Scuba diving in Donsol
Donsol is located in the province of Sorsogon. Enjoy Snorkeling and scuba diving in its water with manta rays and whale and hammerhead sharks. The surrounding islands like Miguel Island is home to many beautiful dive sites see the Donsol diving map for more details. There are some wreck sites that are great for technical divers.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with Donsol diving centers for safety, additional information, level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Average annual temperature: 26°C to 36°C (80° F to 96 ° F).
Average Water surface temperature: From 26°C to 30°C (80 °F to 86°F).
Average visibility: 32 to 98 feet (10 to 30 meters) depending on the tied.
Best time to dive from November to May.
Possible to dive all year round.
Donsol is home to many kinds of aqua life. Manta rays visit this area from December to May; whale sharks also come during the period from March to May. Look for whale sharks on the eastern side with great view of Mayon volcano. These gentle giants measure from 15 feet to 60 feet (5 to 18 meters) long; and allow divers to swim, play and interact with them. The current may vary from medium to strong.
In Donsol, Sorsogon province the diving is mainly concentrated around the whale sharks and manta rays that can be seen here. The whale sharks come to the Donsol area from January to May to mate and also because then there are large amounts of plankton. However they could start arriving as early as October and November. They can be seen in large numbers at a time, sometimes up to 15-20 whale sharks at a time which is quite impressive. They may grow up to 18m and the rich currents that flow through the San Bernardino Strait and into the Visayas provide plankton and krill for them to feed on. You don't need to be a diver to enjoy these fascinating creatures, you can embark on your adventure with just your snorkeling equipment.
Another highlight in Sorsogon south of Donsol is Bulan in the Ticao Pass where you can dive in the Manta Bowl. These graceful and powerful swimmers gather to feed on the rich plankton waters. December to May is the best time to see manta rays in Donsol; see the Philippines photo gallery for some of these beautiful creatures. The manta ray is very large and therefore it would have some difficulty cleaning itself. However the water conditions in Donsol are favorable for wrasse which is abundant here and manta rays count on wrasse to take small parasites away from their bodies and gills. So they don't only gather in Donsol to feed but also to clean up. Manta rays are harmless unlike the sting ray which is from the same family but which has a stinging spine.
San Miguel Island is a spectacular area with beautiful dive sites. Its caves are home to many kinds of sea life. This island is famous for its untouched corals and varied and rich macro life. Underwater photographers will appreciate this site a lot.
There are some other good dives off Sorsogon apart from whale sharks and manta rays. On the western side of Ticao you can dive on St Jerome's Rock which is a great dive. On this dive site you drop about 20 meters (70 feet) to get to a little rock that is teeming with fish. Depending on the time and day the currents can be weak to very strong. For the more experienced diver there is the Abyss which is a series of deep walls close to St Jerome's Rock. The current here also varies from weak to strong.