Oslob is one of the best places to swim with the whale sharks in the Philippines. Find out some useful tips to organize a trip there and have this great experience.
Quick guide Oslob
Best time to visit: November to April
How long: a couple of days is enough if you only want to swim with the Whale Sharks
Why it is worth visiting: Oslob is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with Whale Sharks without doing scuba diving
Where to stay: this hotel is probably the best option in the area
The Philippines are simply amazing and the great thing is that, so far, not many people know much about this great country. If you are looking for white sandy beaches, amazing food, friendly people and beautiful landscapes, the Philippines is definitely the place to go…
But if you get tired of chilling out all day long you can try an amazing experience: snorkeling with the whale sharks in Oslob, on the island of Cebu.
In this article, I’ll give you some details about how to get to Oslob, where you can stay for the night and what else you can do nearby.
But first of all, many people asked me if it’s dangerous to snorkel with whale sharks. The answer is No, whale sharks are not dangerous. These big fish eat plankton and we are not part of their diet, so there is nothing to fear.
Swimming with the Whale Sharks in Oslob
Even though there are many places in the Philippines where you can dive with the whale sharks, if you like snorkeling there are only two places where you can see the whale sharks: Donsol and Oslob. Donsol is a nice place but you are not 100% sure to see the whale sharks. On the other hand, you can be 100% sure to see them in Oslob.
Oslob is in the southern part of the island of Cebu. You can get to Cebu by plane from Manila or any other main city of the Philippines. Cebu Pacific Airlines, the low-cost carrier of the Philippines, is in fact based in Cebu City.
Once in Cebu head to the South Bus Terminal. You can get there either by taxi or in a private van. Once in the bus terminal look for the bus heading to Oslob. Just keep in mind that the whale shark watching area is a few kilometers before Oslob, in a small village called Tan-Awan. Tell the driver that you want to see the whale sharks and he will drop you off at your destination.
There are two different types of buses you can use to get to Tan-Awan: air-con (by Ceres Liner) and non-air-con. Since it’s quite a long ride (about 5 hours) it’s much better to take the air-con bus (the price is pretty much the same).
Where to stay in Oslob
Tan-Awan is on the main road heading to Oslob. If you are looking for accommodation in Oslob you can choose between 4 or 5 resorts. I spent a couple of nights at the Sea Safari.
In the water in front of the resort, you can spot some sea turtles and sometimes whale sharks.
Oslob Whale Shark watching briefing area
Every morning between 6:00 and 12:00 the whale sharks gather in front of the beach to be fed by some fishermen.
The tour starts with a short briefing and you will be told about what to do and what not to do if you want to swim with the whale sharks. You should stay at least 4 meters from these giant creatures, but the truth is that most of the time they will be closer: they are not afraid of humans.
The price is 500 pesos if you want to stay on the boat (why would you do that though?!) and 1000 pesos if you want to swim with the whale sharks. You can stay in the area for 30 minutes.
The protected area is just 100 meters from the beach.
Is it worth spending so many hours getting to Tan-Awan to swim with these creatures? Definitely yes!! Snorkeling with the whale sharks in Oslob has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life.
Keep calm…and snorkel with the whale sharks in Oslob!
How to photograph the whale sharks
If you want to photograph the whale sharks in Oslob it’s a good idea to get an underwater camera with a good wide-angle lens. Pretty much any action camera will work just fine.
Since I have a DSLR camera I opted for an underwater case.
What else you can do in Oslob
Swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob will take only the morning so you’ll have the whole afternoon to do something else. It’s a good idea to visit the amazing Tumalog Falls, just 5 minutes from Tan-Awan.
To conclude the post you can watch the video that I recorded in Oslob. You can see how close you can get to the Whale Sharks.
What about you? What is the most amazing experience of your life?
Here you can see other pictures of the Philippines and here a post about Bohol another beautiful place to visit in the Philippines. Here is the complete travel guide to the Philippines. Here are my travel guides to Ao Nang and Phi Phi Island in Thailand.