Swimming with Whale Sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon

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Donsol is 50 minutes away by van from Legazpi, Albay. From Manila we booked a 1 hour and 15 minute flight to Legazpi, Albay via ZestAir. Donsol is a coastal town so there are beach resorts that dot the area. The beach is not ideal for swimming but resorts were built to serve as accommodations for tourists who visited Donsol for the whale shark interaction.

We stayed at Amor Farm Beach resort which was priced reasonably and a walking distance to the Donsol Visitor’s Center. Visitor’s Center is the only establishment in the area that’s accredited by the government to conduct whale shark interaction tours. Travelers must take note that there are no 5 star hotels in Donsol, yet resorts offer comfortable accommodations. The resort also has a restaurant that serves local dishes.
Whale shark watching season in Donsol is from November to June. We headed to Visitor’s Center as early as 5:30 am. Tourists can rent a motor boat for 3500 PhP which can accommodate 6 passengers. Tourists can share the boat with other tourists so payment can be divided.

After registration, we were asked to watch a 30 minute video showing the do’s and don’ts of whale shark interaction. Tourists were advised not to take pictures and to keep a safe distance from the butandings. Each boat was assigned with a Butanding Interaction Officers who would accompany tourists in the activity.

I never really appreciated how big whale sharks are until I saw one. I tried to swim as fast as I could but I was too slow for them. I saw 5 whale sharks. The activity was for 4 hours and it was the best travel moment I have so far. While I was on my boat, I took pictures of tourists who were swimming after the whale sharks. Just a glimpse of those huge yet harmless creatures was enough to bring huge smiles on their faces.

I encourage everyone to try this adventure. This experience really lives up to the promise of our country’s tourism tag line, “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.

Image: http://www.pinoystaronline.com