Swimming with sharks in Donsol

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It is a dream of many travellers: swimming with whale sharks. There are only a few places left on earth where that is possible and Donsol in the Philippines is one of them. Donsol was once a small sleepy fishing village. In 1998 a major change happened when a local diver made a video of swimming with a large number of whale sharks. The media picked up his extraordinary story and since then Donsol has become a bucket list destination.

At only a small hour of sailing you come across the whale sharks at the dive site Manta bowl. As the name says it, you also have a chance to also see manta rays! Dolphins can pass by and even occasionally hammerhead sharks. The surroundings of the little town Donsol are amazing as well and t is certainly worthwhile to check out the area. There is a nice waterfall nearby and you can go up the river for a fire-fly watching tour.

Best time to visit

Every year people can snorkel between February and May among the biggest fish in the world. Especially in the months March and April the animals are spotted here almost daily.

How do you get there?

The easiest way to get there is by bus or jeepney. Minivans run directly between Legazpi and Donsol. You pay about 100 pesos for this and the ride takes an hour. You can also take the bus from Manila (900 Peso, 14 hours) but it is easier and cheaper to go to Legazpi first.

Where to stay

If you need a great place to stay in Donsol we recommend Donsol Aguluz Homestay. Super sweet people and the best place to stay in Donsol. On booking.com they get an average rating of 8.7. 

This article was last updated on September 15, 2022.