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“Must not Miss when in Albay Province”

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Donsol
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed March 3, 2015

I grew up from this province but never really found time to visit this town and experience whale shark interaction til now ... And I just realized I've been missing so much from my hometown . Very proud to recommend it .. You must be there as early as 7am to enjoy a lot of whalesharks . trust the divers and boatmen , and find the best "spotter" he knows when and where to see the whalesharks and enjoy the best time of your life ! When they shout dive or jump out of the boat just happily jump and get ready to enjoy the best time of your life .. I only saw 3 baby whale sharks and I didn't know they were babies coz they were as big as my family van !!! Can't wait to go back and enjoy another encounter this time hopefully the adult whalesharks coz my kids had fun , they've been there a hundred times I guess.. They're as huge as the trucks ! For first timers , don't get scared they don't eat unless you have with you plankton :) have fun !

2  Thank LinaJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"amazing experience"
in 28 reviews
"whale shark interaction"
in 32 reviews
"bucket list"
in 15 reviews
"gentle giants"
in 10 reviews
"eco tour"
in 9 reviews
"good luck"
in 9 reviews
"wild animals"
in 9 reviews
"early morning"
in 8 reviews
"other places"
in 7 reviews
"few seconds"
in 11 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 7 reviews
"registration fee"
in 7 reviews
"tourist center"
in 8 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 10 reviews
"murky water"
in 6 reviews
"boat fee"
in 5 reviews
"got lucky"
in 5 reviews
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171 - 175 of 383 reviews

Reviewed February 28, 2015

Before we went to Donsol, we read lots of blogs about people harassing the Butanding etc. Dozens of tourists in the water at the same time, boats all over the place. So we were hesitant. However, the viewing we experienced was well managed, responsible and absolutely stunning. The rules we were told about were adhered to, we did not get our masks kicked off and there was plenty of room given to the Butanding to be themselves. The process of getting on a boat with others to share the cost was well managed and there were six people allocated to each boat. Our guide was very helpful as were the other boat staff. In the end, my wife decided not to swim but the boat staff were great - they took her 'whale watching' and found a Butanding that was close to the surface with no swimmers about it, then let the boat drift so she could get a good view of the shark as it swam under the boat and then passed by again with its fin out of the water. What an amazing experience it was. I would recommend this to anyone. The area is also fascinating and well worth a couple of extra nights there. Local guides (ask at your hotel reception) will take you out for a half or full day in their tricycles and you can hike to waterfalls, snorkel and visit villages that are not set up for tourists so you get to see life just as it is. Make sure you try the 'dirty icecream' which is the name the locals give to the product sold by vendors in the main village. They are on push bikes with icecream vats attached It is superb!

3  Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2015 via mobile

We weren't quite sure what to expect coming in, whether we would be guaranteed to swim with the gentle creatures, the butanding or whaleshark.
What we got was more than we imagined. In 1 morning session, we were able to swim with 3 different whalesharks (10m, 4m and 5m) over 6 times! We could've gone more times but lunch beckoned.
It was an awesome experience to day the least and something that we plan to come back and do again in the future.
Note that Donsol is one of the few places that strictly follow eco friendly whale shark interactions - no feeding, scuba diving, keeping the environment as natural to the butanding as possible.
2 thums up to the people of Donsol for this commitment!

1  Thank Chugamos13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2015

Absolutely wonderful and magical experience to be swimming with whalesharks. More than that, the boatmen were so very sweet in their earnest desire to make sure their "guests" are satisfied.

I asked our BIOman "Are you not tired of seeing the butandings". His reply: "Our joy is when the guests have a satisfying experience. On days when we have no sightings, the sadness is deep. We are all quiet going back to the center. I love how they refer to us as "guests" and not "clients". I love how our joy is their joy

2  Thank ACYSantos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 22, 2015 via mobile

One of the most amazing experiences of my life. We did 4 whale shark interactions. 2 at the beginning February and first day saw 1 whale shark fleetingly. Second day wet and raining none. As not yet peak season for sightings we went off to do some scuba diving off Ticao Island and booked our remaining interactions 10 and 11 February. On our 2nd last day we swam with one whale shark for ages. On our second last day we swam with 6 whale sharks for long periods of time. Exceeded all our expectations and so privileged to be able to experience these gentle giants of the sea.The boat operators and guides are so professional and respectful of the butanding and it is so well organized and a credit to the Donsol Bay community. We arranged everything with Donsol Eco Tours and they gave us the most personalised and friendly service you could want.
Christine and Mike, Tasmania, Australia

2  Thank Chtistine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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