Best Diving sites in Donsol

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If you have dived in Donsol before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

In addition to Whale Sharks sightings, there are also many interesting dive spots around Donsol. This destination is famous for its Manta Rays which you can spot at Manta Bowl in Ticao Pass. The best period to see them is from December to May. From June to November the sea can be choppy which can make boat rides a bit dangerous.

The nearby Miguel Island and Ticao Island are also great spots to see superb soft coral, Sea Snakes, Frogfishes, Nudibranchs and also Pelagic fishes. This is a great place for Underwater Macro Photography. There are also several wrecks but only available for Technical-Diving.

Note: In Donsol it is forbidden to scuba dive with Whale Sharks, however it is possible to scuba dive with these giants on other nearby dive sites such as Manta Bowl. Hammerheads Sharks and the shy Thresher Shark can also sometimes be spotted.

You can also explore this underwater world on a Liveaboard trip. I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in the Philippines as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Donsol.

Photos Donsol

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Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Donsol as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Donsol

Diving Season

The Best time to visit Donsol is definitely during the Whale Shark season.

  • Whale Sharks can be seen from November to June but the peak season runs from February to May.
  • It is possible to dive and to spot Manta Rays all year long but the best period is from December to June when the sea conditions are good.

Hot Tip:

  • From February to May it is usually busy with tourists so it is better to book in advance.

Top liveaboards in Donsol according to divers reviews

Scuba Diving conditions

Water Temperature: from 26°C to 30°C.

Currents: Ranging from none to strong depending on the spot and the tide.

Visibility: The visibility ranges from 10m to 30m depending on the tide. In Donsol Bay when there is high density of Plankton and Krill it can get as low as 2m!

The sea conditions are generally not so good from June to November which can make it difficult to get to Offshore sites like Manta Bowl.

Snorkelling in Donsol

Donsol is known as the “Whale Shark Capital” and is actually the best place in the world to swim with Whale Sharks! Other places in the World famous for Whale Sharks sightings are Ningaloo Reef in Australia and Cozumel in Mexico but in Donsol it is that much easier as they are very close from the shore. As a bonus, it is much cheaper too!

The Whale Shark season is from November to June but the peak season is February, March, April and May. During this period (in a good day!) you can hope to spot 10 to 15 Sharks within few hours!

These are the biggest fishes on Earth and grow up to 18m long. In Donsol, you will mostly swim with Whale Sharks ranging from 7m to 11m long. They come here every year to feed in water due to the high density of Plankton and Krill. Because of the Plankton, the visibility is usually low, less than 5m.

In Donsol itself, it is forbidden to dive with Whale Sharks, only Snorkelling is allowed.

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Donsol, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Donsol Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots reviews in Donsol

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Liveaboard Reviews in Donsol

SY Philippine Siren

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MV Solitude One Liveaboard Review

MV Atlantis Azores

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MV Atlantis Azores Liveaboard Review

Diving centers in Donsol

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17 dive logs in “Donsol

  1. Well I can say that Oslob Cebu is better than Donsol now. Whale sharks can be seen for just 10 meters away from the shore, sighting is also 100% guaranteed unlike Donsol.

    • Well in Oslob the Whale Sharks are fed, so that alone, for me, is reason enough for not going there! I want to see animals in their natural habitat, feeding naturally, not being fed like puppies…

        • I believe they use krill which is sometimes used a fishing bait in the area. Most conservation groups and ethical dive shops oppose the practices seen in Oslob. You can google “Ethical Whaleshark Diving Philippines” if you want to learn more.

  2. I will be diving in Donsol the 2nd week of Feb. 2015, I would like to hook up with some dive friends. Is anybody else gona be there?? I am staying at Amor Farm Resort. Looking forward to a fun vacation.

    Bio: 54 yo American/German PADI Instructor who’s managed dive centers in the Dominican Republic and owned a PADI Dive Store and Instructional facility in Pennsylvania.

    • Hi Mac & friends!

      That sounds like a fun vacation indeed! Just wanted to drop a line to say thank you for reading Divezone!

      I’m truly hopping you guys will come back and let us know about your trip and review the diving in Donsol! Looking much forward to reading your future comments!

      Safe travels & bubbles!

  3. The diving here was excellent and it was the first time I dove next to a whale shark. Visibity was great and I had a great time! Good place to dive if you go to the Philippines…

  4. Hello buddies /Divers, I would highly recommend if you like visit some places in Bicol , don’t forget to visit Donsol for snorkeling with giant fish in the world. ( whaleshark or butanding a local name) also scuba diving adventure of amazing oceanic manta rays where found in manta bowl ticao. For more information heres the list of tourism accredited facilities found in Donsol.
    Whaleshark Adventure & Tours
    Vitton Beach Resort
    Donsol Sorsogon
    Contact mobile: +639219293812
    Contact email:

    Bicol Dive Center
    Vitton & Woodland Beach Resort
    Dancalan Donsol Sorsogon
    Contact mobile: +639068016852
    Contact email:

    Bicol Dive Center
    Amor Farm Beach Resort
    Dancalan Donsol Sorsogon
    Contact mobile: +639179002464

  5. Hi, Heading to Tubbataha in the spring. Where’s the best place in the Philippines for a second week of land based diving?

  6. Hello Fellow Divers,
    I’m heading to the Philippines mid July 2016 (9-25th). I am interested in heading to Donsol for a few days to potentially catch some majestic giants. Unfortunately, this is the only time of the year I am capable of taking some time off from work. Should I skip Donsol all together due to concerns of poor visibility/choppy seas and off season to see the whalesharks? Should I invest my time on the southwest islands instead trying to escape Monsoon season? Much appreciated!

  7. As a once professional whale watch captain, and life long advocate for whales, i was very pleased to see them give us an impressive video clearly stating all the rules of encounter.. one boat at a time, no cutting the whale shark off, distances kept and such. then we joined about 20 boats and watched as they all broke very single rule in their book, absolute disgrace. If you really must put an X in the “saw a whale shark” box, then go. If you have any concern for these great animals or any desire to see them in a natural non intrusive way, then dont go.

  8. Hello fellow divers!
    I’ll be stopping in Donsol during my trip to the Philippines, any dive shop recommendations? PADI only has 1 on their 5star list and I haven’t heard back from them.

    • Looking here for the same information, wondering if you found anything out (or went there already) and could suggest a dive shop and approx. prices to expect??


  9. Hey guys,

    Ive not dove before but looking at potentially doing my PADI in Donsol. I wanted to dive with Whale Sharks but frankly after some of the reviews of all rules being broken, it stresses me out massively and i don’t want to be apart of it.
    Opting to dive instead and see other things or would you recommend to skip Donsol and go elsewhere?


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