Published on December 8, 2014
Experience the Philippines’ harmony with nature through these experiences that take you high into the mountains, and deep underwater too.
1.1. Donsol, Sorsogon and Oslob, Cebu Whaleshark Interaction Tours
Whale sharks (known locally as “butanding”) congregate in the waters off Sorsogon and Cebu, feeding on the locally abundant krill blooms. From Donsol and Oslob, tourists can ride a rowboat to the feeding grounds, then snorkel in the waters to mingle with these gentle giants. Interactions with the fish are limited by design: guests are not permitted to touch or chase the whale sharks, and trips last less than thirty minutes. The short meet-and-greets with the “butanding”, though, leave a lasting impression.
1.2. Pamilacan Island Whale and Dolphin Watching
Pamilacan Island’s former hunters of locally abundant large marine life have turned to protecting them instead. The waters off Pamilacan and Bohol islands teem with dolphins, Bryde’s whales, whale sharks and manta rays; visitors can board a boat off Bohol Island’s Baclayon Pier to see them up close. The boat’s spotters will direct guests’ attention to spinner dolphins, feeding whale sharks and other large denizens of the deep.
1.3. Ifugao Rice Terraces Trekking
At first sight, you’ll find it hard to believe that these ancient rice terraces were hewn out of the northern Cordillera by hand – but these 2,000-year-old paddies have stood the test of time, backed by little more than handheld tools and Ifugao muscle. A trek through these terraces will take you along dirt or concrete paths rimming the paddies, exposing you to a magnificent vista as far as the eye can see. Between hikes, you can visit one of the nearby villages to look at the local culture up close.