Swim and snorkel alongside whale sharks on this 3-hour guided tour in Cancun. A boat speeds you to a prime viewing location, and en route, you might just spot dolphins, turtles and manta rays. Experienced guides are there to make sure you enjoy a safe and fun swim and snorkel. Enjoy breakfast at the pier before setting off, as well as snacks and unlimited beverages while on board. Hotel transport included. Note: This seasonal tour is offered from May through mid-September.
Whale-shark encounter tour in Cancun
Swim and snorkel near whale sharks in the Caribbean
Keep watch for other marine life including turtles, dolphins and manta rays
Enjoy unlimited beer and soft drinks on board
Purchase videos and photos of your encounter, if you like
This tour is a bit pricey, but no one else will give it cheaper, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do eat the breakfast provided and apply the biodegradable sunscreen when waiting on the dock. But don’t take the Dramamine until the boat is on its way, and be sure to take 2, not 1. You will be riding in a small boat (seats about 12), at top speed, for about an hour (exact time needed for the Dramamine to take effect). There is a caution to this tour re: back issues; the reason is the boat ride, not the actual encounter with the whale sharks. If the seas are choppy, you will be flying off your seat about 6-10 inches. Once the whale sharks have been spotted, all the boat captains radio each other, and you will be in a location with about 50 other boats. Here’s where the pills come in because only 2 are allowed to go from each boat. This means that if you are not in the water, you will be swaying to the motion of the seas. Once it’s your turn, the boat captain will position the boat in a way that the whale shark will pass by it. Once he sees it is almost at the boat, your guide will yell, “Now, now, now!” and you will jump in the water and swim along with it. You will swim with the shark as long as you are able. Once you no longer can keep up, your safety officer (someone from the crew who jumped in with you) will tell you to get back to the boat. And another set of 2 will jump in. You will get to go 3 times. When I first jumped in with my daughter, we had the luck to actually swim with 3 whale sharks – because when we no longer could keep up with one, another came by from the opposite direction! It is a short excursion, but it is exhilarating. After the time with the sharks is done, we head to Isla Mujeres for some beach time. Take the opportunity to reapply the suntan lotion! The boat docks right on the beach, and the crew serves up some ceviche, chips, guacamole, and drinks on a floating table constructed out of the life jackets - fun and realxing! My only problem with this tour is the dock tax and the National Park’s fees ($23 and $34 respectively). That adds up to $57,which when adjusted to the American dollar is under $3 USD. How this translates to $10 is beyond me. We already had the National Park bracelet from a previous activity and therefore were not given the new one even though we were forced to pay for it. Francesca also charged $40 for the USB, when our paper said $35. Special deal for us? In summary, find out if the $10 fee can be reduced because if you are a party of 4 or more, this can add up pretty quickly. But overall, everyone was amiable and out to make you happy. Recommend!
Definitely not worth the time or money at least on the day we went. Took about an 1 1/2 to get to where the whale sharks were. Not a big deal but there were about 50 other boats circling in these small areas. People had to hurry up and jump off the side of the boat and there were way too many people in the area, water was murky because of the tons of boats circling. A times it looked like the boats were going to run in to each other. Total time spent in the water was about 5 minutes with about 30 seconds of actually seeing the whale shark. VERY disappointing. Definitely not worth the money if you are going for that. Snorkeling part was supposed to be at Playa Mujeres but we instead stayed on the boat and snorkeled at a reef area that was pretty good but most of the reefs are dying so kinda sad. Ceviche was very good and the people working on the trip were super nice. Save your on something else.
The whale shark experience was fanadtic. The creatures are magnificent and being so close to them is amazing.
The tour, not so great. They were one hour and a half late for pickup with no phone call or explanation. We called them to determine what the issue was. Not good. When we got to the dock some of us were put into a different tour. There was not much organization. After swimming with the sharks there was a snorkeling stop that was very weak, no fish and a decaying reef. A beach stop with lunch was next. This was a time waster and not sanitary. They washed the plates and utensils in the ocean. This was the same ocean that they urged you to urinate in. I loved the whale shark encounter, the tour and company, not so much.
This tour was amazing! You definitely won't regret this experience. Our guide Louise, Lulu, was fabulous also!! She was extremely knowledgeable about the whales and very conscientious about the environment. One note, you will not be able to use sunblock at all. They also HIGHLY encourage you to take Dramamine. Lulu brought it and gave each of us one and a banana to eat with it. A family that was in our group said that they tend to get sea sick and had already taken Dramamine.Lulu was concerned that they had taken it to early. Their daughter ended up getting sick anyway. Everybody else was fine. They serve you a light breakfast, mini muffins and some fruit, before you head out. When you get out to the whales, about an hour boat ride, you will then get in with them in partners. This is unlike other tours where everyone just gets in. I believe it is standard across all whale shark tours as they are regulated. We got to swim with them 4 times. The whales were not bothered at all by us swimming right next to them. Again, a truly amazing experience.
After the whale sharks you head over to Isla Mujeres to snorkle and have lunch. Lulu guided us on the snorkle around a reef. Don't get super excited about the snorkling. This is not the best snorkling but it doesn't detract from the tour since personally for us it was about swimming with the whale sharks. Lunch was fish ceviche and guacamole. If you are not a fan of ceviche I would bring a little something to eat since we got back to get into the van for drop offs around 1:30.
First of all, we want to compliment our tour guide Misa - she really tried to explain everything in detail and make the best out of the circumstances. A chance to swim with whale sharks sounded really fascinating for us. But unfortunately it turned out to be an expensive disappointment.
The transportation was on time. The explanations during the trip were hold detailed and in many languages. We then got to know that, although it is written on tripadvisor, even biological suncream was not allowed - so make up your mind whether you want to travel by boat at least 5 hours in total without any protection of the sun bevorehand. Furthermore, it is helpful to bring long t-shirts as an alternative you can buy them for 20 from the company itself. Before the tour starts, you are given snorkling equipment and a live jacket the jacket also prevents diving, you are only allowed to swim on the surface.
The boat trip to the meeting point with whale sharks took us 1.5 hours and it was really uncomfortable. The boat sways very much and is, in our opinion, not constructed to drive into the open sea. Before the tour they offered us some tables against seasickness which didn't help.
Getting there, we noticed about 20 other boats which also carried people who booked the same tour. You can swim next to the whale sharks for 2 times for about 5 minutes. Only 2 people of one boat were allowed to swim with the whale shark at once which doesn't mean, that there are no other people from other boats swimming with the shark as well. One guide will always be with you to take some pictures and videos of you and the whale shark costs 40 in total.
After the whale encounter we drove off to Isla Mujeres for a bit of snorkling and lunch. The riff was nothing special, you could see that the years of tourism really damaged the environment. The lunch was held in a lagoon of the island on the boat or in the water but the quality was just average.
In our opinion whale sharks are really fascinating and peaceful animals. But the feeling we got from this tour was that we were included in a mass processing. We only had a few rushed minutes with a whale shark and had to get out before the next couple could get into water. And the fact that there were so many boats searching for whale sharks at onw place didn't help the fact that it was a waste of money for some minutes in the sea. We also can't believe that so many boats wouldn't be stressful for these poor creatures.
such an amazing experience to get that close to these beautiful gentle creatures, the company service was great , we were picked up on time , our guide Matías was super great , friendly and knowledgeable , as well as Samuel who guided us while swimming with the whales , having a small group was a bless as we had to wait to spot a shark and jump due to the massive numbers of boats in the area which drive the whale shark to leave and dive deep , the lunch after in the waters of isla mujeres was very nice ,tasty and relaxing , u truly cant visit Cancun without joining such a trip