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A popular destination for Whale Shark Watching

The southern tip of Cebu Island is home to several attractions such as Sumilon Island, Tumalog Falls and Olsob, known for the whale-shark interaction.
The whale sharks may be spotted in Tan-awan village which is about 10km from Oslob town centre. Being able to swim with these beautiful creatures is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How to get there:

The nearest airport to Oslob is Mactan-Cebu International airport.

Oslob is about 3 hour-drive from Cebu city.

If you are in Pangalao Island, Bohol you can hire a private boat to get to Olsob. When travelling during the rainy season be aware that in case of bad weather and rough sea you might end up getting stuck in Oslob because the boat might not be able to go back to Panglao.

If you’re from Dumaguete City you can take the public ferry from Sibulan Port to Liloan Port in Cebu From there, continue by bus or private vehicle to Oslob.

When to go

High season – from December to May. Christmas, New Year and Easter are the most busiest times of the year.

Low Season/Rainy Season –  From June to November

Whale Shark Season –  They can be spotted year round. Preferably go there weekdays when there’s not much crowd.

Controversial Tourism Attraction

Every day flock of tourists comes to Tan-awan village to interact with whale sharks.  The Oslob sharks are hand-fed, and this guarantees they will show up to thrill tourists.

Feeding whale sharks is an activity that causes great controversy with many scientists saying that it can change the behavior of the sharks and it’s harmful to the ecosystem.


If you prefer a more natural experience, you’ll likely find the whale-shark interaction programs in Donsol more to your liking.

Although the shark tourism in Olsob is chaotic and controversial, there are some benefits for the local community and for the sharks, which are alive and not lying dead, fins removed, in cold storage somewhere in Asia.

Swimming with the Whale Sharks

The interaction with the whale shark begins early in the morning and after a quick briefing, visitors board outrigger boats to see the sharks.

The interaction area is about 50 meters from shore. Visitors are allowed to swim with the sharks for a limited time of 30 minutes and must follow the rules: no touching, no riding, no flash photography, and keep at least 2 meters away from the sharks.

Swimming with whaleshark
Swimming with whaleshark

The whale shark is the largest species of any fish, known to reach more than 12 meters in length. Despite their huge mouths, whale sharks pose no risk to humans. Whale sharks are docile and slow-moving fish and their diet is limited to tiny micro-organisms.

To be underwater with these enormous, gentle creature is one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences.

Other activities

The whaleshark experience can be enhanced with other activities such as Sumilon Island, Kawasan Waterfalls and Tumalog Falls.

Sumilon Island is a coralline island surrounded by a fringing coral reef. The marine sanctuary off Sumilon Island is one of the best preserved in the Philippines. It consists of a 100-m wide fringing reef and sharp drop-off down a depth of 30m. Sumilon island is perfect for snorkeling, kayakaing and hiking.

Tourists visiting Sumilon Island's Sand Bar
Sumilon Island’s Sand Bar

Kawasan Falls comprises a series of three waterfalls; the largest cascades 20m into a massive swimming hole. Canyoneering at the Kawasan waterfalls is one of Cebu’s most extreme adventure.

Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls

Tumalog Falls is a beautiful waterfall just 10-minute drive from Oslob. Tumalog Falls has an impressive swimming hole surrounded by imposing cliffs.

Where to stay

There are a lot of budget-friendly accommodations in Oslob. As of now, there aren’t any luxury resorts/hotels in Oslob.