Batangas Diving

Lying only a 3-hour drive south of Manilla, the region of Batangas has some of the best diving in the world. The bright coral reefs will appeal to all and more experienced divers will love the deep walls and drift dives found on sites like Verde Island. Batangas lies at the very centre of the coral triangle, meaning that a huge diversity of marine life waits beneath the surface.

Diving in Batangas

Batangas province lies on the island of Luzon. It is one of the most established areas for diving in the Philippines, and it’s easy to see why. The diversity of its waters, as well as the stunning beachfront and exotic jungles, make for a perfect dive destination.

One of the most famed aspects of diving in Batangas is muck diving. Getting down and dirty in the sand yields some excellent photographic opportunities with the many macro beasties that hide there. The reef diving here is some of the most varied in the world, with over 70% of all known coral species existing here.

There are several different areas in Batangas which are popular with divers. The most famous of these is Anilao which has many different dive resorts and centres to choose from. It is a popular place to do dive courses because of the beautiful reefs which lie so close to the shoreline and the good transport links.

Best time to dive

Diving in Batangas is possible year-round, though it is subject to seasonal changes. The wet (monsoon) season is from July to November and features increased rainfall and winds. The months of September and October often feature the strongest winds, sometimes turning into typhoons which can reduce the visibility and make the seas very rough. The benefits of diving in the monsoon season is that it tends to be quieter.

The dry season, from December to June is the best time for diving. The coldest months are December and January when the water temperatures can fall to 25oC. The hottest months are May and June. The visibility is usually great during this season, sometimes exceeding 40m. The only downside to this season is that it tends to be busier. During weekends and big holidays like New Year and Easter, divers from Manilla will flock here for a getaway - so be sure to book in advance!

Types of diving

There are lots of dive resorts and dive centres in the different diving hubs around Batangas. This is partly due to its proximity to Manilla, and partly because of its fantastic diving. Either way, it offers a great choice for those wishing to dive here. From luxury dive resorts to beachfront dive shops and hostels, there is something to please everyone. A few liveaboards operate in the area too, if you wish to dive all over Batangas in the easiest way. 

Beginner dive courses are popular here because of the beautiful reefs and plentiful accommodation. More advanced courses will help you nail the perfect buoyancy for muck dives, get deeper on the walls or dive the plentiful wrecks found here. Technical diving is popular here too due to the deep sites.

What to see

The beautifully healthy reefs of Batangas host scores of life. Lionfish, anemonefish, parrotfish and scorpionfish are common everywhere. Turtles are frequent visitors to these oases too, often found munching on the hard corals. White and blacktip reef sharks are not uncommon and the occasional grey reef sharks have been spotted here too. 

Some sites boast sporadic manta ray and whale shark sightings, though it has to be said that you would be very lucky. More common, however, are shoals of fish in the blue - schools of jacks, snapper and fusiliers swarm at many dive sites. You can also see bigger fish like trevally, tuna and barracuda out hunting.

If macro life makes your heart beat faster, you won’t be disappointed. Cephalopod lovers will be delighted with the cuttlefish, iridescent bobtail squid and octopus species on display. If you prefer hunting for kaleidoscopic nudibranch among the rocks, this is the place for you. The lobsters, crabs, shrimp, eels, sea snakes, wrasse and more will keep you looking in those nooks and crannies right up till the last minute. 

Best places to dive

Mainit Point in Anilao is one of the standout dive sites. Healthy corals, and all the reef life that comes with it, create a backdrop for other stunning sights like tuna, black and white tip and grey reef sharks, turtles, marble rays and schools of backs and trevally. The currents can be strong here so it is advanced for those confident in currents. 

Bahura de Layag Layag on Anilao is a sloping reef suitable for all levels. There are clouds of fish like mackerel and red tooth triggerfish. Bigger fish include tuna, eagle rays and reef sharks. For the more advanced divers, there are also lots of overhangs and swim-throughs to explore. Twin Rocks is a site with two, as the name suggests, twin rocks lying on the sea bed. There is a capsized barge lying on the bottom and this is commonly dived as a drift. 

Verde Island has some great advanced diving at sites like The Wall, The Washing Machine and The Drop Off. Stunning visibility and diversity combine with strong currents for some exhilarating diving, over gullies and over deep blue drops.