Famous for its whale shark watching tours, Donsol is a municipality in the Sorsogon province of the Philippines. This southern corner of Luzon Island has unique wildlife-focused tourism.
Whale shark watching is the most popular and well-known activity in Donsol. These creatures are gentle giants and are responsible for what has called the best animal encounter in Asia. Whale shark watching tours are regulated, with a limited number of swimmers to each boat. The Donsol area also has shrimp-catching tours, firefly tours and trekking.
Located at the southern tip of Luzon Island, Donsol is a more remote area of the Philippines. Any trip here will have to pass through Legazpi City, which is one hour by plane and 10 hours by bus from the national capital of Manila. From Legazpi, tourists can pick up a public or private van, which will reach Donsol in about two hours.
Donsol may be the whale shark capital of the world, but for over 100 years, locals believed the animals were dangerous. Whale shark watching as a tourist attraction didn’t take off until 1997 when a group of divers interacted with the sharks. In a few short months, the tours boomed in popularity.