Let’s Swim with the Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu! [COMPLETE GUIDE]

No, Whale sharks are NOT going to swallow you whole. How could these filter feeders (can neither bite nor chew) possibly fit a human inside their esophagus when it only measures inches across?

Whale sharks are as gentle as they are massive, and they are the largest fish in the world! These docile creatures do not consider humans as food, so the chances of you ending up in their belly like Pinocchio is zero!

About Oslob Cebu

Oslob is a small, quiet coastal town located in the south of Cebu. Cebu City is a rapidly developing city, growing more and more urbanized by the year. If you want to take a break from the bustle for a short while, visiting Oslob and swimming with the whale sharks will surely provide you with the relief you seek. 

Not only will you witness the beauty and gentle nature of the whale sharks firsthand, but you will also be helping the friendly Oslob locals maintain their livelihood. As Oslob is a small quaint municipality, finding employment is quite hard for the residents. They are dependent on the tourism the town brings.

Oslob is also surrounded by lovely tourist spots that will delight nature lovers. Why not visit Tumalog Falls, or perhaps take a ferry to Bohol Island after meeting the Whale sharks?

Whale Sharks Will not Harm You!

Do you remember the school bus that took you and other kids to school back then? The average Whale shark is around the same size– 18 to 32.8 feet long! They may also weigh a whopping 19,000 kilograms on average. But do not be fooled by their huge size and mass. These creatures pose no threat to humans.

They are very peaceful creatures.
Come with your friends!

In fact, there have been accounts of Whale sharks allowing humans to play with them or to catch rides on their backs. So towards humans, they either want to play with us or simply ignore us.

Things You Must Know Before Your Trip

These are some important information to keep in mind before planning for your trip.

Whale shark diving and watching cost only Php 500!

Whale sharks are called Butanding in Cebuano.

Yes, you read that right. For the interest of solo travelers, as of February 2022, Whale shark viewing and diving is only Php 500 (roughly 10USD)!

Oslob also offers Whale Shark Viewing

Look at this Whale shark go! They only eat small shrimp, fish, and plankton.

If you feel hesitant about diving and swimming with the Whale sharks, you may opt for a viewing experience instead. It will still cost you the same amount, though.

You need to be an early bird!

Head to bed early the night before your trip!
Greet the sunrise on your way to Oslob.

The locals, only allow watching and diving from 6 AM to 11 AM! So yes, you are going to have to start your day really early.

Traveling from Mactan to Oslob will take around 4 hours, and 3 hours for a land trip from Cebu City. Hence, visitors typically get up at around 3 or 4 AM so that they may arrive when business begins for the day in Oslob.

There may be a queue when you get there, but it moves rather quickly!

You won’t be swimming the whole day.

No two Whale sharks share the same spot design on their backs. Just like our fingerprints!

Whale shark watching and swimming is a 30-minute long activity.

Getting to Oslob to meet the Whale Sharks

There are different ways of getting to Oslob. On your own, you may take a taxi, Ceres bus or make use of your own private car, but you may also avail yourself of a tour package. 

Be informed that if you are traveling from Mactan or Cebu City, the land trip to Oslob is going to take you 3 hours… So in total, that’s 6 hours!

Avail a tour package from CSP Cebu

It is much more convenient and safer to book a tour package.

Japanese comfort and security with Filipino warmth and hospitality!

What are the upsides of availing of a tour package from CSP Cebu?

  • Tour guides and drivers will assist you and see to it that you get to your destination safely.
  • We want to make things easier for you– we can pick you up at your hotel!
  • No worries about getting lost and dealing with the language barrier.
  • You will get to use our GoPro cameras… for free!
  • There is a money-back guarantee. In the event that you were unable to enjoy certain activities (e.g. the whale shark viewing was unexpectedly closed), you will be issued a full refund!
  • Availing a tour package means making the most of your day by visiting neighboring tourist spots and islands!

These tours are all certified by the Philippine Ministry of Tourism.

Choose your CSP tour package!

Build memories you will cherish for a lifetime!
Whale shark and Tumalog Falls Tour (11 hours)

Price: Approx. Php 4, 200 / adult

Enjoy Whale shark watching and visit the mysterious Tumalog Falls! Have a meal at an ocean-view restaurant and take photos with our GoPro cameras. Return to Cebu City in the afternoon with enough time to end the day with some shopping.

Price: Approx Php 7, 500 / adult

Meet the world’s largest fish and the world’s second-smallest primate: the Bohol tarsier. Let’s not forget the picturesque Chocolate Hills, where more than 1,200 hills are lined up! It’s the perfect backdrop for your vacation photos.

Whale shark and Bohol Island Tour (15 hours)
Whale shark, Sumilon Island and Kawasan Falls Tour (16 hours)

Price: Approx. Php 5, 400 / adult

The beautiful Kawasan Falls, Whale shark diving, and Sumilon Island all in one day?! If you want to feel fulfilled at the end of the day, this tour package is for you.

Price: Approx. Php 6, 500 / adult

This tour is perfect for families! These physical activities will surely delight children. Snorkeling, canyoneering and whale shark viewing will guarantee a fun day!

Whale shark, Sumilon Island and Aguinid Waterfalls Tour (14 hours)
Whale shark and Moalboal Tour (14 hours)

Price: Approx. Php 8, 500 / adult

What’s charming about the Philippines is its rich marine life. The enchanting Oslob Whale sharks, Moalboal Sea turtles, schools of fish, and the corals will charm you for a lifetime. Customers who have participated claim that the sceneries are “the most beautiful ever.”

Booking your CSP tour package

Have you chosen your tour? Inform us through Facebook or email!

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Using a taxi

You may have to spend around Php 3,000 in total (for your ride there and return) if you will be availing of a taxi due to the metered fare, distance, and traffic. A one-way trip to Oslob will cost you around Php 1,500. 

Photo Courtesy of SM City Cebu

You will have to negotiate with the taxi drivers especially if you are informing them on short notice. As mentioned earlier, a trip to Oslob and back will amount to 6 hours. This has not taken into account the time you will be spending on the island, so the driver will not only be sending you there but will have to wait until your trip is over.

Contact Cebu Taxi Services

If you are keen on taking a taxi for your trip, here are some contact numbers of taxi services in Cebu:

TAXI SERVICECONTACT DETAILS
Airland Taxi(032) 255 1319
Atlax Taxicab(032) 253 6637
Blue Eye Taxi(032) 238 0307
Catz Taxi(032) 414 6449
Corominas Taxi0939 424 4492 (Smart)
Danny’s Cebu Taxi Service (Danao City)0906 153 4659 (Globe)
Good Shepherd Taxi(032) 345 0861
Holiday Taxi(032) 345 1622
Ken Taxi Services (Talisay City)0915 895 2544 (Globe)
Kevin Mitz Taxi(032) 255 1319
King Spider Taxi(032) 261 6655
Scorpion Taxi(032) 254 4335

Taking a Ceres Bus

Ceres Liners provide buses with routes that can take you to wherever you want to go in Cebu Island and back to the terminal. 

Photo Courtesy of Sunstar

If you wish to contact the terminal’s management, their landline number is (032) 253 3830.

Getting to the Bus Terminal

Where do you board a bus headed for Oslob? You would have to go to South Bus Terminal first. It is located in N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City 6000.

Photo from Daily Tribune (Roel Restauro)

They are open 24/7 and are functional even on holidays. 

You may have to take a taxi to get there. Fortunately, all taxi drivers know how to get to the terminal. Common taxis will charge you Php 40.00 at flag fall and for the first 500 meters.

TIP! Expect long lines and crowds during peak travel dates (breaks and holidays).

Find the buses headed for Oslob

Photo from Sunstar (Amper Campana)

Next step: you have to look for the bus(es) headed for Oslob. You may ask locals to help you. 

Due to the high volume of passengers, the buses leave for Oslob every 30 minutes. 

It will still take you around 3 hours to get to Oslob if you’re using the bus. 

How much is the bus fare to Oslob?

The trip to Oslob on the bus will cost you Php 300. This means that if you take into account your return trip, it will amount to Php 600 in total (12 USD). 

Photo from CDN Digital
Photo from CDN Digital

To pay, look for the ticketing counter. 

The Dont’s before you dive with the Whale Sharks

The following are important things to remember to ensure that unfavorable incidents will not occur:

All visitors will be given an orientation before the activity.

Although the Whale sharks are cute and used to humans, this does not give anyone the right to do anything they want. Touching, riding, and chasing a whale shark are strictly prohibited.

Furthermore, flash photography may scare them, so people should stick to regular mode on their cameras or not take photos at all. For those who will be going into the water, wearing sunscreen is not allowed so the water stays safe for marine life.

REMEMBER!

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time.

Photos of the Whale Sharks

Oslob locals are hospitable and energetic! The divers who will accompany you can take your photos.

Why not visit Moalboal too and meet the sea turtles?

Summary on Swimming with the Whale Sharks

1. Whale sharks are harmless creatures.

2. Oslob Whale shark viewing/diving is now only Php 500!

3. Wake up at 3AM to get to Oslob by 6AM!

4. Availing a tour package is the safest and most convenient way to get to Oslob.

5. Have fun but make sure to comply by the rules.

Experience the magic of swimming next to the largest creatures on the planet. Gathering such experiences and storing them in your heart are just some of the beauties of traveling.