CEBU: Swimming with the Oslob Whale Sharks : A Travel Guide

I wish I could say I enjoyed swimming with the Oslob whale sharks last week, but truth is, I didn’t. I am happy for Oslob, these gentle giants locally called tuki caused a huge buzz in the Philippines which is a big help to the tourism revenue of  the once sleepy town. But I am saddened by what I saw; the chaos of  tourists which could scare away or harm the poor whale sharks and even fellow whale shark watchers;  stubborn tourists touching the whale sharks, snorkelers’ fins almost hitting my face, scuba divers suddenly surfacing from down under and paddle boats almost running over my head.

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Oslob, Philippines

Nevertheless, the people of Brgy. Tan-awan,Oslob deserves the blessing that they are getting now.  I love the genuine hospitality shown to us by the locals. I am deeply moved by their simple way of life; I see families happily eating together over humble meals, weary fishermen in green uniforms taking care of tourists, officers constantly checking with visitors if they enjoyed the whale shark encounter and a humble home embracing us. I saw the joy in their eyes, taking pride in the attention that their once sleepy town Oslob is getting.

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But I hope in the coming days, more tourists would respect the whale shark guidelines and realize the harm that they could do to them.  The tourism officers and the fishermen are really trying hard to implement the rules and organize the whale watching activity, but the number of tourists should really be controlled and sadly,some tourists are just really stubborn!

 

Whale shark watching in the Philippines is on the bucket list of most tourists. Who wouldn’t? At a reasonable price, you’re getting one heck of a travel adventure! Another famous site for swimming with the whale sharks in the Philippines is Donsol, Sorsogon , the “Whale Shark Capital of the World” where unlike in Oslob,  no hand-feeding and no touching of whale sharks.  In Oslob, there’s a boat called “whale shark feeder”  that the tuki follows while the boatman feeds them.

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Fishes swimming with a whale shark. Photo by Sheeze

Here is my Oslob whale shark travel guide to help you plan your trip:

 


 

How to Get to Oslob, Cebu for the whale shark watching

 From Cebu City to Oslob

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airasia fly daily between Manila and Cebu.

From Cebu City,  head to the South Bus Terminal and ride a Ceres bus  going to Bato via Liloan.  Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob for the whale shark which is just along the highway.  It’s roughly a 3-hour ride from Cebu. Bus Fare (air-con) is Php 155.

 

From Dumaguete to Oslob, Cebu

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly daily between Manila.

At Dumaguete City Public Market, look for the multi-cabs going to Sibulan Port.

At the port, pay the fee for the ferry/fastcraft to Liloan.

At Liloan Port, board a Ceres bus going to Cebu City and tell the conductor to drop you off at Oslob Whale Shark Watching

 

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Tourists ready for the whale shark watching in Oslob.

 

Usually the bus will drop you off at one of the resorts with “Whale Watching” sign.  But take note that if you enter here, the resort  will charge you with a Php 100 fee  for the use of locker,  cottage,   transportation to the briefing station and boat assistance.

Otherwise, you can walk directly to the Whale Shark Watching Briefing Station to register,  pay the fees and attend the short briefing (do’s and don’t for whale shark watching).

 


Oslob, Cebu Whale Shark Watching Fees 2018

 

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A gentle giant. Photo by Sheeze.

TOURISTSINCLUSIONFEES
Local TouristsWhale watching (in the boat only, no swimming) + life jackeetPhp  300 (USD 6)
Local TouristsSnorkeling with the Whale Shark + Life JacketPhp 500  (USD 11)
Foreign TouristsSnorkeling with the Whale Shark + Life JacketPhp 1,000 (USD 21)
  • Exchange rate :  Php 1 = USD 0.02
  • Whale Shark watching in Oslob is good for 30 minutes only.
  • Whale Shark watching in Oslob is available daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM only.

Oslob Whale Shark Watching Car Charter from Cebu City or Mactan Island

  • Tick off a bucketlist experience: swim and snorkel with whale sharks in the Philippines
  • Go at your own pace as you enjoy a private roundtrip transfer from your hotel in Cebu City or Mactan Island with an experienced local driver
  • Participate in shark feeding and explore surrounding coral reefs
  • Enjoy a scenic 3 hour drive along the Southern Cebu coastline
  • After your whaleshark experience, you may opt to climb up the amazing Tumalog Falls!

BOOK RESERVE


Cebu Sumilon Island Day Tour

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Sumilon Island. photo credit Sumilon Island Resort

  • Visit one of Cebu’s best kept secrets: Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort at the southern tip of the island
  • Snorkel with the diverse aquamarine species in the first marine protected area in the Philippines
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach!

BOOK TOUR 5

 


 

Oslob Whale Shark Snorkeling and Badian Canyoneering Adventure

 

  • Head to Oslob for a once in a lifetime chance to get up close to real whale sharks
  • Tick off a bucketlist experience: swim and snorkel with whale sharks in the Philippines
  • Participate in shark feeding and explore surrounding coral reefs
  • Climb up the breathtaking Tumalog Falls
  • Scramble, climb, jump, rappel and swim through the rugged but scenic cliffs of Badian
  • Make a splash as you brave through jumping off towering cliffs as high as 30 feet!

 

BOOK TOUR 5


OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN OSLOB

TUMALOG FALLS

 

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Tumalog Falls is a good side trip after whale shark watching in Oslob.

 

How to get to Tumalog Falls in Oslob

 

  • To get to Tumalog Falls, just approach a habal-habal (motorbike) driver.  Fare is Php 120, roundtrip. Good for 2 persons.
  • Tell the driver what time they will fetch you. Pay the driver half  first (Php 60)  and pay the remaining Php 60 once they pick you up.
  • Pay the Tumalog Entrance Fee of Php 20 per head.

 

 

Sumilon Island

 

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Sumilon Island. photo credit Sumilon Island Resort

 

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

Bangocogon, Oslob, Oslob

Check room rates here

 

 

St. Joseph Church – Nueva Caceres

Mainit hot springs

1788 church belfry

Spanish-era gazebo

Nigad tree – centuries-old legendary tree


 

 

Oslob Cebu Whale Shark Watching Trip Budget

 

 FEE
Bus between Cebu City and Oslob (roundtrip)Php 155 x 2 = Php 310
Whale Shark WatchingPhp 500 (locals)
Habal-habal ride to Tumalog FallsPhp 120
Tumalog Falls Entrance FeePhp 20
FoodPhp 100 per head per meal
GRAND TOTAL Php 950 (USD

 

  • Best to do this on weekdays when there’s not much crowd.
  • Come early to avoid long lines.
  • Our group left Cebu City at around 3am (Oslob bus runs 24/7 at South Bus terminal).
  • Coming from our trip in Malapascua, we just stayed at a coffee shop in Cebu IT Park while waiting for 3am.

 

 


 

WHERE TO STAY IN OSLOB:

 

Oslob Malonzo Pension House

San Jose Street Oslob, Oslob

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Seafari Resort Oslob

Cuan-cua-ay, Tan-awan Oslob, Cebu

CHECK ROOMS RATES HERE

MB Sunrise View Resort

National Highway, Tan-awan Oslob

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

Bangocogon, Oslob, Oslob

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE OR BOOK HERE

 


EXTEND YOUR TRIP

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Bohol Travel Guide
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Things to Do in Dumaguete


 

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