Donsol Whale Shark Interaction

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
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Donsol, Philippines
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Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
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Travelers talk about
(17 reviews)
(9 reviews)
(4 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles440 reviews
Excellent
255
Very good
81
Average
45
Poor
30
Terrible
29

Susan B
Roseville, United States5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
The place is very clean and the staff is attentive, friendly, and respectful. Menu was limited but the food was good and priced right. It’s quiet and very provincial. Not too many people, which we liked. The rooms are basic…you get a tiny soap and 2 bottles of mineral water per day. Overall I recommend it if you’re on a budget. But be sure to bring everything with you bc there’s no place nearby where you can buy them.
Written March 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

latetothestation
Victoria, Canada110 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The Whale Shark experience is professionally run by the provincial government. Guides and boat crews were good... well, our boat engine died and we had to be towed to the landing. But they loaded us on another boat and we went out again. Top marks for their perseverance!

Yet, after 8 boats weaving back and forth for 4 hours... no whale sharks! Okay, these are wild creatures who will go where they want, when they want. This is supposed to be high season for whale sharks in Donsol. But maybe they all pushed off to Bohol.

At the Center where the tour starts and ends, there's a white board calendar, where visitors record their reactions. In the last 4 weeks, there was only one blank day. All the others were gushing with praise for the experience. Really, all were over the top raves.

Were the 8 boats of visitors on the morning of March 16 disappointed not to contribute to such praise? Uh, yeah.

When we got off our boats, the white board for our day was empty. But, when we wandered through the Center four hours later while rambling the beach, the white board said, "Wow! What an experience! 10/10!" No name provided. Well... um... I doubt anybody saw any whale sharks that day.

In fact, I suspect the locals were providing much of the white board feedback themselves. After all, a day... or two... or three with no sightings might give visitors pause. Worse, maybe the season is winding down or over. Either way, it would be a direct hit on local income.

I don't know how visitors can know if the whale sharks are still there... or not. And I feel for the local people. Donsol is a humble, somewhat remote community, tremendously dependent on whale shark visitors for the wellbeing of its people. I would not blame them for a little over-the-top promotion.

Will you see ang butanding? As the Filipinos say, "Bahala na!" (If God wills!)
Written March 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jona B
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
I will never forget how the butanding seems to play around our boat during our tour. We were blessed to see 2 butanding. I hope I was brave enough to interact with them.
Written December 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John M
Sydney, Australia7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Friends
What a great experience! Can't say enough about the crews we went out twice on different days. The first day we swam with 2 Butanding and the second day with one. To see them up close was something you will not forget.
Written May 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Florence M
Philippines1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
We were in hype while preparing to interact with one of the most amazing creature. We are amazed not just because of the whaleshark interaction but also the hospitality and friendliness of the locals of Donsol. From the ice cream vendor, to our BIO and the boatmen. We really had a wonderful time chit chatting with them, sharing colorful stories behind this magnificent creature that we are about to meet. They did their very best for us to have our very own moment with the famous Butanding. Thank you so much Donsol! We will surely come back here.
Written April 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lara Osgood
Dartmouth, UK636 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
We had an amazing trip and we’re fortunate to see and swim with the whale sharks. It’s true that a few boats go out at the same time and when there’s a spot it can get a bit busy with more than one boat but also the boats do give each other space in order to ensure that guests get the opportunity. At the end of the day it’s not like the whale shark is held captive nor do they get fed by the guides / BIO. So you are dealing with an animal in its natural habitat and there’s no guarantee that you will see it. We are very grateful to have had this opportunity and thank the lovely people in Donsol for their warm and friendly hospitality.
Written February 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Denis85_9
Cheffois, France162 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
No comment from the staff managing this encounter and the attraction itself which is sustainable and at least more respectful than other places.

I saw 3 whale sharks during my interaction for a couple of seconds each time which remain a magical !

Then you will have some people that may complain about seeing or not seeing the animal, and the way sometimes the boats turn all around a shark when they see one, but myself I appreciate the tour.
Written January 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grant Cox
Luton, UK144 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Family
Just got back from a trip to donsol today. Firstly they have no up to date website with prices or even if they're open, thanks to giddys resort who took the time to reply to me question regarding it being open.
We were a group of mixed adults and kids, the youngest being six. We only wanted one boat as some had been before, they will not allow more than 6 bodies no matter what age they are even a 6 yr old. 5k for the boat and 100 per person environmental fee (300 if you're foreign).
They had 5 crew members on the boat which was too many, perhaps one or two less allowing for more passengers.
AND TO TO IT OFF MY GROUP WERE OUT FOR 3 HOURS AND DIDN'T SEE AND WHALE SHARKS AT ALL. Total waste of a day
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah H
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
It is still a great experience and we did see 3 whalesharks. One of them super close. It was amazing. I just wanted to let you all know that the prices got up. The boot is no longer 3500PHP but 5000PHP. Plus 300PHP for environment fee per Person. The boot can be shared by 6 people. But if you are a couple and unlucky you have to pay the 5000 all by yourself. We did find a group of 4 others to share so in the end it was all good. I can still recommend it but you should know about the price.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grass_Hut_Girl
Niceville, FL31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I left Bicol long before the butandings showed up in Donsol. It was my bucket list to see them when I finally returned 41 years after leaving. The crew was so pleasant and attentive. When we thought we would not see the butandings after 2 hours of searching, the crew made a stop for us to do some snorkeling. Then, they tried one more time and it was a success! We sighted the same small butanding twice in 30 mins. I got to swim above it. Thank you so much!
Written November 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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DONSOL WHALE SHARK INTERACTION - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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