Best place to interact with whalesharks
long road travel time from Manila. occassional rainy seasons. Whale sharks are there for 5 months
A Nature trip of Butanding, Krills, fireflies and stars
-Dec 2012 / max of 6 pax per boat-We are only 5 / paid a fee of Php800 each plus Php300 for the snorkel gears-We are guided by 1 BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer), 2 Butanding spotters and 2 Boatmen-1st photo: the black shadow 1 foot under the water surface in the middle of swimmers is a 9-meter long Butandingmore
Swimming with the whale sharks! The greatest experience ever. The sharks are so big that seeing them up close could be overwhelming. Good thing is that they are very gentle that you can swim with it and as long as you don't make a lot of noise you can swim with it for a long period.First, go to the Information area to register. Fee for the boat,...more
The restaurant is inside the Vitton and Woodland Beach Resort. Their menu is quite extensive and meals are inexpensive. Usual price is P240.00 with servings good for two. Their Pansit Bihon was actually good for 3-4 people. Food was ordinary but because it wasn't costly, we took almost all our meals here. They cook upon order, so serving time takes...more
Semi outdoor restaurant overlooking the beach, very nice food, and Juliet, the owner, is very friendly and nice. Have a dinner here, with candle light dinner on the terrace is awesome. Anything they serve is GOOOOOD!! Very fresh seafood, well-cook, not so many sauce, western type of food. Don't forget to drink their Margarita.more
There are many stalls selling ready cooked local dishes near the market center, but I tend to avoid food that are cooked and exposed for more than 2 hours. I prefer hot or freshly cooked dishes as I do not want to be ill while travelling.Marilyn of Razo Inn will cook to your liking to the best of her ability, and provide good home cooked Philippino...more
I have never seen as many bright stars on anyywhere I have been except to this place. You will be amazed on how clear the sky here at night. This is a clear testament on how this place is free from pollution that you can easily see even the small or far away stars here. I was able to appreciate this during the time we were also on our firefly...more
During town fiestas (May 17-18 is just one), there's a town fiesta the town center. There are beauty contests that you can watch and dances that you can join. Nightlife (clubs etc) is not popular in small towns like Donsol except for these times when the town is alive at night. Comfy clothes.more
You can take a public aircon bus from Naga (CWC - Naga there are private vehicles)to Legaspi @80.00php and public bus @ roughly around 50-60pesos. Then from Legaspi Terminal take the van going to Donsol @ 70.00php.If you are in a group, i would suggest you arrange transportation with the resort's shuttle. I know in Amor Farm Beach Resort they...more
From Legaspi airport to Donsol, there are services offered in the airport but it is expensive specially if its private. Option is to go to terminal via jeepney or tricycle then take a 1-1/2 hour van or jeepney (P60) ride going to pilar or Donsol then ride a tricycle (P15)going to tourism. From Donsol to Cagsawa, tricycle (P15) going to terminal....more
if you are going to donsol to swim with the whalesharks, expect to pay around 3,500 pesos (around US$70) for the boat that will take out into the bay. this fee is for a 3-hour stint regardless of how many whalesharks you come across. the fee also includes the services of an official spotter who will locate whalesharks for you and even accompany you...more
If you have spare cash, why not get a few souvenirs from the souvenir shop near the Donsol Tourism Office. You can get some t-shirts, postcards, hats etc.
A part of the profit from the souvenir items sold goes to the preserving, research and increasing awareness about whale sharks. You'll kill two birds in one stone, help save the whale sharks plus you'll get a nice t-shirt for it.
What to buy: T-shirt (P190 White/P200 colored)
other souvenir items
Standing about 3 meters above on top of the boat, the Spotter of the Butanding Interaction Activity should have the keenest of vision. Looking for that black-shadowy thing just below the water surface and a protruding dorsal fin, the Spotter tells the boat skipper the heading. It depends mostly on him the number of dives the group may have for the...more
Eco-Tourism employs Local Fishermen.The story goes that local fishermen years ago use to hunt these big whale sharks considering that they are believed to be man-eaters. "Better take the first step" mindset. But then with the help of WWF, the local fishermen were informed of the real score about these friendly whale sharks. Encouraging them to...more
even if you're a good swimmer, it is advised that you wear a life vest when you take to the water and swim alongside the whalesharks. even if you're a seasoned swimmer, do not underestimate the excitement you'll experience when you see these gigantic creatures for the first time. from the moment the spotter sees one, you'll only have a few moments...more
If possible, try to lessen your breakfast intake to avoid being seasick at the whale watching trip. You'll get nauseated easily causing you to become seasick and eventually you'll be puking at sea. For others who get seasick easily, best advice is to take meds before going into the water.I heard that one boat the day before us went back only after...more
The sea tend to be rough at times so it's best to practice swimming before going to Donsol. A relatively fair swimming skill is advised if you want to maximize the full experience. If you're a slow swimmer, you might get carried by the waves and miss your whale shark encounter.Don't worry, you won't drown btw. There are life vests available in the...more
The Butanding Interaction Activity Boat Package costs P3500 for a maximum of 7 adults/boat group (kids 12 years younger not counted). It may be a bit expensive if your group is composed of 4 or less.
Fun Alternatives: It is but wise then for small groups to join together and share one boat.
Our group of 4 adults (+ 3 kids) didn't have a hard time looking for a couple to share the boat with. What's more, we made new friends. "Hello there, Matt and Anna!" (in case you read this)
Pack your things in a watertight bag Don't forget your swimsuit Sunblock Underwater camera. I suggest the disposable type. The water is really deep that if your camera falls, that's the last you would see of it. Snorkeling gear and fins. It would save you Php300 rental fee for the whole set. Bring drinking water during the whale watching, you...more
You need a sophisticated camera that can capture the many bright stars here up the sky and down the earth. The skyhere is free from any pollution so you can easily see the faraway and tiny stars. You will also need a camera that can shoot the hundred thousands of fireflies we have seen during the night time river cruise. Telescope for the stars...more
bring a camera with video capability and, most importantly, a waterproof camera case! there is no sense in going all the way to donsol to swim with the whalesharks if you're not going to record this once-in-a-lifetime event. there are several types of water-tight clear bags, any will do for as long as you'll be able to shoot underwater.trust me,...more
If you're a Catholic and is looking for an activity which is both spiritual and physically challenging - head for the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes at San Antonio in Donsol Sorsogon. The Grotto is about 2 kms away from town proper of Donsol. You can reach it either riding a motorcycle or a jeep that ply the route. It's about 20 mins or less. If you...more
Average size of family in donsol is SEVEN - 5 kids plus papa & mama.....excluding their lovers. ONe of them disclosed that he has 27 lovers. I will take a large pinch of Donsol sea salt, but there is some truth in extramaritial affairs though the number is likely to be much lower.more
A must when gone whaleshark-watching, snorkel gear of all sizes are for rent at the shops just outside the Tourism Visitors Center. P300/set. Inclusive of the masks, breathing tube and a pair of flippers. Make sure to check the sealing capability of the mask you get - this would spell the success of your dives. Life vests (just in case you need one) which are of inferior quality are provided free by the boat.
I brought along fit-to-size life vests for my kids.
Yes, Holy Week is the best time for the butanding watching because I'd once work there in Donsol so, I am sure of that.If you want you can contact this number 09264340275, he is one of the best BIO there in Donsol, his name is Jack. When I worked there in a Dive Center and I really missed my job there and the people who become a part of my life. I...more
although there are other things to do in donsol, it is known worldwide for its whalesharks.the whalesharks don't swim here all year round. they only come starting DECEMBER then leave by APRIL. if you come early december or late april, there will be less of them around and you might find yourself waiting on the boat for a long time.best to come well...more
I dont have pictures for all of the resorts but here are their rates and contact numbers. I'll be visiting the place again this year so expect an update:Boat Rental: P3500 (max of 7 people) - Rates include the BIO(Buntanding Interaction Officer) Man, Crew (this wont be an issue when you're travelling alone and you're friendly. There are other...more