The Philippines, among other things, is known for its whale watching destinations. Oslob happens to be one of those destinations. “How to get to Oslob?” is a very good question, since the Philippines can be quite hard to research. And I’m here to tell you all about it.
If on your itinerary you are traveling to Cebu, Oslob is a must-stop place. But like most of the stuff around the Philippines, you must know things you need to know beforehand. You need to be aware of what to do and what not to do.
One of the Google’s most frequently asked questions is “How to get to Oslob from Cebu City?”. And we even have a blog post about this here. It is not about having a map or anything like that; you have to know some things and maybe follow some of my tips.
I’m going to try my best to bring you to the wonderful and picturesque town of Oslob in Cebu City. So, start planning now. I will even give you some hotel tips. I know, I’m great!
What can you do in Oslob?
Check out the Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island is a great spot for you to add to your list. A visit is a must. It is a few minutes by boat from the port only.
Sumilon island is known to be home to some of the best sea creatures and reefs in the country.
It featured several diving spots and other options if you want just go for snorkeling. A great choice for spending the night there is a Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.
You can also visit the Baluarte
One of the top places of Oslob is the Baluarte. As you may know, the Philippines were conquered by the Spanish for a while. And yes, this is the reason why so many names of things in the country sound very close to Spanish. And those people left behind a lot of legacies, and one of them is the Baluarte.
The term Baluarte can be translated to watchtower or something, and it was built back in 1788. There were six of them during the Spanish era, but now there’s only one. The Baluarte in Oslob is the only standing of its kind today, and this is one of the reasons why you should go.
And of course, swim with the whale sharks
This is the part you’ve been looking for: swimming with whale sharks and other creatures. When people search for “How to get to Oslob?” they are usually after whale sharks. Oslob, as I mentioned before, if well known for this.
But before giving you the tips, I have to say something that for people already familiar with South East Asia, it won’t come as a surprise. But if you’re not, please pay attention.
Some of the tours and activities offered in countries from S.E.A. are very cruel to the animals. As well as all over the world, I have to add. There are shitty humans all over the place. My point is poorer countries sometimes show more misinformation about animal welfare. They are not the ones to blame, but victims as well. Even though this is a talk for another post, not one about “How to get to Oslob?” and Whale Sharks. Sustainability and responsible travel are terms not so often seen on the top of priorities.
So what you can do not to contribute to animal abuse? You can do a bit of research to see the best companies around for starter. And of course, follow the rules of not touching the animals is a must. Even though sometimes those rules are overlooked by the people (customers and staff!). Don’t be one of them even if the rest of the group is doing it. Actually, say something and make it a big deal.
Whale sharks are very docile and calm but touching them or feeding them wrong food can seriously hurt them. So before you choose your tour company, make sure they are following all the standard rules.
How to get to Oslob?
Oslob is on the very south part of Cebu island. What it is called the Cebu Strait. This part of the island is blessed with white sand beached and deep blue clear water. Also, it is a place where large fishes usually hang out. So, checking them out is a must. Just please pay attention to do it in the most sustainable way possible. That means no touching, no interfering, no nothing. Besides googling “How to get to Oslob?” you should google too “How to get to Oslob and do all the activities in the most responsible way possible?”
How to get to Oslob with Public transport?
How to get to Oslob From Cebu City
From Cebu city, head to the South Bus Terminal and look for the Ceres Bus bound to “Bato via Liloan.” Ask the bus driver to let you know when Tan-Awan Oslob stop is, and if it gets confusing, say you’re looking for whale sharks. From the stop to the whale sharks is just a few minutes walking along the highway.
Prepare to be on this bus for at least 3 hours, so pack water, food and a comfy pillow. And some nausea medication if you have motion sickness, the road is quite curvy. It will cost you about PHP 150.00 to 200.00 per passenger.
How to get to Oslob From Dumaguete
If you find yourself in Dumaguete City, head to the Public Market. Then take a deep breath and start looking for a jeepney or multi-cabs going to Sibulan Port. Jeepneys are the most popular way to go from point A to B in the Philippines. They are as traditional as they are uncomfortable. Keep this in mind.
At the Port pay the fee for the ferry or fast craft going to Liloan Santander Cebu. I will always recommend the fast ferry, but I suffer a lot with motion sickness, so for me is different. The less time I spend inside a boat, the better.
Once you are in Liloan Port, grab the Ceres bus going to Cebu City. Let the bus attendant know you need to drop off
at Oslob Whale Shark Bay. Be aware that sometimes they can just drop you off at a resort with “whale watching” signboard by the door. Please make sure you have internet available; it can save you a lot of time.
If you are ok with taking a tour from a resort – which is also a valid option – you can. Usually, resorts will charge you PHP 100.000 for using toilets, transportation, and blablabla.
But if you prefer to go to the Whale Shark Watching, also fine. Just keep this in mind.
How much is the fee for swiming with the whale sharks in Oslob?
Now an essential information about the fees you’ll need to pay to experience the swim with a whale shark. Pay close attention because scammers are everywhere and the more misinformed about stuff, the easier the target you are.
- A local tourist Fee for whale shark watching is around PHP 300.00. This fee included life vest only if you want to swim or snorkel with them, add a PHP 200.00 to the amount.
- A foreign tourist fee for watching or stay in the boat PHP 500.00
And another PHP500.00 if you like to swim or snorkel.
And that means that if you hold a Philippino passport, you’ll pay less. Which is reasonable due to the extreme poverty of the country. Tourists from abroad will pay more. And just to let you aware of the currency exchange, PHP 500.000 is less than 8€.
Other useful information besides how to get to Oslob?
Whale shark Diving and not just snorkeling
If you really want to dive with those creatures, you’ll need to show your dive license before. It may sound obvious to some, but not to everybody.
If you don’t have one, you can get your dive license at Sidive in Mactan Island, Cebu. You can do this in 3 days before you go to the Whale sharks.
Extra tips everybody can use
I don’t want to sound crazy, but trust me when I say: The best is to leave the Cebu City as early as 4 AM. With this, you can arrive at Oslob before it gets too crowded.
You can also avoid the public transport and hire a legit tour operator. Just to make sure that advance arrangement and coordination has been made. Sometimes, if you’re not so good at planning and following schedule on your own, this is the best.
Another tip is very non-obvious. Never – I mean NEVER – go to the water with sunblock if you plan to snorkel or dive with whale sharks. That goes hand in hand with the leaving time at 4 AM tip, since arriving early also lessen your chances of getting sunburn.
Sunblock or any other lotion can harm those beautiful creatures. On this day, don’t use moisturizing, sunscreen, hair stuff or any leave-in for your hair.
Things You Shouldn’t Do When at the Whale Shark Watching Site
Like I said before, there are so NOs if you’re planning to swim with whale sharks. Those are some of the things you shouldn’t (mustn’t!) do at any costs.
- Don’t Touch the animals in ANY situation. If they for some reason get close to you, start to move away.
- Don’t give food to the whale sharks. Let the people with knowledge about their diet do.
- Don’t play tag with them. In other words, don’t chase them. Just allow them to swim and go where ever they please. Besides, if something happens, I can guarantee you they will end up less hurt than you.
- And of course, no sunscreen/location/products. The water’s condition in the whale shark’s feeding area could get affected due to your skin and hair products, and we don’t want that.
Some of the hotels we recommend in Cebu City and Oslob
For Cebu city, our picks are Toyoko Inn Cebu, Rumah Highlands Hotel, Summit Galleria Cebu, Cebu R Hotel Mabolo and the outstanding Maayo Hotel. All of them offers free wifi and are very clean, but the Maayo Hotel and the Rumah Highlands Hotel have fantastic pools. Which for me, it is a plus.
I usually don’t stay a lot inside the hotel, like you can tell. But to relax after a whole day of activities, a pool is a very nice plus.
And for Oslob, our recommendations are Sascha’s Resort Oslob, Down South 118 Beach Resort, Germaroze, Luna Oslob Travellers Inn and the Island View Pension House resort. All are equipped with wifi, and most of them are with proximity to the beach or a private beach. For the Sumilon Island, I already mentioned the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.
I won’t go to all the abouts of each option because I guarantee them. Either because we visited or because close friends stayed. I’m trying to give you a broad range of styles and prices here, but I wouldn’t go to the cheapest option because of cleanliness. After all, Philippines is very tropical. I’m from Brazil; I know what heat means. Means sometimes unwanted six-legged visitors, if you get what I mean.
I hope you enjoyed this post about how to get to Oslob and what to do in Oslob. If any you have any question regarding this subject, I heartily invite you to join us on our Facebook Group.