Oslob Whale Shark Watching

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In Oslob, Cebu, whale shark watching is the ultimate suggested activity. Needless to say, you must swim with whale sharks. It’s our second day in Cebu, and our first activity is whale shark watching!

Our itinerary for this day wasn’t as packed as yesterday. All of us had to be ready by 4 AM still. It wasn’t a problem because we all had a good night sleep.

Our travel time to Oslob only took 1h and 45m. Thanks to our driver, we were able to arrive early. I was asleep almost the entire trip, when we arrived it was already raining in Oslob. I have no idea how long it was raining, but it stopped! Yay!

Take note, we arrived there at 5:45 AM. Lots of people already filled the place! I didn’t expect it. I thought we were there first. Haha!

How to get there?

Whale shark watching is in a small barangay in Oslob, which is Tan-Awan. We traveled by van though, but it’s easy to commute from Cebu city.

  1. From Cebu city, go to Cebu South Bus Terminal
  2. Ride Ceres Liner bus (in Center wing) going to Oslob. Check the schedule here.
  3. The usual travel time is 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic. You can either ride an air-conditioned bus or an ordinary one. 
  4. Ask your conductor to drop you off at whale shark watching briefing area in Brgy. Tan-Awan.
  5. It’s along the highway, so you could see it right away.

How to sign up for whale shark watching?

The tour package that we availed includes this activity already. But, if you want to get a tour, you might want to check out this activity from Klook.

Meanwhile, there is no reservation; it’s a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s not a whole day activity though, it is only open from 6 AM to 12:30 PM every day. No wonder people want to arrive there early.

Before we start, our tour guide asked us whether we will just watch or swim with the whale sharks. Apparently, the fees depend on it. The fee includes the boat ride and one ticket is good for 30 minutes only.


  1. Watching
    • PHP 300 – local
    • PHP 500 – foreigner
  2. Snorkeling (includes snorkeling gears)
    • PHP 500 – local
    • PHP 1,000 – foreigner

How to prepare?

The briefing/orientation will start at 6 AM. They are requiring every tourist to attend the briefing. All important notes are discussed here; you can also raise your questions after the briefing.

Remember your group number. They will attend to your group one after another. Right after the briefing, you will now proceed to wear your life vests and get your snorkeling gears.

There are no rules on what you should wear. Just wear your most comfortable clothes!


Listen carefully to the briefing! But here are the two most important points:

  1. Do NOT touch a whale shark
  2. NO flash photography
  3. Do NOT wear sunscreen if you are going to swim with the whale sharks

My whale shark watching experience

Honestly, it was disappointing when I saw the boats near the shore. I was expecting that we will travel and go to the whale sharks. But, apparently, it’s the other way around. The boatman told us that the whale sharks go there on their own because of the food.

When you think about it, what they’re doing is unhealthy and not good for the environment. But, that’s another topic.

Anyway, they are definitely not within a net. Still, it’s disappointing! I still feel like they are imprisoned there for the tourists. I was hesitant to go down the water, but I still tried it somehow. It was a great experience. Though the whale sharks are far from us, I still panic because of its size.

Every group has only 30 minutes to swim with the whale sharks. My friends enjoyed it very much, but I went back to the boat after 5 to 10 minutes of being in the water.

When we went back to the shore, they are already calling the group number 80 and above. The boatman mentioned that it was not as packed as the usual. I cannot imagine the number of tourists that go there to swim with the whale sharks!

I cannot share more pictures because our photos are full of butts! The struggle of taking a photo of/with a whale shark is real. This activity was a different experience especially when we all panicked and got excited when the whale shark comes near us, and of course, we can’t take a proper group photo because of that.

Our day hasn’t ended yet because we went to Sumilon Island and visited Cuartel then Osmeña Peak! Read more about my Cebu trip here.

  1. Awesome blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping too start my own travel blog website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. I am hoping to blog about travelling in my home place the island of Cebu but i need to know the best way to start. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed … Any tips? Cheers! https://whalesharkoslob.com

  2. Hello, we are from Cebu Bohol Travel and Tours and we would very much applaud you with your coverage of the beautiful Oslob Whale Sharks. We are very glad that you were able to encounter such fantastic giants in the sea of Oslob. We find your post very personal and real. We would like to introduce also our company Cebu Bohol Travel and Tours and we offer also tours in Cebu North and South also most of the island hopping adventures like Kalanggaman, Pescador and malapascua. We are wondering if you can also give us a chance to be featured in your beautiful and very informative, not to mention very personal travel blog site. Just message us if you can accommodate our request and how we can be of service to you. Thank you and more power to you and your travel site. https://cebuboholtraveltours.com/

  3. Swimming with the whale shark in Oslob is awesome, but have you ever tried canyoneering in Cebu South in kawasan Falls. I would highly recommend this activity for you. It is a very challenging yet fullfilling experience for you and your group. Should you want to try it out we can help you at http://canyoneeringcebutours.com

    1. Crossing my fingers for you! I hope you can go there soon. There are several places that you can visit in Oslob. Don’t forget to visit Tumalog Falls. We didn’t go there, but I heard that it’s beautiful there. ?

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