Located at the southern tip of Luzon Island, in Bicol Province, Donsol and its surrounding area offer lots of land and underwater adventures. In such dose proximity, one can dive with manta rays, swin with whales sharks, explore the beautiful coral and fish life, discover new macro critters, climb up the prefect cone shaped volcano (Mt Mayon located in Legazpi) and join excursions to appreciate local culture.
Just a 1,5 hour drive from Legazpi City, Donsol is one of the few places in the world that can offer an almost assured whale shark sighting from November to June. In these months, whale sharks converge in Donsol bay and stay for 6 to 7 months feeding in these nutrient rich waters. Futhermore, Donsol has the largest annual congregation of whale sharks known in the world!
Boats with trained spotters look the whale shark and take you right to them. With simple snorkelling equipment, you will swim peacefuly close this magnificent giant of the sea. They are friendly to human beings, but rember not to scare them away by touching or harasing them. The whale shark interaction in Donsol is strictly a snorkelling activity. Scuba diving in Donsol Bay is not allowed for safety purposes as it is not advisable to have snorkelers and divers in the same area given that the boats are constantly on the move.
From November to January, you will get the chance to swim with the whale shark but hte diving conditions may not be very comfortable. Guests should expect rains at this time and it would be best to bring a windbreaker with a hood with you. These are the rainiest months in Legazpi, Donsol and Ticao island areas. Winds in Donsol are not strong as this area is not affected by the Amihan winds and so the water will continue to be calm despite the rain.
February to June would be the ideal months to visit as this is when you can get the best of both whale shark interraction and great diving. This is the dry season/summer period in Philippines. The november to January weather may carry on a little to early part of Februray since the transitin from the wet to dry season may sometimes be delayed.
It is great to visit from July to October, if you are looking for a loaction for a diving holiday and are not focused on seeing whale sharks. These are the Habagat months in the Philippines and Donsol is directly affected by the Habagat winds. With the Habagat winds, the ocean is very rough. Because of the wind, the direction of the waves would also be towards the beach of Donsol and all the dirt and trash from the ocean settles on the shoreline of Donsol during Habagat months. This is probably why the whale sharks are no longer around by this time. There is also a theory that the whale sharks may be within the area but are swimming in the deeper waters.
From July to October, diving around Ticao Island (2 hour boat ride from Donsol) is a perfect choice! Although the whale sharks will not be around, you will get the chance to see Manta Rays, Thresher shark, white tip sharks and other pelagics. Of course, there is also the macro critters and the corals in the dive sites around San Miguel.
We offer packages with accomodation and whale shark snorkelling and diving activities. Land activities as ATV or trek to Mt Mayon can be organized before or after your stay in Donsol. Many people go to Donsol for only a couple of days to snorkel with the whale sharks but there are plenty of opportunities to do a lot of great diving as well, so why not stay a few extra days and check out the amazing dive sites of Ticao Island? All the dive sites are around Ticao Island which is a 1.5 hour boat ride away from Donsol.