Travel Advisories

TRAVEL INFORMATION

WEATHER & BEST TIME TO VISIT

Except for the Whale Shark Interaction, all other activities can be done all year round. The Whale Sharks are in the area from November to June, with February to May being the peak months.
Since Donsol is visited primarily for the whale sharks, the resorts in Donsol are non-operational from July to October.

Below is a month to month expectation on weather and general conditions in Legaspi, Donsol, and Ticao Island:

NOVEMBER to JANUARY
From November to January you will get the chance to swim with the whale sharks but the diving conditions may not be very comfortable. Guests should also expect rains at this time so you will probably not get the tropical feel. It would be best to bring a windbreaker with a hood with you. These are the rainiest months in the Legaspi, Donsol, and Ticao Island areas. Winds in Donsol are not strong in Donsol as this area is not affected by the Amihan winds and so the water will continue to be calm despite the rain.

Ticao Island, on the other hand, is directly affected by the Amihan winds. Ticao Island Resort is directly affected by these winds and the waves during this time move towards the resort. During these months, the beachfront of Ticao Island Resort quickly gets dirty and the maintenance team have to put in quadruple the effort to keep the beach clean. In most cases, when maintenance reaches one end of the resort, the other end (which was already cleaned) would have accumulated trash again. Guest understanding of this natural situation would be highly appreciated.

FEBRUARY to JUNE
February to June would be the ideal months to visit as this is when you can get the best of both worlds – Whale Sharks and the great diving. Legaspi, Donsol, and Ticao Island would all have great weather as this is the dry season/summer period in the Philippines. The November to January weather may carry on a little to the early part of February since the transition from the wet to the dry season may sometimes be delayed.

JULY to OCTOBER
It is great to visit from July to October if you are looking for a location for a diving holiday and are not focused on seeing the whale sharks. From July to October, diving around Ticao Island is a perfect choice! Although the whale sharks will not be around, you will get the chance to see Manta Rays, Thresher Sharks, White Tip Sharks, and other pelagics. Of course, there is also the macro critters and the corals in the dive sites around San Miguel.

These are the Habagat (southwest monsoon) months in the Philippines and Donsol is directly affected by the Habagat (southwest monsoon). With the Habagat (southwest monsoon), the ocean is very rough. Because of the wind, the direction of the waves would also be towards the beach of Donsol. Just like Ticao Island during the Amihan months, all the dirt and trash from the ocean settles on the shoreline of Donsol during Habagat (southwest monsoon) months. This is probably why the whale sharks are no longer around by this time. There is also a theory that the whale sharks may be within the area but are swimming in the deeper waters.

As Ticao Island is on the opposite end, Ticao Island is not affected by the Habagat (southwest monsoon). During these months, the ocean in front of Ticao Island Resort is extremely calm and diving the diving conditions are exceptional.

During these months, there will be the occasional rain and thunderstorm since the typhoon season in the Philippine would fall during this period. Donsol would feel the main brunt of the storms as the wind and waves will hit the Donsol shores more than it would Ticao Island. The rain showers would reach Ticao Island but the area will not get to feel the wind and waves as much.

ARRIVAL
  1. If you have arranged for airport pick-up at the Legazpi Airport, ensure that the flight information stated on your confirmation voucher is correct as we will be following that schedule. If in case the information on the confirmation voucher is incorrect or if there have been changes to your flight, please inform us through the contact information shown above.
  2. For those arriving into the Legazpi Airport, Donsol Eco Tour’s airport representative is stationed in the Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort/Casa Simeon table inside the arrival area, located after luggage collection section and before exiting the arrival doors. Please look for the Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort/Casa Simeon sign and/or your name. If in case our airport representative is not around, please just wait a few minutes as the airport representative would have just walked other visitors to their vehicle.

MONEY & PAYMENT
  1. Cash payment in PHP or USD is the preferred payment mode.
  1. ATM/Cash Machine
    1. Should you need to take out money, it is advisable to take out money in Legazpi City as there are more ATM/Cash Machines there.
    2. There is 1 ATM/Cash Machine in Donsol but during the busy season it can be unreliable as the bank is not always able to replenish the cash on time. Also, the bank charges in Donsol are double the bank charges of banks in Legazpi City.
    3. There is no ATM/Cash Machine on Ticao Island Resort.
  1. Credit Cards
    1. Most establishments in Legazpi City accept credit card payments.
    2. Most establishments in Donsol accept credit card payments but credit card payments are subject to bank processing fees of about 5%.
    3. Donsol Eco Tour and Ticao Island Resort accept credit card payments. However, all credit card transactions are currently processed through the phone with the bank. This means that credit card payments can only be processed during banking hours. Credit card payments are subject to a 5% bank charge.
    4. Donsol Eco tour and Ticao Island Resort also accepts online credit card payment through PayPal, subject to PayPal transaction fees.
  2. Guarantee & Safety Deposits

Resorts/hotels may request for a guarantee/safety deposit or your credit card information upon check in. This will be returned to you upon check out and as based on resort/hotel terms and conditions regarding damages and unsettled accounts. 

INTERNET & MOBILE PHONE ACCESS
  1. There are 2 main mobile providers in the Philippines – Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. A local SIM card is inexpensive (about PHP50) and is easily purchased in most retail outlets called loading centers or sari-sari stores. Phone credits can be purchased through e-load in denominations starting as low as PHP10. You can also avail of data plans with Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. Your data plan will work in most places around the Philippines as long as mobile phone signal is available.

Donsol

  • Most beach resorts in Donsol have internet access from the resort’s restaurant. Do not expect much from the internet in Donsol as it can slow and intermittent. There are internet cafes in the main town of Donsol (called locally as the bayan). The bayan is a 15 minute tricycle ride from the beach area and will cost about PHP50 per tricycle per way. Rates may be higher in the evening.
  • Mobile phone signal is good in general in Donsol.

Ticao Island

  • Ticao Island Resort has an internet tower but due to the fact that Ticao Island is quite remote, internet access/signal can still be quite unreliable at times.
  • There is also an internet café in the main town which is about a 45 minute motorcycle ride from the resort. The motorcycle ride will cost about PHP150 per way and rates may be higher in the evening or during bad weather.
  • Mobile phone signal is available in selected areas around the resort, not all areas have good mobile phone signal. The best mobile phone signal is in the restaurant area or near the dive center. Globe Telecom has the better mobile phone signal in the resort.

ELECTRICITY
  1. The electrical outlets in the Philippines run on 220 volts
  1. Outlets have 2 flat plugs (see illustration).

2 flat plugs outlets

FOODS
  1. Vegan and vegetarian food are readily available upon request. Although most meals will have a vegetable dish included, we can arrange for meals specifically for vegans and vegetarians.
  2. You are responsible for informing us of any allergies or food restrictions you may have.
  3. Please inform your travel consultant if you have special dietary requirements so that our operations team can be informed and can make the necessary arrangements.

AIRPORT TAX

Please be advised that the information given below is based on the date that this document was prepared (31 August 2016) and any updates may not be reflected in this website.

  • Airport Tax from Manila to any domestic destination like Legazpi = PHP200; this would have already been part of the ticket price.
  • Airport Tax from Cebu to any domestic destination like Legazpi = PHP200; which is to be paid at a counter at the airport.
  • Airport Tax from Legazpi to Manila or Cebu = PHP150; which is to be paid at a counter at the airport.
  • Airport Tax from Manila or Cebu to International destinations = PHP550; this would have already been part of the ticket price.

VISA & IMMIGRATION
  1. VISA and immigration rules differ depending on the passport that you hold. Please be advised that the information given below is based on the date that this document was prepared (31 August 2015) and any updates in the Philippine Immigration Law may not be reflected in this document.
  2. Nationals of countries which have diplomatic relations with the Philippines are generally allowed entry into the country without securing a temporary visitor’s visa from the Consulate if their stay does not exceed thirty (30) days. Visitors availing of this no-visa privilege must enter the Philippine for tourism purpose and must hold a round-trip or onward travel airline ticket, which must be presented before Philippine immigration authorities upon arrival at the port of entry in the Philippines. Nationals from countries listed on the Visa Information of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website  who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.
  3. Nationals of other countries who are classified as Restricted Nationals by the Philippine Government must apply for a VISA prior to visiting the Philippines. Please contact the Philippine consulate in your country for more information.
  4. Those holding People’s Republic of China (PRC) may enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding seven (7) days for tourism purposes, if they have a valid Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Schengen or United States visa, and provided that they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.
  5. Indian nationals can go to the Philippines without a visa for a stay of 14 days (extendable up to 21 days) under the following conditions if they are permanent residents (PR) in Singapore; or possess a valid visa for Singapore, or a valid visa for the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, or the UK. Please note that Indian nationals availing of this privilege MUST enter the Philippines through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA I, II, III or IV) in Manila. The airports at Clark and Cebu are not yet included under this arrangement. Upon arrival in NAIA, at the immigration counter please present a round-trip flight booking, the PR card or visa for the countries listed above, and a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay.
  6. If in case you stay longer, you can extend your VISA at the Immigration Office in Legazpi City. Should you need to extend your VISA, you are encouraged to file for the extension at least 5 days prior to the expiration of your VISA. Please be advised to be dressed properly. Shorts and slippers are not allowed at the Immigration Office.
  7. More details on Visa Guidelines and Requirements or Visitor Information for Temporary Visitors can be found on the website of Department of Foreign Affairs.

GUARANTEES AND LIABILITIES
  1. Donsol Eco Tour does not guarantee the presence of Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, and other wildlife during the guests visit. Donsol Eco Tour will not be liable for the absence/non-appearance of Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, or other wildlife. It is understood that the Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, and other wildlife are beyond the control of Donsol Eco Tour. Donsol Eco Tour, can only hint on the probability of sightings of the Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, and other wildlife during the guests’ stay.
  2. Although, Donsol Eco Tour has safety measures and precautions in place to contribute to the safety of the guests’ personal belongings and valuables, guests are advised to be responsible for the safe keeping of their personal belongings and valuables. Donsol Eco Tour will not be liable for loss or damage of personal belongings and valuables.

EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS

For emergency concerns you may contact us through email, mobile, or phone as shown below:

Email: info@donsolecotour.com | maricel@donsolecotour.com | carmel@donsolecotour.com
Mobile: (+63.917) 506.3554 | (+63.906) 324.3116 | (+63.905) 112.5457
Office: (+63.2) 893-8173 | (+63.2) 576.5934

OFFICE HOURS
Monday to Friday 8AM to 7PM
Saturdays from 8AM to 5PM
Closed on public holidays

Please be reminded that we are following Philippine time (+8 GMT), emails sent late in the evening or early morning may not be noticed as we would be asleep. For late evening or early morning calls, we would appreciate it if these were emergency situations only as someone will have to wake up to answer the call.

PAYMENT, TERMS & CONDITIONS

PAYMENT METHOD
  • Donsol Eco Tour does not cover for any transactional charges. Actual amount received will be taken as the actual payment received
  • Guests may request for the bank details reflecting the actual amount received
  • Payment can be done through a bank wire/deposit, Credit Card (Mastercard and VISA only), or through PayPal
  • For last minute bookings where guest arrival is within the next 7 days, only Credit Card payments will be accepted

 

Please see below details for the different payment methods:

BANK DEPOSIT IN US DOLLARS
Bank: Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank)
Branch: Legazpi-Albay Branch, Old Albay District, Legazpi City
Account Name: Donsol Eco Tour Inc
SWIFT Code: MBTCPHMM
US Dollar Account Number: 595-2-595-00055-0

For bank transfer, please make payment in USD unless you have an account in the Philippines because the bank charges for USD payment are usually lower due to less currency conversions necessary between banks.

BANK DEPOSIT IN SGD to DBS SINGAPORE
For guests residing in Singapore, DBS Singapore bank details are available upon request.

CREDIT CARD
For payments via credit card, please click on the PAY NOW WITH PAYPAL button and you will be directed to the page below.

If you have a PayPal account, they can just log in and make payment via PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account, please click on the link that says “PAY WITH MY CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD”

You will then be directed to a page asking for your credit card information. This is a secure online credit card payment method managed by PayPal.

Please be reminded that you will have to pay for any PayPal fees/charges for using this payment service.

PAYPAL
PayPal account: info@donsolecotour.com
PayPal charges are to be shouldered by the client and not by Donsol Eco Tour. When making a PayPal payment, go to SEND PAYMENT then select the option I’M MAKING PERSONAL PAYMENTS. PayPal will automatically compute the PayPal charges for your immediate reference.

paypal-screenshot

Or Pay now with PayPal

paypal-screenshot-2

MAKING A BOOKING
  1. A 30% deposit is required to confirm a booking.
  2. Accommodations will only be held for 15 calendar days from the date of the invoice. If no deposit is received within the 15 calendar day period, Donsol Eco Tour may release the rooms to other guests. Extension of room reservation is dependent on availability.
  3. The balance payment for full payment is due 30 calendar days prior to the arrival date; otherwise the booking may be cancelled.
  4. For bookings made for arrivals within 30 days, full payment is required to confirm the booking.
  5. Upon receipt of full payment, a Confirmation Voucher will be issued. Guests will be responsible for checking that all information on the Confirmation Voucher is correct. The details on the Confirmation Voucher will be followed for all arrangements.

CANCELLATION, REFUNDS, & REBOOKING
  1. For activities and transfers, if a cancellation is made:
    1. 7 days or less prior to arrival date = 100% non-refundable
    2. 8 days or more prior to arrival date = 30% non-refundable
  1. Cancellation and refunds of accommodations will be subject to the rules and policies of the hotel or resort.
  2. Partial cancellation for a group, deposits for groups are taken as a deposit for each group member and the cancellation policy applies to each person. For example, if one group member cancels, their portion of the deposit will be non-refundable according to the refund policy above unless someone else can fill their space.
  3. For cancellations due to force majeure or fortuitous events, the following policies shall follow:
    1. ACTIVITIES cancelled due to force majeure or a fortuitous event may be rebooked within one (1) year from the original schedule OR a refund of 70% may be provided.
    2. Rebooking, reschedule, or refunds for land, sea, or air TRANSFERS and for ACCOMMODATIONS will be determined by the transport carrier and the accommodations facility. Different carriers and establishments have different policies and Donsol Eco Tour is required to follow such policies. Donsol Eco Tour recommends certain suppliers due to our stronger relationship with the said suppliers and Donsol Eco Tour will extend every possible benefit to our guests as we would like our guests to have the least possible additional costs.
    3. Any refunds are to be processed by the Donsol Eco Tour Manila office. The client will be responsible for shouldering any bank or transaction fees for the processing of the refund.
  4. There will be no refunds for activities on the itinerary that are not done by decision of the guest even if in cases of illness. Donsol Eco Tour may assist in obtaining the necessary medical certificates or necessary documentation for the guest to claim losses from the guest’s insurance company.
  5. For activities cancelled by Donsol Eco Tour’s operations team due to operational concerns, full refund will be given.
  6. For any arrangements for air, land, or sea travel with any public utility vehicle, refunds will be subject to the rules of the transportation company.
  7. Transaction charges for the refunds will not be covered by Donsol Eco Tour.
  8. All refunds will be processed by the Manila office.

CANCELLATION, REFUNDS, & REBOOKING (TICAO ISLAND RESORT & CASA SIMEON BED & BREAKFAST)
  1. Ticao Island Resort and Casa Simeon Bed & Breakfast are properties managed by Donsol Eco Tour.
  2. For accommodations at Ticao Island Resort or Casa Simeon Bed & Breakfast, if a cancellation is made:
  • 7 days or less prior to arrival date = 100% non-refundable
  • 8 to 21 days prior to arrival date = 50% non-refundable
  • 22 days or more prior to arrival date = 30% non-refundable
  1. For cases of force majeure or fortuitous events, such as but not limited to weather and natural calamities; the exact same arrangement may be rebooked within 1 year from the expected date of arrival OR a refund of 50% may be provided.
  2. Any refunds are to be processed by the Donsol Eco Tour Manila office. The client will be responsible for shouldering any bank or transaction fees for the processing of the refund.

FORCE MAJEURE & FORTUITOUS EVENTS
  1. Should your trip be affected by a case of force majeure or a fortuitous event, Donsol Eco Tour will take all possible measures and endeavor to come up with an alternative travel plan and schedule that is acceptable to the client. Donsol Eco Tour will try its best towork with the different suppliers for the best possible arrangement for the client to avoid any additional costs. However, should there be additional costs incurred, this costs are to be shouldered by the client.
  2. Donsol Eco Tour has full commitment to monitoring any typhoons or any fortuitous events that can be tracked or monitored and we will provide you with the best advice and alternative actions possible. Our team will always be happy to answer any concerns. Please feel free to contact your travel consultant or the persons mentioned above for your questions or concerns.
  3. On a general note:
    1. ACTIVITIES cancelled due to force majeure or a fortuitous event may be rebooked within one (1) year from the original schedule OR a refund of 70% may be provided.
    2. Rebooking, reschedule, or refunds for land, sea, or air TRANSFERS and for ACCOMMODATIONS will be determined by the transport carrier and the accommodations facility. Different carriers and establishments have different policies and Donsol Eco Tour is required to follow such policies. Donsol Eco Tour recommends certain suppliers due to our stronger relationship with the said suppliers and Donsol Eco Tour will endeavour to extend every possible benefit to our guests as we would like our guests to have the least possible additional costs.
    3. Any refunds are to be processed by the Donsol Eco Tour Manila office. The client will be responsible for shouldering any bank or transaction fees for the processing of the refund.

TRAVEL INSURANCE & SAFETY CLAUSES
  1. We do not provide or require any Travel Insurance when you travel with Donsol Eco Tour. For your security and peace of mind, we strongly encouraged you to purchase your own Travel Insurance before visiting the Philippines.
  2. Rest assured that our company takes all the necessary measures for your safety and security. We do our very best to give you a smooth flowing and wonderful holiday. However, there are situations which will be out of our control, such as your personal health, weather and airline rules and policies.
  3. Donsol Eco Tour will not be responsible for any injuries, accidents, or death.
  4. Donsol Eco Tour will not be responsible for expenses incurred due to airline, ferry, or bus delays or cancellation, lost luggage, health issues, or other unwanted and unforeseen scenarios.
  5. Claiming against the insurance company is the responsibility of the guest. Donsol Eco Tour will assist in providing all the necessary paperwork/documentation.
  6. Please inform Donsol Eco Tour of any allergies, dietary restrictions, and health restrictions preferably prior to arrival so that necessary arrangements can be made.
  7. All divers must present proof of certification prior to all in water activities. Divers will only be allowed to dive within the limits of their certification and/or proven experience.
  8. Please be reminded of the NO FLYING AFTER DIVING rule. We recommend a MINIMUM of 18 HOURS surface interval after the final dive before flying.
  9. There are activities considered to be risky and we may ask you to sign a waiver form for certain activities. Donsol Eco Tour reserves the right to not to allow a guest to do an activity and Donsol Eco Tour will not be obliged to give any refund if in case the guest refuses to sign the waiver form.

ITINERARY CHANGES
  1. We encourage you to coordinate any itinerary changes with your travel consultant. You may opt to re-arrange the itinerary (i.e. dates of the various activities) on-site provided that Donsol Eco Tour is given ample time to prepare. Re-arranging of the itinerary is subject to approval of Donsol Eco Tour and may be subject to surcharges and penalties.
  2. For hotel/resort accommodations, the standard check-in time is 2:00 PM and the standard check-out time is 12:00 NN. Early check-in or late check-out may be requested, but is not guaranteed. Approval of this request is dependent on the room availability at the hotel/resort.
  3. You may opt to re-arrange the itinerary (i.e. dates of the various activities) on-site provided that Donsol Eco Tour is given ample time to prepare. Re-arranging of the itinerary is subject to approval of Donsol Eco Tour and may be subject to surcharges and penalties.
  4. Donsol Eco Tour reserves the right to change the travel itinerary without notice if safety, weather or other conditions beyond the control of Donsol Eco Tour require that such changes be made.