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Batangas Bay

Dive Map Batangas Bay MalajibormanocCathedral RockVerde IslandCaban IslandSombrero Island
Batangas Bay is in southern Luzon, the Philippines largest & most populous island, about 450km from Manila.

On the west side of Batangas Bay, the Calumpan Peninsula juts out towards Maricaban Island. Here you find Anilao, considered to be the birthplace of Scuba-diving in the Philippines.

Batangas Bay is a popular spot to dive, partly due to its proximity to Manila, but also as the area has an interesting combination of excellent & unusual diving. It is also popular with underwater photographers.

Soft Coral Coral Grouper Bat fish Soft Coral Dive Map Batangas Bay
 
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Trevally Many of the best dive sites are on Maricaban Island to the south and the smaller, adjacent islands of Caban & Sombrero.

Sombrero Island, so named due to its striking resemblance to a hat, has a shallow wall down to 30m that is home to Turtles, Rays, Trevally, Snapper and many other species. There have also been sightings of Blue-ringed Octopus here. Currents can be quite strong due to its exposed location.

Just off the tip of Caban Island are a few excellent dive sites such as Bajoura, Kirby’s Reef & Layanglang - all have normally good visibility and plentiful marine life, but often strong currents.

On the western-most tip of Maricaban Island is Sepok Point, a drop-off with plenty of smaller life that makes a nice dive. Nearby, Mapating Rock receives strong current and is only suitable for experienced divers. The submerged rock receives plenty of pelagic action though and has a cave where Whitetip Reef Sharks sleep. Further to the east is another shallow, submerged rock called Devil’s Point.

To the east of Maricaban Island is one of the area’s more unusual dives. The almost unpronounceable dive site known as Malajibomanoc has an underwater hot-spring at around 20m that produces an almost constant stream of bubbles rising to the surface. Whenever the nearby Taal volcano has an upsurge in activity, the hot springs here produce more bubbles. Frogfish can often be seen near here and Blacktip Reef Sharks sometimes cruise by.

Closer to Anilao is Cathedral Rock. Back in the early days of Scuba-diving here, coral was transplanted onto a barren rock formation, against the wisdom of prominent scientists at the time. Suprisingly, the corals took hold and are now an excellent dive site, with colourful hard & soft corals and plenty of marine life. This site is home to another of the area’s diving oddities - an underwater shrine that has been blessed...... by the Pope, no less. As the Pope at the time was not acquainted with diving, it was blessed on land and then put underwater by General Fidel the fifth, who later became President of the Philippines.

On the east side of Batangas Bay is Verde Island, a very popular spot for divers from Puerto Galera. There are nice fringing reefs all round the island, but the most popular site is a superb wall dive. Huge corals of every hue & colour cling to the wall and reef-life is prolific. There is a great chance to encounter larger fish here as well. Napoleon Wrasse often cruise the wall, while Tuna & Reef Sharks patrol the blue. Eagle Rays and Mantas can be seen too.

The weather here falls in two main seasons, the dry season, from November to May and the wet season, from June to October. Diving conditions are best between February & May

  White-eyed Moray Turtle Jacks and Diver Nemo
 
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Anilao is the main dive base for exploring the dive sites of Batangas Bay. It may also possible to arrange diving from Nasugbu a little to the north.

Verde Island can be dived from Puerto Galera on the island Mindoro, as well as from Anilao.
  • Anilao
  • Nasugbu
  • Puerto Galera

Dive Map AnilaoDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Anilao

Anilao is the main dive base for exploring Batangas Bay at the southern end of Luzon Island. It is a charming area that has been a popular dive spot for many years.

Dive Phuket  Dive
There are currently around 10 dive operations in the area, making trips to all the local dive sites of Batangas Bay. The dive shops tend to be well established & professional.

Just around the headland from Anilao, Nasugbu is now opening up as another good dive base, visiting local sites as well as the sites of Batangas Bay.

Travel Phuket  Travel
The area is very easy to reach. From Manila, which has an international airport you can take a bus or taxi straight to Anilao in the south, around two and a half hours away. Batangas Bay is also connected by ferry to Puerto Galera, as well as many other parts of the Philippines.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is a good range of accommodation in the area, although with a much wider choice for budget travellers. Many of the dive operations have their own accommodation or can recommend somewhere to stay.

Do Phuket  Do
Aside from the diving, trips around the island and other water activities are popular. Visiting the nearby mountains is also a good day out.

Dive Map NasugbuNasugbu is a large but sleepy town on Luzon's west coast, just north from Anilao. It is famous for its lovely white sand beaches. Its name, which means 'rice' in the local dialect, is thought to derive from a mis-communication between locals & Spanish soldiers.

Dive Phuket  Dive
The Nasugbu area is just opening up as a diving area, with a few dive shops making trips to the best local dive spots.

Travel Phuket  Travel
Nasugbu is very easy to reach, just an hour or two drive from Manlia to the north and also only a short distance from Batangas, where there are ferry connections to Puerto Galera. Manlia has a large airport with both domestic & international flights.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There are plenty of places to stay in Nasugbu, which has begun to open up more to tourists in recent years. Most people opt to stay close to the lovely beaches rather than in the town itself.

Do Phuket  Do
Relaxing by the beach is one of the most popular things to do in Nasugbu. For more active types, there are nearby mountains to climb, you can visit Taal Lake or hire a car & explore the countryside & local villages.

Dive Map Puerto GaleraDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Puerto Galera

Originally a safe harbour for ships, Puerto Galera is now one of the Philippines' most famous & visited tourist areas, due to its lovely beaches and easy accessibility.

Dive Phuket  Dive
It is also one of the most famous diving areas, with many dive shops catering for beginners & experienced divers alike. Day trips are made to the many sites around Puerto Galera, including Verde Island. Safaris can be organised to Apo Reef to the west and occasionally further afield, such as Marinduque.

Travel Phuket  Travel
To reach Puerto Galera take a flight to Manila, the Philippines capital. From there, head south through Luzon, either by car or bus to Batangas Pier. From here, you can take a car ferry or speedboat to Puerto Galera.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is probably more choice of places to stay around Puerto Galera than any other dive spot in the Philippines, with hotels lining the beaches. White Beach has many budget options and Sabang beach is the bustling tourist centre of the region. The other beaches tend to be more relaxed and upmarket. A lot of resorts tend to be quite small with a few cottages on the beach.

Do Phuket  Do
Away from the diving, there is plenty of activities to entertain you including lively nightlife, beautiful beaches, tours, watersports, shopping & even paintball.

 
Western Luzon         
Philippines
Luzon is the Philippines most populous island and home to its capital, Manila. The west coast of Luzon has some good diving areas that are all very easily accessible due to their proximity to Manila... Due to the strong military history of the area, there are many wrecks to waiting to be discovered...

Read more...
 
Photography Equipment Guide
Imaging

Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start with all the cameras & underwater imaging equipment out there these days. Our Photography Equipment Guide helps you make sense of all the gear and gadgets...

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