Donsol Eco Tour is the management company of Ticao Island Resort. The name Donsol Eco Tour may be used interchangeably with Ticao Island Resort. Here our travel tips for you:
8hours ahead of GMT (GMT +8)
There are two main seasons in the Philippines – wet and dry. The wet months and the dry months around the Philippines vary according to area. Generally speaking, areas facing the west are affected by the southwest monsoon and are hit by rains and winds from July to October. Areas like Donsol and Manila face the west. Areas facing the east are affected by the northeast monsoon and are hit by rains and winds from November to January. Areas like Ticao Island and Malapascua face the east.
Below is a chart on the weather patterns and the presence of seasonal marine life around Ticao Island:
|Nov – Jan||Rainy & Windy||Whale Sharks & Manta Rays||26 – 28 C||27 – 29 C|
|Feb||Transition month from rainy & windy moving to the summer sun||Whale Sharks & Manta Rays||26 – 28 C||27 – 29 C|
|Mar – Jun||Summer||Peak months for Whale Sharks and Manta Rays||28 – 30 C||28 – 32 C|
|July – Oct||Sunny / Isolated Rain Showers||Peak months for Manta Rays||28 – 30 C||28 – 30 C|
BEST TIME TO VISIT
If you are looking for the best diving conditions and a getaway with warm weather and calm seas, March to October would be the ideal months to visit. The chart above gives an general schedule of the pelagics that visit the Manta Bowl. For divers, your decision to visit may be based on what you want to see.
If you have arranged for airport pick-up at the Legaspi or Masbate 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 contact us.
For those arriving into the Legazpi Airport, our airport representative is stationed in the Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort table inside the arrival area, found after luggage collection section and before exiting the arrival doors. Please look for a Donsol Eco Tour/Ticao Island Resort 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.
For those arriving into the Masbate Airport, our airport representative will be holding a sign with your name. The Masbate Airport is very small and the plane that arrives into Masbate are the small plans so it does not get crowded and it will not be difficult to find your pick-up.
- Manila to Legazpi = PHP200 but this is normally included with your domestic ticket price.
- Cebu to Legazpi = PHP200 and this needs to be paid at the Cebu Airport after check-in.
- Legazpi to Manila or Cebu = PHP150 and this needs to be paid at the Legazpi Airport after check-in.
- Manila or Cebu to International Destinations = PHP550 and this needs to be paid at the Manila or Cebu Airport after check-in.
MONEY & PAYMENT
Currency: Philippine Peso
Cash payment in Philippine Peso is the preferred payment method. Other major currencies are accepted and the conversion will be dependent on the current exchange rate used by Donsol Eco Tour.
ATM and Cash Machines with major banks are available in Legazpi City and Bulan. Donsol has 1 cash machine but this is run by a local bank and is not very reliable and service charges are usually higher than with the major banks.
Donsol Eco Tour accepts payment by credit card but credit card payments are subject to bank fees.
INTERNET & MOBILE PHONE ACCESS
There are 2 main mobile providers in the Philippines – Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. A local SIM card is inexpensive (about PHP100) and is easily purchased in most retail outlets called loading centres or sari-sari stores. Phone credits can be purchased through e-load in denominations starting as low as PHP10.
Below is a chart on the mobile phone and internet access and reliability in the different areas:
Area / Location
Mobile Phone Access
|Metro Manila||Excellent; available almost everywhere||Readily available in hotels, shopping malls, and coffee shops. Internet shops are abundant.|
|Cebu City||Excellent; available almost everywhere||Readily available in hotels, shopping malls, and coffee shops. Internet shops are abundant.|
|Legazpi City||Very Good; available almost everywhere||Readily available in hotels, shopping malls, and coffee shops. Internet shops are abundant.|
|Donsol||Good; easily available but may fluctuate||Internet café available in Donsol town; 15 minute ride from the beach area|
|Ticao Island||Good; easily available but may fluctuate||Free WiFi in resort restaurant. WiFi may reach Cabanas if signal is strong; signal may fluctuate.|
The electrical outlets in the Philippines run on 220 volts Outlets have 2 flat plugs (see illustration).
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. Guests are responsible for informing our staff about any allergies or food restrictions you may have.
VISA & IMMIGRATION
- 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 (1 July 2014) and any updates in the Philippine Immigration Law may not be reflected in this document.
- 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. The list of countries that are VISA free to the Philippines for 7 days, 30 days, and 59 days can be found on this link: http://www.philippineconsulatela.org/consular%20services/NO-Visa%20for%2030%20Days%20under%20EO%20408.pdf
- 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.
- Those holding People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports 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.
- 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.
- 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.
INSURANCE, SECURITY & SAFETY
- Travel insurance is not a requirement when travelling with Donsol Eco Tour. 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.
- For your security and peace of mind, you are encouraged to purchase your own Travel Insurance before visiting the Philippines.
- Donsol Eco Tour will not be responsible for any injuries, accidents, or death.
- 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.
- Claiming against the insurance company is the responsibility of the guest. Donsol Eco Tour will assist in providing all the necessary paperwork/documentation.
- Please inform Donsol Eco Tour of any allergies, dietary restrictions, and health restrictions preferably prior to arrival so that necessary arrangements can be made.
- 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.
- 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 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.
For emergency concerns you may contact us through email, mobile, or phone as shown below. Email addresses are connected to our staff’s Blackberry so we should be able to get your email immediately.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / email address of your travel consultant as stated on your travel voucher
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 Saturday 10AM to 7PM)
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.
Reservations Office: G-021 Cityland Makati Executive Tower 2, Dela Rosa St, Makati City, Philippines
Resort Address: Sitio Tacdugan, San Jacinto, Ticao Island, Masbate
Tel: +63-2-893-8173 / +63-917-506-3554 / +63-906-324-3116 /+63-915-619-7392