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“Whale sharks very patient” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Donsol Whale Shark Interaction

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
Barangay Dancalan, Donsol, Luzon, Philippines
52 481-0250
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Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Donsol
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Whale sharks very patient”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

The whale sharks were amazing. But the 30 people around the shark was just a crowd scene. As we were on a private trip (2 persons on the boat) our 'dive master' kindly elbowed other swimmers out of the way for our 2nd dive (as we were kicked by other divers for the 1st,not through lack of courtesy: just through lack of space). Best behaved was whale shark who just dove deep down after 15 mins of this nonsense.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worth it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

Last May 2, we went to see the whale sharks at 10am. There were 3 brief sightings but since there were 20 people in the water our group and others weren't able to get in the water. After these quick sightings the currents were stronger and no butandings showed up fo the next 3 hrs. 3500+ down the drain. So, we rebooked an earlier time for whale shark watching at 7am the next day. And even though we just had 1 sighting of a 'teen' shark at 12 feet long it was totally worth it!
There's nothing like swimming alongside a large, wild but peaceful 'animal'/fish for 10 minutes! Just amazing! This butanding swam with the crowd for a long time!
In a heartbeat, I'd go back during peak season to see the adult whale sharks.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

This is my first time to snorkel in the middle of the sea... so I was a little nervous but excited to experience seeing the "butanding" or whale shark in close encounter.... Together with friends, we headed to the sea around 10:30 am. We were only able to sight 1 butanding after almost 1 and 1/2 hours in the sea. However, our friends from the other boat was able to sight twice. While it is true that spotting a whale shark is not certain in every trip, the Butanding Interaction Officer (BIO) and spotters accompanying us in the boat plays an important role in my opinion. Our BIO was sleeping in some periods of our sea adventure, while the spotters are smoking and texting which is so unprofessional considering the costly price we paid of P3,500 plus registration... If you are going in groups of 6, try to request for more than 1 BIO to accompany you on the boat so that they can assist you simultaneously when you jump to the sea. Per BIO, there is little chance of spotting the whale shark in the afternoon.... so better choose a morning trip in case you are going....In case you cannot bring your own snorkeling gears, there are shops renting at P100 each....

Visited May 2014
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Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“awesome sighting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

donsol is about an hour from legaspi city airport. ideal time to go to the butanding site is 9-11 am. but come earlier for there is a registration and briefing. caution: it is not everytime you go there you are aasured to see a butanding since it depends.
a boat costs 3,500 for 6 persons plus p100 for the guide. u can borrow snorkling gears for p300 and tshirt for p200. there is a restaurant and paid cr (p20),.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

We went end of March and were lucky to see 3 whale sharks in one morning - needless to say, it was an amazing experience. Our Donsol Whale Shark Interaction was arranged by Donsol Ecotours whose local guide got us a private boat for the Interaction - I'm not sure how much a private boat would cost (as the cost was included in our overall tour fee), but if you can afford it, go for a private boat - it's much easier for the BIO to orchestrate the encounter with two people instead of six. With six people, you would have to jump off both sides of the boat and not everyone would have the best viewing angle. Our BIO was able to lead us (literally held my hand) to the sharks and we had a close-up, almost face-to-face encounter with one shark!

We have heard that it's best to go early in the morning (they start running at 7am) as there are fewer boats out. Once a shark is spotted by a boat, other boats come rushing towards it. The shark often submerges after a few boats are done with their sightings. That said, we started our interaction at 8am and didn't see anything until 10ish. It all comes down to the sharks, really - good luck!

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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