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“highly amazing”

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 January 18, 2011

dont expect to see whale sharks immediately. spotting them is a hit or miss event. Although chances are better during hot sunny days, we managed to see 4 during on a rainy morning.we saw 1 almost immediately after we left, then we spent the next 2 hours searching and waiting for the clouds to clear. keep yourself hydrated, bring food if you like and dont be hung over. inform your guide of any weak swimmers to have in the group

2  Thank x-out
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 - 309 of 362 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2010

We visited Donsol last spring. It was by far the best thing we did in the Philippines. Go there early or book a day before to make sure you get a place on one of the boats. We saw eight in one trip!

1  Thank YeddyN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

I felt so little as I swam near the whale sharks. A couple of those i saw were as big as a large buses. Swimming with these large amazing creatures will remind you again that our planet is indeed so wonderful large and diverse. Tip: Since your in Bicol anyway, you may also visit the Mayon Volcano in Albay (volcano with perfect cone) and CWC in Camsur (for some worldclass wakeboarding).

1  Thank susanaaquino09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2010

I only found out about whale shark diving in Donsol a week before visiting the Philippines and consequently re-thought my travel plans. For me it's always been a dream to dive with these majesic sharks.

...anyway my friend and i got a flight from Manila to Legaspi and then after some haggling with the drivers outside the airport (and they can be quite full-on as they try and get your business!!) we paid 1300 pesos (most start with 1500) to get us down to Donsol (about 55 km away and it takes roughly one hour. On ther return trip we took the local jeepney from the bus terminal in Donsol to the city of Legaspi for 60 pesos which was crowded but fine). We didn't have any prior accom bookings and so looked around once we got there. Prices are definitely at the higher end than other places but when you consider the experience you can have here ..it's worth it. We paid 3000 pesos at Vittons for a beach room. the room was big but basic inside.

That night we did the firefly experience which was alright but we had a lot of moon light so that affected the overall lightshow. I would say though that it's worth doing since there is nothing else to do in Donsol. The only reason to go there is for the sharks. A boat will cost 1250 pesos (max 5 people). All you need to do is get a bike to take you to the main bridge by 6pm and its all sorted out there. No prior ookings required. Overall experience lasts about 2 hours.

We registered the day before for the diving and also arranged for our snorkeling equipment. It was 300 pesos for registering and another 300 for the equipment and then the final charge is 3500 for the boat which covers 6 people. We were two but had no problem getting hooked up with 4 other people so the overall experience was cheap

The next morning we assembled for 7 am and after battling 100 other people (at the last minute large groups turned up and registered...another good reason to do it before hand. We also got to depart first!) I believe up to 30 boats can head out which is a lot but there is a lot of water out there so its not too bad...except when one boat finds a whale and any boat within 500 metres will head for the site.

Spending 2 and a half hours out there we dove with 5 whale sharks which ranged from about 4 to 9 metres. There are few words that can describe been in the water knowing there are about and then all of a sudden this massive head appears to come out of nowhere!!! absolutely awesome. Some will hang around for a matter of seconds and then dive down whilst others didn't seem to be too bothered by our presence and hung around for 2 to 4 minutes. You need to be a capable swimmer to keep pace with them. However i did see many local guides dragging people about (they be fit !!!!)

End of the day, this is possibly one of the most brilliant wildlife experiences i've had and i've dived all over the world with all sorts of sharks including the Great White and this rates at the top!! In the wods of Nike...."Just Do It!!"

8  Thank nicroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

We loved snorkelling with the whale sharks, being experienced divers we had already seen them on scuba in the Galapagos, but got our fill of encounters over the 4 days we went out in Donsol. We saw between 4 and 8 each trip, with encounters lasting from 30secs to 10mins and the whale sharks ranging from around 5-8m. One big warning for the interaction is to avoid Philippino/ Chinese holidays and maybe weekends too if you can. There are theoretical rules limiting 6 swimmers to a boat and 1 boat per shark. however on busy days these rules go out of the window and you can see up to 25 people thrashing around in the water after each shark. we were very clear with our guides that we were after quality experiences and wanted to find our own sharks to swim with, however on many occasions we were swimming along next to a shark when another group were basically dropped on our heads to 'join in' often scaring the animal off - this is against the local rules, but happens repeatedly. Especially with the groups that can't even swim, who are dragged around on a rope by their guides wearing life vests, and as they have no idea of how to align themselves in the water end up kicking sharks (accidentally). Unless this doesn't bother you - better to avoid the holidays when the rules are better obeyed

10  Thank Soo345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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