly to the UW Scenics page, UW Scenic, the first 5 images are from Anilao, in my Aquatica Gallery, Aquatica Gallery, the 5th image down, of the schooling jacks was taken there too.

 

I would recommend you look at www.divesolana.com as your choice for dive resort in the area as well. Beautiful, family run operation,

 

Cheers

 

Stewart

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Stewart is right. The reefs are nice, though they tend to be small. It is not a place for large pelagics but there are lots of interesting sites - Kirby's Rock, Sepok Wall, and Sombrero are all good reef sites. Night diving at lots of sites is good too. Corals are in generally good condition and the diversity is high. The mix of macro and WA will keep you busy for a week

 

Depending on how much time you have, you could split your time between Anilao and Puerto Galera, which is less than an hour boat ride away and has more and larger reefs. Anilao is a more relaxed destination but both are good. Any other destination in the Philippines would require another plane trip

 

I share a house next door to Dive Solana and can vouch for their operation and their DMs. The house reef is respectable for shore dives and most other sites are within 5-10 minutes by boat and none are more than 20 minutes or so. Surface intervals are usually taken back at the resort which makes for a very comfortable experience. I also like Acacia which is run by and for photographers though a little further from the main sites. There are many others which are decent too

Edited by troporobo

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I just dove Anilao in April for the first time and it was wonderful. It is like a Lembeh Straits, muck diving but with some areas of wonderful hard and soft coral around Beatrice's Rock. But Anilao is mostly muck. I have been told that Puerto Galera is more like 50% muck and 50% coral.

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The reefs in Ras Mohammed have more coral, but the Anilao reefs are a nice break from the macro ;)

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Certainly both, variety to be exact. Beatrice Rocks, Sombrero, Kirby's Rocks, Twin Rocks, Apple Reef, Koala, just to name a few. Nice reefs and excellent macro you will be amazed not ever bored. Three different species of nudis on one rock! I was there May 19-29 with the UW Photography Guide workshop. It was great. I recommend the Crystal Blue Resort. I will go back there next year for sure. Do not drink the water from the faucet, careful washing your teeth. Best dive masters are Obed, Bertin or Edgar yes having one these guys makes a big diffrence. See the Lazy Yellow Rhinopia very rare indeed, Obed found it. Divemasters and boat crews are freelancers so just ask for them they can work for any resort. Hey Obed even found for us a Flamboyant Cutlefish.

Good Luck

Oceantony

post-29828-1310172242.jpg

Edited by Oceantony

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Was there in march. Mainly it is muck....but there are some reef dives. Beatrice is awesomee. Lots of schooling anthias. Beautiful dive. Anilao is awesome.

 

If you like hard corals apo island is great too. But requires a flight to dumaguete from Manila. They have good resorts on dauin. Which also has very good muck. We loved it.

Edited by deeznutz78

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Been to Dumagetti and Puerta Galera but never Anilao. Just spoke to a past guest from one of my trips who was at Anilao last year and she confirmed other friend's reports that accommodations are very rustic. Good for nudis tho'

Steve

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Anilao has a full gamut of places to stay at. You can get basic to full out luxury. It's just a matter of what you're willing to pay.

 

Stu

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We are thinking about a trip next Feb to the Philippines. Quite like the fact that Anilao is not too far from Manilla therefore saving internal flights and cutting down on travel time.

 

Only thing is, we are real coral nuts, especially hard corals and would like to know what you guys think of the reefs? We love muck diving and critter spotting but most of all we love to look at pretty corals and fish.

 

Spent a fair few hours reading trip reports and looking at pics, some say suitable for macro and wide angle but can't find anything specific about the reefs.

 

Really just looking for a good mix of life, we dived Lembeh for 5 days and while it was fun for a while we were ready for the reefs of Bunaken after our 5 days were up.

 

If Anilao is not for us, where else would you suggest that is within easy reach of Manilla that has pretty reefs and curious critters?

 

TIA

 

Sharon & Roddy

 

Certainly both, variety to be exact. Beatrice Rocks, Sombrero, Kirby's Rocks, Twin Rocks, Apple Reef, Koala, just to name a few. Nice reefs and excellent macro you will be amazed not ever bored. Three different species of nudis on one rock! I was there May 19-29 with the UW Photography Guide workshop. It was great. I recommend the Crystal Blue Resort. I will go back there next year for sure. Do not drink the water from the faucet, careful washing your teeth. Best dive masters are Obed, Bertin or Edgar yes having one these guys makes a big diffrence. See the Lazy Yellow Rhinopia very rare indeed, Obed found it. Divemasters and boat crews are freelancers so just ask for them they can work for any resort. Hey Obed even found for us a Flamboyant Cutlefish.

Good Luck

Oceantony

 

More from my Anilao trip. Accomodations are varied from rustic to very Fancy Like Eagle Point, Solana and Crystal Blue a very good beautiful place to really rustic like Club O. See my Gallery http://tbarros.zenfolio.com/p7407827

Good Luck

tony

Edited by Oceantony

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Would be interested in the varying costs of places to stay in Anilao and which dive shops are the better ones to use. Also, having noted a huge difference between the towns of Dumagetti and Puerta Gallera, what is the town itself like? Dumagetti was very laid back and quiet while in Puerta Gallera you couldn't walk 5 feet without being accosted by a hooker, even if your wife was on your arm.

Steve

 

ps. Great photos Tony

Edited by Steve Douglas

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The cost of accommodation varies from the rustic to the luxury places. A really basic place like Arthur's could be less than $40, a big flash hotel like Eagle Point can north of $150, the specialist dive resorts like Dive Solana are typically between $100 to $150, and the luxury resorts like Vivere Azure or Casita Isabel maybe $250. Your mileage may vary of course

 

There is no "town" anywhere near the dive resorts. Anilao town itself is about a 20 minute drive away, devoid of restaurants or night life, and is not at all interesting to a visitor. Depending on where you stay you might be able to walk to a another nearby resort, but usually not. It's a very quiet and laid back place where most people stick to their own resort

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As said, the area where the resorts are located are pretty much self-sufficient places. The bigger town of Batangas is about 40 mins by car and has a bit of restaurants (I fervently remember having pizza hut there!) The point of Anilao/Mabini is diving and isolation. Nightlife can be had in PG (although on the little laguna side, it is quieter). If accomodation/food is important, then you may want to prearrange dietary requirements. You are not going to find anything Michélin except old tires! I think location is the most important once decent accommodation can be found, and so where the resort is located and which dive site is the "house reef" is pretty important. Taking the bangka's can be a long haul for the different type of dive sites. For instance, I usually choose Planet Dive, whose house reef is Twin Rocks (which is a very nice shore dive site for both macro and mwa, and very close to Secret Bay and Bubbles. Only problem is that to get to Basura (a nice black sand muck dive) it's 30-40mins by bangka.

 

Luxury is subjective and it depends on what level of comfort one wants and what the priorities are for the diving. If luxury is needed, one can always run to the Amanpulo (Pamiclan) or Mandala(Boracay) for an escape afterward! :laugh:

PS:Casita Ysabel is only about $150 at the most expensive room. I think that 2 bedroom villa thing is over $350, but that's 2 bedrooms.

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