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Dive Review of Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort in

November, 2015, an Instant Reader Report by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports)
"Whale sharks at Ticao Island"
Report Number 8651
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos; palau; Sipadan; Malapascua; Komodo; Maldives; Red Sea;
Caribbean; Hawaii; Folorida; Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There
via Manila. Direct flights
from Manila to Legazpi

Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
24   to 28    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
12   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
  For Subscribers Only
Large Fish
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Large Pelagics
  For Subscribers Only
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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[None] ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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3 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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3 stars   
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Ticao Island is a two hour transfer by boat from Donsol, one of the areas
in the Philippines which has whale shark aggregations each year. The
season is December through to February/March but for the past couple of
years the whale sharks have arrived earlier, in November. We couldnt
travel any later than the second week in November 2015, so took a chance
that the whale sharks would once again show up at that time. Ticao Island
itself is billed as a reliable manta location. Everything in the
Philippines was organised by our UK tour operator through Jessica at Donsol
Eco Tour, who run the whale shark experience at Donsol and the
accommodation and diving at Ticao Island. She was great. 
This was quite a complex itinerary. We had to fly to Manila airport,
arriving late in the evening and stay at a local hotel before going early
the next day to catch a flight to Legazpi; then a minibus transfer to
Donsol; have the 3 hour whale shark snorkelling experience and then get a
two hour boat transfer from there to Ticao Island. All the transfers went
smoothly  we were met at the airp ...
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Subscriber's Comments

By Jim Willoughby in OR, US at Jun 06, 2016 21:31 EST  
having done this exact same itinerary  I was surprised to see the 
feedback. We were at Ticao  two years ago and had some of the most amazing
dives I have ever been on.  During the week we never did the same dive site
twice  and  the coral and sea life was abundant and in pristine condition. 
I makes me wonder  why your group was not taken to those dive sites.  The
group that I was in  did take up the whole resort  so we could pretty much
dictate  where we went.  I am sorry to hear that you experience was not
better  as I rank Ticao as one of the best dive trips that I have been on.
I recently came back from 3 weeks in Raja Ampat and given the two  I would
go back to Ticao before Raja.  Funny how that works.
By Graham McGregor in ZZ, GB at Jun 07, 2016 02:55 EST  
Jim I'm glad you had a really great trip to Ticao. The resort was really
quiet when we were there, we were the only 3 divers during the week. Maybe
that stopped them taking us to more sites further away. The whale sharks
were amazing and made the trip. The other sites were distinctly avearage
and there was a complete absence of medium sized fish, which seems to be an
issue in parts of the Philippines based on my experience elsewhere.
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