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Dive Review of Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort in
Philippines

Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort: "Whale sharks at Ticao Island", Nov, 2015,

by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports). Report 8651.

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 Legazpi Getting There via Manila. Direct flights from Manila to Legazpi

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 24 to 28 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 12 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments [None] ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments 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 ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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