Bais Dolphin & Whale Watching [Do-It-Yourself Style]

Let me be clear: Do-It-Yourself Bais Dolphin & Whale Watching is not for everybody.  Some people don't want to be pressured by bus/van schedules.  Others don't want to go through the trouble of preparing food and utensils.  Some don't have the time to prepare for tours themselves.

If you want a hassle-free trip, don't do DIY.  However, I also want to be clear: when it comes to visiting the dolphins in Bais, IT CAN BE DONE.

With very little cash in my wallet, I personally tried this route so I can honestly write about it. 

What can you/your group do?

Step 1:
Reserve a boat ahead of time.  

If you want to see the dolphins/whales, you have to be at the wharf at around 6-7 in the morning.  Not all boats might be there around that time. 

I've compiled all the necessary boat information here. 

Step 2:
Decide: bring our own food/utensils from Dumaguete or buy ingredients in Bais? 

The Mercado de Bais opens at 5. Do your market duties early so you won't lose precious see-the-dolphins time. 

  • The boat operators can prepare simple lunches for guests (usually grilled).
    • To avoid wasting time, inform your boat operator that you intend to buy ingredients at the market.  
    • It would be better if they meet and assist you at the market before you proceed to the wharf.
    • If you reserve a government boat, the people  at the Bais Tourism Office will definitely meet you at the city center and assist you at the market.  
    • If you are getting a private boat, ask the operator if they can help you too.
Mercado de Bais opens early so you can probably buy cooked food.  I'm not sure though if the vendors would have lunch food at 6 in the morning.

Step 3:
Use public transportation to get from Dumaguete to Bais.  Travel time is 45 minutes to an hour from Dumaguete.  You can take a van or a bus.  I took the Ceres bus marked (Canlaon).

  • Ask the people at the Ceres terminal which bus will pass through Bais.
  • Fare: Php 48 [non-aircon]

Step 4: Get off at the Police Station/Plaza in Bais.  When I arrived at 5:35 am, tricycles were already operating.

I asked a tricycle driver to take me to Capiñahan Wharf.  It cost me Php 50 [wharf is approximately 1.2 kms from the city center, travel time: approx. 15 minutes].

  • TIP: Tricycles were few and far between at the Capiñahan Wharf.  I strongly suggest that you ask the driver to pick you up after the tour.  The driver told me he would do it for Php 60.  I think that's a fair price.
  • Very important: Some private boats DO NOT operate from the Capiñahan Wharf.  Ask your boat operator which wharf they will be using so you won't get lost. 

Capinahan Wharf

Step 5: Go see the dolphins. Yahooo!

Step 6: Go back to the city center of Bais and buy some souvenirs at the Mercado de Bais.

Step 7: Take public transportation back to Dumaguete or your jump-off point.  I took a van on my way back. (Php 45 pesos, terminal is parked on the road between the tennis court and the ballfield).

Download this guide here.