Guide on how to get to Oslob whale shark watching

Visiting Oslob, Cebu to watch the whale sharks is a popular activity for tourists in the Philippines. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you plan your trip:

Air Asia Airlines going to Cebu Philippines

Air Asia Airlines going to Cebu Philippines

Getting to Oslob

  1. Fly to Cebu City: The nearest major airport to Oslob is Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Cebu City.
    • Another option is to book a flight to Dumaguete City, which is part of Negros Oriental, but the flights are very limited. Dumaguete airport is only for domestic flights. (so we will skip this for now)
  2. From Cebu City to Oslob:
    • Bus: Head to the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Take a bus bound for Bato via Liloan (approximately 3-4 hours). Ask the driver to drop you off at Tan-awan in Oslob. All people in Cebu knows where this is.
    • Private Car or Taxi: You can hire a private car or taxi for a more comfortable and quicker ride (around 2.5-3 hours), much faster and it’s private.
    • Van: If you are in a big group, we recommend booking a private van to Oslob then taking a public bus. which can be faster and of course it will be exclusive to your group.

Watching the Whale Sharks in Oslob

Oslob whale shark watching

Oslob whale shark watching

  1. Best Time to Visit:
    • Whale shark watching is best early in the morning, from 6 AM to 11 AM. The sea is calmer in the morning, and the visibility of the whale sharks is better, unless there is a typhoon.
  2. Registration and Fees:
    • Upon arrival in Oslob, go to the Whale Shark Watching Briefing Center in Tan-awan, it is just a few meters away from the highway where you will be dropped by the bus.
    • Register and attend the mandatory briefing on the do’s and don’ts of whale shark interaction.
    • Pay the fees: As of May 2024, it’s fixed PHP 500 for both locals and foreigners for snorkeling or watching from the boat.
  3. Guidelines and Safety:
    • Follow all the guidelines provided during the briefing. These include keeping a distance of at least 4 meters from the whale sharks, not touching them, and not using flash photography. Violators will be fined f not less than PHP 2,500. Also, please do not apply sun block, you will not be allowed to swim with them.
  4. Gears and Duration:
    • Snorkeling gears, the mask and snorkeling tube) are provided. You can bring your own if you prefer. Life jackets are also provided after the briefing.
    • The interaction lasts for about 30 minutes. You can swim again, if you will be paying another PHP 500.

Other Activities in Oslob


  • Sumilon Island: Visit nearby Sumilon Island for its long sandbar, and crystal-clear waters, and marine sanctuary where you have the option to snorkel for additional fees.
  • Tumalog Falls: A short ride from the whale shark area, Tumalog Falls is a majestic and beautiful place to visit. The falls was closed by the local government unit due to no water since March 2024.
  • Oslob Heritage Park: Explore the historical sites like the Cuartel and Baluarte. This park is just in front of the parish church in Oslob proper which is around 10 KM from the whale shark watching area.


Accommodation in Oslob

Accommodation in Oslob

  • Hotels and Resorts: There are several hotels and resorts in Oslob ranging from budget to mid-range. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak season. You can also have us arranged your accommodation in Oslob.
  • Local Homestays: For a more immersive experience, consider staying in a local homestay.


  • Bring Cash: There are ATMs in Oslob but it’s best to bring enough cash for souvenirs and other things you might want to buy on the way.
  • Waterproof Bags: To keep your belongings dry, especially if you’re taking a boat ride or if you will get a private tour guide, he/she can take care of your belongings.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential as it can get quite sunny but not advisable when swimming with the whale sharks.

Following these steps will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Oslob to watch the whale sharks. Have a safe travels!

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Cebu Tours is owned by an individual who loves to travel around the Philippines and other countries. Seeing Cebu as a beautiful place for both local and foreign tourists, that's when came into reality. This website now offers tours in Cebu and Bohol and other neighboring islands. Book online and get instant confirmation of your tours.

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