You have probably heard about it, but in case you haven’t – you can watch, snorkel, or dive with whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu!
Ten (10) kilometers away from the center town of Oslob in Cebu, is the small barangay of Tan-awan. There, whale shark watching is a hit among many tourists. Both local and international travelers visit the town to get a closer look at these gentle giants. If like them, you also want to see the whale sharks for yourself while enjoying a great swim in the clear waters; then you better pay them a visit.
But first, a quick rundown on how it all began.
Oslob Whale Shark Watching started in September 2011. Very few knew about this attraction at first until the news hit the internet two months later. By December of that same year, local fishermen started interacting with the whale sharks by feeding them (which nowadays is highly discouraged). Large numbers of tourists then flocked to Tan-awan to do the same.
There are three access points to get to Oslob. And if you’re planning to watch whale sharks anytime soon, this guide on how to get you there will come in handy.
1. How to get Oslob from Cebu City
Ride a bus to Oslob at Cebu South Bus Terminal. The terminal is beside Elizabeth Mall, or E Mall, as the locals call it. Don’t worry about getting on the wrong bus because there will be boards displayed clearly to guide you on which bus goes where. If you want to be sure, the guards and staffs are friendly and will be more than happy to offer assistance.
Bus Fare (as of December 2013), Cebu – Oslob (Ceres buses):
Air-conditioned –155 php
Non-air-conditioned – 150 php
You can leave the city as early as 1am. The earliest bus trips are non-air-conditioned. See Ceres bus schedule via Oslob.
2. How to get to Oslob from Bohol
For those of you who are going to Oslob from Bohol, you will need to take a ferry to Cebu. Ferries offer speedy passenger services and the trips are daily.
Also, there are a number of ferries available for you to choose from, including Super Cat, Ocean Jet, Weesam Express, Kinswell Shipping Lines Inc., Starcraft, Sea Jet, and Lite Jet. These ferries will either dock at Cebu City Pier 4 or Pier 2. For more precise info (rates, schedules, etc.), kindly visit their respective websites.
Note: Bohol – Cebu routes via Panglao, Bohol (hiring private boats) are usually cheaper and faster.
From the pier, take a cab or jeep (if you’re familiar with Cebu City jeep routes) to South Bus Terminal.
3. How to get to Oslob from Dumaguete City
If you’re from Dumaguete City or flying in from Manila to Dumaguete to get to Oslob, travel is also quite fast and easy. From Dumaguete airport, hire a tricycle to take you to Sibulan Port. Special trips will most likely cost somewhere between 60 Php – 100 PHP, depending on your haggling skills. Travel time is only 10-15 minutes.
Sibulan port is quite small and there are limited seats for waiting passengers. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait too long because there are trips to Liloan Port every hour. Fast craft fare is 62 PHP (as of September 2013). Liloan Port in Cebu is located south of the province. From there, ride the bus that will take you North, to Oslob. Ceres buses are just outside the port waiting for passengers.