See Whale Sharks in Donsol Bay, Philippines


The tiny fishing village of Donsol, located in South Luzon in the Philippines, was truly put on the map in 1998 when the local government and World Wildlife Fund retrained local whale shark hunters as tour guides. Although there may be fewer fish here than Cebu, the Philippines’ more well-known whale shark destination, tours are more ethical here (in Cebu, the whale sharks are fed).

Sleepy Donsol has some great guesthouses to stay in, and the most reputable tour companies are Donsol EcoTour and Whale Shark Adventure. Choose between day tours and multi-day packages to make the most of your time with the local whale sharks. Activities are restricted to snorkeling only though, so note that there is no diving here. Whale sharks often come up to the surface to feed, so you’ll still have plenty of encounters at snorkel-level.

Whale shark season around Donsol is November to June, though the highest concentration of these creatures are seen between February and April.

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