On this eco-friendly tour, you will get to swim with wild whale sharks in a protected and responsibly-managed environment. Considered the best place in the world to see the gentle giants, Donsol is also a paradise of soft-sand beaches and magnificent limestone rock formations. Besides seeing whale sharks in their natural habitat, you'll get to snorkel and relax around the islands of Ticao, and float down the amazing Firefly River as bright sparkles alight the surrounding forest.


  • Interact with whale sharks in a natural & environmentally responsible way
  • Island hop & snorkel around the beautiful beaches & lagoons of Ticao
  • Spend a magical evening floating down Firefly River in Donsol
  • See the active Mayon Volcano, which the locals consider sacred
  • Witness Catandayagan Falls plummeting straight into the ocean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Ticao Boat Tour Donsol
Day 2 Whale Sharks & Fireflies Donsol
Day 3 Depart from Legazpi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Ticao Boat Tour

Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Ticao
Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Ticao

Your adventure begins once you land in Legazpi, where you immediately get a stunning view of the sacred Mayon Volcano.

From here, you'll drive for about 1.5 hours to Donsol, and hop on a boat to visit the islands of Ticao. Spend an incredible day snorkeling coral reefs, enjoying white sandy beaches, and admiring the limestone rock formations around the islands. Highlights include swimming in beautiful lagoons with crystalline waters and seeing the magnificent Catandayagan Falls, which flow straight into the sea.

In the late afternoon, you'll head back to Donsol and spend the night at your beachside accommodations.

Plan your trip to Philippines
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 2: Whale Sharks & Fireflies

A whale shark up-close
A whale shark up-close

Get ready for an exciting day of wildlife encounters!

Donsol is considered the whale shark capital of the world, given its abundant population of these gentle animals. After breakfast, you'll have a briefing on how to appropriately interact with whale sharks before getting on a boat and heading out to look for them. A spotter will scan the water and signal the boat when sharks are spotted. Once the ship gets within 50ft (15m) of the animals, you'll be able to jump into the water with your guide and approach them. 

Whale sharks usually stay in the surface of the water to feed on plankton, and will keep swimming around if they remain undisturbed. To protect the animals (and yourself), you can only get up to within 6ft (2m) of them. Keeping your distance will also give you more time with them, as they tend to swim away if frightened.

After a tiring but unforgettable morning, you'll spend a relaxing afternoon on the beach. Take in as much sunshine as you can and enjoy the beauty of Filipino beaches. 

In the early evening, you'll have another wondrous experience on Firefly River, named so because of the thousands of fireflies that alight the surrounding forest at night. As you float down the magical river, you'll feel as if you've entered a dreamland.

Day 3: Depart from Legazpi

Sunset in Donsol
Sunset in Donsol

Wake up early to take full advantage of your last morning in Donsol. Try to get a little beach time in or enjoy a delicious local breakfast. 

After three exciting days of adventure, you'll leave beautiful Donsol and return to Legazpi to catch an outbound flight.

We hope you enjoyed your time in the Philippines!


Map of Whale Shark Encounter in the Philippines: Ticao & Donsol - 3 Days
Map of Whale Shark Encounter in the Philippines: Ticao & Donsol - 3 Days