Padre Burgos is the common start point for the fabulous whale shark watching available in Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte. So, how do you arrange a whale shark watching tour?
It is possible to negotiate with a boat owner at the town pier to take you on a whale shark watching tour. Before doing this you should consider the following:
- does the boat look suitable for what will be at least a 6 hour tour?
- is the boat powerful enough to take your group plus a guide and tow spotters in kayaks?
- do you have snorkels, masks & fins?
- will the boat captain exercise good and safe practice in the whale shark sanctuary?
- on top of the price you negotiate for the boat, you need to pay a number of fees at the whale shark sanctuary.
To ensure a positive answer to all of the above, and that there are no unpleasant surprises, the best advice is to book a tour with an established operator. There are 3 dive shops (Peter’s Dive Resort, Sogod Bay Scuba Resort, Southern Leyte Divers) who run regular tours throughout the whale shark watching season. They require a minimum number of at least 5 people, and often take considerably larger groups, and offer 1 scuba dive as part of the day’s package. Some of them also offer to do 2 dives if they fail to find whale sharks, but note that time and your own energy will probably make this less than appealing should that eventuality arise. Remember that only snorkeling with the whale sharks is permitted and that scuba diving with them is prohibited.
For non-divers, and for those divers who want a unique experience, Padre Burgos Castle Resort offers a fantastic tour including dolphin watching, snorkeling on a magnificent reef, a visit to historic and beautiful Limasawa Island and a barbecue lunch on the beach in addition to the standard guided whale shark watching. They run tours for a minimum of just 2 and a maximum of 5 people.
Whomever you go with, the chances of seeing whale sharks are the same – and very good indeed during the main season. All tours are required to pick up a local guide and use spotters to find the whale sharks, and 3 hours’ whale shark ‘interaction’ is included. The spotters, guides and the tour operators are all highly committed to finding as many whale sharks as possible for you. So choose the right tour for you, follow the rules to preserve the whale shark habitat and you can be assured of a stunning day in the beautiful and unique natural environment of Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte.