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Exploring Cebu: Oslob Whale Shark Watching!

For this trip we will be heading to Oslob, Cebu to go swimming with the sharks! Just kidding, It's just whale-sharks or "butanding". Oslob is a municipality located in the southeastern part of Cebu Province, which is around 115 KM away from the busy city of Cebu. It's very popular now for whale-shark watching, but there are other destinations like Tumalog falls and Sumilon Island.

Whale-shark watching point, Oslob, Cebu

How to get there

In Cebu city, go to South Bus Terminal in N. Bacalso Ave., then ride a bus bound for Brgy. Tan-awan, Tell the bus conductor that you will be whale-shark watching. They will drop you off to the nearest resort in Tan-awan. Many resorts are along the highway so it's very convenient.

Bato via Lilo-An
There are air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses. An A/C bus (Ceres) costs PhP 150. The ride will be approximately 3 hours. I suggest that you take the trip very early at around 3 or 4 am so that you will reach Oslob around 6-7 am because the whale-sharks are mostly seen in the morning.

Good Morning Oslob!

RESORTS and Fees

There are many resorts around where you can change to your swimming attire and use their shower rooms. They also have lockers where you can put your stuff while you're whale-shark watching. If you don't have an underwater camera, you can also rent from them for PhP 500.00. There is an entrance fee by the way. We paid PhP 100.00 each person for our resort entrance which also includes a cottage.

We stayed at Aaron Beach Resort



 For whale-shark watching, local and foreign tourist have different rates. Here are the rates for local tourists:
  • Whale-shark Watch: PhP 300.00
  • Snorkeling Gear: PhP 200.00
  • Scuba Diving (without gear): PhP 600.00
Whale sharks!

DO's and Don'ts

After paying the necessary fees, you will proceed to the briefing area for the orientation. A list of do's and don'ts will be discussed.
View from the boat ride going to the briefing area

Some of the important guidelines are:
  • Do not touch or ride the Whale Shark
  • A maximum of 6 swimmers per whale shark is allowed, and only 1 boat per whale shark.
  • Do not restrict the movement of the Whale Shark, or impede its natural path
  • Do not use flash photography
Additional to that is, DO NOT PUT SUNBLOCK LOTION ON. Some of its contents maybe harmful to the whale-sharks. If you had put your sunblock on, you must remove it at the shower stations near the briefing area.

Washed off our sunblock before getting in the boat 

Swim with the big fishes!

After the orientation, time to see some whale-sharks! The boat will take you to the spot where the whale-sharks are. They are being fed with krill by some tour guides so tourists can watch and swim with them closely.

Whale-sharks loves krill
This one is inviting us to get in the water
There he goes!
 At first you won't see how big they are but once you jumped in the water and see them up close, you will swim back to the boat (yeah, I did that lol!). But then, they are not aggressive and swim very gentle. Just be careful not to touch them and remember to keep the distance since they are still wild animals and you wouldn't know what will they do.

He's busy eating
Fact: The whale shark has 300 tiny teeth in its mouth, but the function of these teeth is unknown! (source)
I don't usually take selfies, but when I do..
Check out their patterns, It's unique just like a fingerprint
That whale shark is doing a tail-stand
Just keep swimming!
I really enjoyed this activity. It was definitely a superb experience and worth the travel. I hope that the locals and tourists will continue to observe the guidelines properly to have this magnificent creature protected.

It's Awesome!

QUICK TIPS

  • Cebu City to Oslob is approximately 3-hour ride
  • Resorts in Oslob also offers overnight accommodation
  • Whale-shark watching is from 6am to 1pm
  • Do not put sun-block lotion on
  • You may rent an underwater camera at the resort for PhP 500.00
  • Visit Tumalog waterfalls after whale-shark watching, It's awesome!

  • *Travel Tip: If your next destination is to Panglao, Bohol, you may ask the resort if you can hitch a ride on the pump boats from Bohol (tourists from Bohol that also went whale-shark watching) so you don't need to go back to Cebu city. They usually charge PhP 750+. It cost more than the fast ferry but it will save you time (Oslob to Bohol via Cebu is around 5 hours, 3-hours bus ride and 2-hour ferry ride while the pump boat is around 2.5-3 hours).

    EXPENSE

  • Transportation, A/C bus: PhP 150.00
  • Resort entrance + locker: Php 100.00
  • Whale-shark watching fee: PhP 300.00
  • Snorkeling gear: PhP 200.00
  • Breakfast at Resort: PhP 100.00

  • Whale Shark Watching Video


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    Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

    10comments:

    1. Hi! May I know the resort where you availed the locker?

      ReplyDelete
    2. Hi Enah, we went to Aaron Beach Resort :)

      ReplyDelete
    3. Hi mike possible ba na dumiretso from kawasan /badian canyoning to oslob?

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      Replies
      1. Hi Gofrugal, the whale-shark watching is until around 2 pm lang I think so if galing kayo from canyoneering in the morning, baka wala na kayo maabutan pag dating sa Oslob. Better if Oslob first, then canyoneering :)

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    4. Thanks mike. Or if para hndi pagod stay kami in the area? How many hours ang falls to oslob?

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      Replies
      1. Yup, better to stay. If falls from Samboan/Ginatilan it's just less than an hour from Oslob.

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    5. Hi there! Question for whale watching do we need to make reservation ahead of time? Or okay lang na once we get there na lng?

      ReplyDelete
    6. Hi, Who's your guide in Whale Shark Activity? thanks !

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      Replies
      1. Hi Jerremie, sorry, I can't remember his name, we just on the first resort we saw which is Aaron's Beach Resort.

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    7. Hi there

      I will be coming from Cebu city to oslob. I already have a hotel in Cebu city can I still go to the resort and just pay to visit the whale sharks? And does paying 500php for non residents mean I can't go down the water and can only view the whale sharks from the boat?

      ReplyDelete