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Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Donsol
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed March 24, 2011

Swimming with the whalesharks was truly an experience of a lifetime!
IT was just awesome and amazing!

Just a tip, during the whaleshark season in Donsol, which is Feb-May, tourists may get crowded so it would be better to come during a weekday and register a day ahead.
Also, it would be wise to reserve snorkels,goggles and masks ahead too :)

This was our experience:

We were able to spot 8 whalesharks in less than an hour!!!
breathtaking!!! Don't forget t bring your underwater camera :)

3  Thank jotan23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 23, 2011

We paired up early and headed out to our assigned boat. We did not have to motor far as the whale sharks could be found in the nearby bay. In the first half hour we swam with 1-2 whale sharks (with most of the other boats nearby) and then the capt decided to motor away from the crowd. Soon we were spotting whale sharks every 5-10 minutes. After swimming with a total of 13-14 whale sharks we were all tired (getting back in the boat 12+ times is exhausting) so we asked to head back. It was a great day for all of us.

3  Thank Allan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

His name is Randy. He hails from this very place that crosses the whale sharks' migration highway. Randy has "known" these whale sharks since he was 12. He is now 31. I never asked, but I suspect Randy never had formal swimming lessons. Nor diving lessons. But he sure could hold his breath. You need not know how to dive nor swim to be able to interact with the butanding. Just be sure you have a good B .I.O. (Butanding Interaction Officer) with you. Last Feb 27, 2011, we had Randy.

Swimming with the whale sharks (called butanding) in Donsol is my most awesome animal experience. Here's a link for more details/tips and more photos. http://wp.me/p1nhwh-40

3  Thank mamu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2011

This is a must do experience. Just show up in the morning and wait in line and make sure you pair up with someone to fill out a boat. If possible keep the boat to 4 people and it is still affordable and 4 is more convenient than 6 people.

1  Thank CharlesThor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2011

Based on the recommendation of 1st Class Adventurer (above), we booked w/ Donsol Eco Tours (also known as Dive Central Asia) and owner Jessica. Great decision. What a treat.
Jason, Maricel and everyone at that company made a fabulous trip to the Philippines we will never forget. More Americans should be visiting that country.

Jessica in particular was diligent, responsive, spot-on and on top of things. She cared. When I got Maricel's email that the weather was bad in Donsol, and I called to suggest that we switch the Donsol and Banaue modules, frankly I didn't expect her to say "OK, good idea." I expected to hear "No," "not possible," "too much work / inconvenience," which is what most operators would say who had already gotten their money.

Instead she said "OK" and proceeded to reorganize everything. As a result, we enjoyed ideal weather and conditions in Donsol; we swam with SIX whale-sharks (guide Leno was superb, and way ahead of the other boats) and saw a giant manta ray in Manta Bowl, thanks to excellent divemaster Bobby (who helped us negotiate the strong currents).

Same with Banaue; weather was great, sunny, fine pictures. Only as we were leaving the rice terraces at 2 PM to return to Manila did the fog come in and the rain begin.

To sum up, we got what we spent thousands of dollars to experience, thanks to this outfit's diligence. You should be as fortunate as we were.

I also recommend the whitewater rafting trip to Pagsanjan Falls, and shooting the rapids on the downstream return - great fun. Day trip from Manila. Can be combined with Taal Volcano and Lake Taal.

3  Thank lalhasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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