“When whale sharks were ‘discovered’ at this Luzon Island fishing village in 1998, it became one of the nation’s premier tourist destinations. Sightings are less frequent these days, but whale shark tourism is reportedly more ethical here than in Oslob, Cebu (where the sharks are fed).
- When to go: whale sharks generally arrive between November and June, peaking from February to April.
- Where to stay: surprisingly, Donsol is still a sleepy town with a handful of places to stay. Try Elysia Beach Resort (elysia-donsol.com) or Dancalan Beach Resort (www.facebook.com/pages/Dancalan-Beach-ResortDonsol).
- Operators: Donsol EcoTour (www.donsolecotour.com) and Whale Shark Adventure and Tours (donsolwhaleshark.net) both offer single day tours and multi-day packages from Manila.