Donsol – the “Whale shark Capital of the World” is located at the southern boundary of the Bicol Peninsula, east of the province of Sorsogon. This third class municipality is the home of magnificent wonders of nature. It takes pride in their abundant gifts of nature that fascinated tourists for more than 10 years. Some of the remarkable must-see attractions in this town is the Donsol River that serves as the venue for annual festival events such as the fluvial parade and year-long attractions like Firefly Watching. Moreover, Donsol’s beach coast has taken tourists captive for its beautiful scenery that is most beautiful during sunset. But aside from that, the lush woodlands of Donsol also make it a perfect place to go nature sight-seeing. One may not take time to appreciate the town proper that appears mundane and quiet but in it lies a rich and vibrant culture.
Region: V (Bicol)
District: 1st District
No. of Brgys: 51
Income Classification: 3rd Class Municipality
Telecommunicatiions: Smart, Sun and Globe
Local Festival: Butanding Festival
- Dive with Manta Rays
Concurrent to the presence of the butanding are the manta rays, which also visit the waters of Donsol and nearby Ticao Island, Masbate at just about the same time. Divers frequent Ticao Island’s Manta Bowl Shoal and San Miguel Island for its several dive sites. The area is a known habitat of the manta ray—the world’s biggest rays. Divers can take an hour and a half boat ride from Donsol to Ticao Island to dive with the manta rays.
- River Cruising and Firefly Watching at Donsol River
When the sun sets, Donsol River comes to life with the light of a thousand fireflies and the murmur of visitors on bancas out on a firefly watching tour. Each banca stops on a spot in the mangrove that line the river to get closer to the fireflies. Here, the fireflies flicker and twinkle, which is meant to attract their mate, while leaving visitors in awe. While you’re at it, look further up and trace the constellations in the sky above. The river cruise provides the best of both land and sky—an amazing symphony of stars and fireflies in a cool, dark night in Donsol.
- Island Hop from Donsol to Ticao Island
From Donsol, go on an island hopping adventure towards Ticao Island. With a picnic basket and your snorkelling (or diving) gear ready, the boat will take you to Ticao to explore corals, caves and even a waterfall that flows directly to the sea. The ride takes about one and a half to two hours.
- Source: Text and Images from the Official Butanding Festival 2012 website; except the map of Sorsogon lifted from Wikipedia.