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Spot Mount Mayon on the way to Donsol.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.de/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Philippines > Bicol > Donsol

Donsol Travel Guide

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Donsol is in Sorsogon, and most famous (read: only known for) snorkeling with whale sharks. Unfortunately, sightings are not at all guaranteed anymore in recent years.

There are 2 main areas in Donsol, what is called the city center, with small shops and food stalls, home stays and Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort, the only resort in the city center, and Dancalan, which is situated around the beach, west of the city center.

In Dancalan you will find the Visitor Center, most dive shops, and also the beach resorts except for Donsol Bay Resort which is located even further. There is no internet in Dancalan, only in the town center.

The townspeople are a very particular people. If you want to experience the life of the and walk among the locals, the town is the best place to stay.

Whale Sharks

Whale sharks, locally known as butanding, gather in the area six to nine months a year (November - June), with the numbers peaking from February to April. The largest fish in the world can grow up to 12 meters in length, and weigh many tons. They're considered a vulnerable species, and are protected in the Philippines. The first recorded sightings of baby whalesharks (under 24 inches) worldwide were recorded in 2009 in Donsol.


One of the few places in the world that holds night time firefly tour. Fireflies light up entire trees, giving off a serene scene. This can be done at the Donsol River or at the Ogod River.

Mount Mayon from Legazpi Airport.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.de/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Where to stay

Resorts in Dancalan are open only during the whaleshark season (December to May) and only Giddy's is the resort open all year round.

There are no landlines in Donsol and internet access is only in the town center. Giddy's is the only resort with internet and offers free WIFI for their resort and restaurant guests.


There is no ATM in Donsol so transactions are all cash basis. Giddy's Place is the only resort with credit card facilities and they do not put a surcharge on transactions (including diving) except those that are whaleshark related. The nearest ATM is in Legaspi City where the airport is located and is about 1 hr 15 min from Donsol by private van.

To exchangeEuros or US dollars, ask at Amor Resort or Hernandez Guest House, but the rate can be more than 10% less than the official one (teling you false numbers on rates in Legaspi). Alternatively in a pinch you can purchase meals and avail of accommodations and activities at Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort using a credit card.

Except for the payment for the rooms, Casa Bianca accepts U.S. Dollars and Euros for the meals. Strictly following the exact exchange rates in Legazpi.

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