Oslob: Upclose with the Whalesharks

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to swim with the so called gentle giants, locally known as ‘butanding’?

Check this out for your bucket list and read our story below.

Getting There

If you are coming from Cebu/Carcar/Sibonga/Dalaguete/Boljoon

From South Cebu Terminal in Cebu City and along the town hiway, ride and wait for the bus with signage “Bato Via Oslob”. Tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy Tanawan tourism area.

From Cebu City, travel time is approximately 6 hours until Oslob.

Lovely view along the road

If you are coming from Moalboal/Badian/Alegria/Malabuyoc

Along the hiway, wait and ride for bus with signage “Bato via Barili” going to Bato terminal. From Moalboal town, the travel time is approximately 4 hours to Bato. When you reached the terminal, you can ride another bus bound to Cebu that will pass by Oslob. From Bato terminal, the travel time is approximately 1 hour going to Brgy Tanawan, Oslob.

Brgy Tanawan Elementary School

There are signages along the way to guide you on where the Oslob Tourism center is located.

Easy to follow road signs
Oslob Tourism Center – Entry signage


Step 1 : Enlist your names in the logbook /registration sheet upon entry at the Oslob tourism center.

Step 2 : Listen carefully and take heed of the do’s and dont’s at the briefing area. 

Step 3 : Pay your environmental/boat fees at the cashier area and get your receipts.

Rates for Filipinos:

300 php – whaleshark watching

500 php – snorkeling

600 php – scuba diving

Step 4 : Bring the receipt to verification area and know your queue number. Be attentive and wait for your number to be called.

Step 5 : When your number is called, proceed to the lifevest and snorkel renting area. A local will suit you up for the venture.

Our must haves for the activity

Step 6: Marshalls will guide you on what group you’re in. They will ask you to go to the shore line and wait for the paddle boats which will bring you to the jump off point.

Getting ready for the boat ride
Tour groups at the snorkeling area

Snorkeling Area

Off to go with the tour group

Within 5-10 minutes from the shore, you can now see those circling, swirling whalesharks at different (“huge”) sizes.

You will be given 30 minutes to swim, snorkel and observe the whalesharks while the fishermen are feeding them with shrimps.

The depth of the ocean will not scare you at all as you will be completely occupied by marvelling at the whalesharks.

It was definitely a great experience, terrifying at first but exciting as the time goes by. You will not even recognize that your time is already up any minute now.

Dont forget to take a memorable photo with your new found bestie!

Tips and Reminders

  • Its best to see the whalesharks at 6-8AM.
  • Go directly to the tourism area instead of booking from the resorts to save you from extra costs.
  • Sunblocks are not allowed as they can harm the whalesharks.
  • Its best to bring dry bags for your valuables, the boat is small and shaky.
  • You can rent go pro cameras in the cashier area for 100 php.
  • You can ask your local boatmen to take your photos, they are good in capturing whaleshark shots.
  • You will smell very fishy after the dip, you can rinse up at the wash rooms behind tourism area.
  • If you are planning for your itinerary, this activity will only cost you 2 hours.
  • There are souvenirs at the entrance of the tourism area like tshirts, ref magnets and mugs.

Meal after your Whaleshark Experience

You will definitely get hungry after the activity. No worries as you only need to get back at the hiway to see all the carinderias and restos floating around the area.

Our tipid-picks from the trip: 


If you are planning to stay overnight before or after the activity, you can check out Chateau De Tanawan which is infront of Brgy Tanawan Elementary School.

Rates: 700 for 2 pax

Other Points of Interest

After that tiring but fun-swim with the sharkies, spice up your itinerary with these other Oslob attractions:

  • Tumalog Falls
  • Sumilon Island Resort or Sandbar
  • Oslob Cuartel and Municipal Area
  • Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring

Read full story : Explore South Cebu – DIY Guide


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