Best Donsol Snorkeling

The 6th most popular snorkel dive spot in Philippines.

  Visayas, Philippines


  February 14, 2018

Southeast of Manila and southwest of Legazpi City, the snorkeling around Donsol is best known for its whale sharks. From November to May, the warm waters of Donsol Bay are filled with plankton and krill that attract manta rays and whale sharks (aka Butanding). But, these water are not known for good visibility.

Donsol is in the province of Sorsogon to the south of Luzon Island. To reach Donsol from Manila, fly to Legazpi City. Then, catch a taxi to Donsol (60 minutes). Before going snorkeling, you’ll have to pay the manatory Conservation Fee. If you’re looking to snorkel with whale sharks, you’ll have to take a boat tour.

Another interesting snorkeling spot near Donsol is Ticao Island. It is located to the southwest and there are regular boats heading out. The gap between Donsol and Ticao Island is known as the Manta Bowl.

Tip - While snorkeling off Donsol, make sure to use a diver down flag since the boaters tend to drive fast and be unaware of snorkelers in the water.

The Philippine archipelago consists of over 7,100 islands stretching 1,840km and presents a snorkelers paradise. The warm, crystal clear waters are a haven for diverse marine life. With visibility up to 60m, the waters of the surrounding Pacific Ocean, Celebes Sea and South China Sea are habitat to 400 species of coral and over 2,000 species of fish including sharks, rays and turtles.

Overall, the Philippines are divided into the three main tourist regions, from south to north, of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. Each region has numerous tropical beaches and shallow reefs. The best time of year for snorkeling in the Philippines is the cool and dry months of December through March. The months of June to October are the rainiest months and are known to have typhoons.

To reach the Philippines from other countries, most people fly into Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) located on the south side of Manila in the Luzon region. It is served by 30 international airlines. Alternately, there are five other smaller international airports including Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Lapu-Lapu City (serving Australia, Singapore and Japan), Davao Airport (serving Indonesia and Singapore), Clark Airport, Subic Airport and Laoag Airport. Once in the Philippines, the main inter-island airlines are Cebu Pacific Air and Air Philippines. In addition to inter-island airlines, many of the 7,100 islands are interconnected by small ferry companies (usually very crowded). Recently, a newer high-speed SuperFerry has started to connect some of the islands and is known to be less crowded.

Overall, Donsol is the 6th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 30 snorkeling dives in Philippines.

Local Contacts:  Philippines Department Of Tourism (632) 459-5200

Best Season:  Dec. - Mar.

Luxury Loding:  Donsol Bay Resort; Elysia Beach Resort

Breakfast Restaurant:  Amor Farm Beach Resort; Vitton Beach Resort

GPS:  12.897531, 123.592973

Date Published:  1/4/2012

Date Updated:  2/14/2018

ID:  23222

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