Cancun
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Whale Shark Tour from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Riviera Maya

Badge of ExcellenceCancún, Mexico

From $209.00

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Reserve Now & Pay Later
Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 8 hours (approx.)
  • Hotel pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Swim and snorkel alongside whale sharks on this guided tour in Cancun. A boat speeds you to a prime viewing location, and en route, you might 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
  • Purchase videos and photos of your encounter, if you like
  • Hotel transport, breakfast, and snacks included

What's Included

  • Round Transportation with AC
  • Continental Breakfast(pastries, coffee, juice, fresh fruit)
  • Drinks(water, softdrinks)
  • Fish or Shrimp Ceviche with totopos & guacamole(please advise of dietary restrictions)
  • Snorkel equipment & Life Jacket.
  • The Natural Reserve Fee 13 USD per person is payable upon pick-up in cash
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenirs (available to purchase)
  • HD videos and pictures of your whale shark watching experience available in digital package.
  • Wetsuit Rental

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Flamingos
    Carr. Puerto Juarez Carretera a Punta Sam Km. 3.5, Juárez, 77520 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

    If you book without transportation (option meetingpoint pier) we will meet you at Flamingos Seafood Kitchen | Restaurant on Carr. Puerto Juarez Carretera a Punta Sam Km. 3.5, Juárez, 77520 Cancún, Q.R.

Pickup points

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Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

We offer pick up from any hotel, airbnb or private residence. Pick up Tulum between 04:00-05:00 am. Pick up from Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya 05:30-06:30 am and pick up from Cancun between 06:00-07:00 am. Pick up from Isla Mujeres is from the Gasstation Pemex in Isla Mujeres.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking (Vegetarian & Gluten free Options available under request)
  • Seasonal tour operating from June to mid-September
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • The duration of this tour may vary due to reasons beyond our control. On average, the boat activity lasts 5 hours, but this can be longer due to weather conditions, in which area we find the whale sharks and how many opportunities there are to swim with them. The transfer time from your hotel to our pier depends on your location and traffic conditions. The tour, including the transfer, can take between 7 and 12 hours.
  • minimum age as of 3 years old
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

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Q:How long is the boat ride to see the Whale Sharks during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:On average, you can expect to enjoy a beautiful and scenic speedboat ride that takes about one hour to get to the area where the Whale Sharks gather.

Mar 2021

Q:How long will we swim with the Whale Sharks during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Once we find the best spot to swim with Whale Sharks, we'll get in the water and snorkel and swim with these majestic creatures for up to 3 hours.

Mar 2021

Q:Are Whale Sharks dangerous?

A:No, they are not dangerous. Whale sharks congregate in the waters around Isla Mujeres and Holbox to feed on microscopic organisms. Their average swimming speed is just 3 mph. You will have the opportunity to snorkel with them just a few feet away!

Mar 2021

Q:Do Whale Sharks have teeth?

A:Whale sharks do have teeth but they are incredibly tiny and are used for filter feeding. They really are gentle giants.

Mar 2021

Q:Is swimming with Whale Sharks appropriate for children?

A:Swimming with Whale Sharks is fun for the Whole Family! Our Whale Shark Discovery Tour is child-friendly and elderly-friendly. Everyone's invited to join!

Mar 2021

Q:Is there a vegetarian option available during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Yes, vegetarian options are available, however, they must be requested in advance. Feel free to let us know of any dietary restrictions in the "Special Requirements" box at checkout.

Mar 2021

Q:What should I bring with me on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:We recommend bringing a towel, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a change of clothing, and money for souvenirs, photos, and the required Natural Reserve Fee ($13 USD per person).

Mar 2021

Q:Should I bring my camera on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Yes, you are welcome to bring your own waterproof camera.

Mar 2021

Q:What should I wear on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. We recommend wearing your bathing suit under your regular clothes and bringing sandals or water shoes and an extra set of dry clothes.

Mar 2021

Q:Do I have to bring snorkeling gear on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:You can if you want to, but we provide all snorkeling gear including mask, snorkel, fins, and life jacket. If you own a wetsuit, please feel free to bring it along. If you don’t have one we can provide them to be rented for $15 USD.

Mar 2021

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


Pick from hotel was a little late but it was okay.
I recommend putting on sunscreen before the van picks you up.
Reviews
5.0
495 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 495 reviews
An absolute MUST do!!!
Alex_S, Sep 2022
I will come back to Cancun JUST to do this tour!!! It was INCREDIBLE!! And the tour guide, captain, and first Mate were all top notch!! We had the most amazing time! Our guide was so knowledgeable and informative about the whale sharks. Everyone was so kind and helpful and patient with my dad who is older and moves a little slower. We ended up hitting a big storm on the way back but even the downpour didn’t stop the fun! We still went snorkeling and had the most delicious ceviche! We can’t wait to come back and do this tour again!
Awesome experience
Jared_K, Aug 2022
Super fun experience and would for sure recommend trying it out. The tour guide did an awesome job and was super friendly.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Once in a lifetime experience
Tamara_J, Aug 2022
Our tour guide Pia was so sweet and knowledgeable. She stayed my my boyfriend’s side as he got seasick and knew so much about the whale sharks, you could tell she loved what she does. The experience was AMAZING!! I had so much fun and would recommend it to everyone. All the equipment you need is provided, just being the adventure and smiles.
Our Tour guide Luisa !...
Ivica_L, Aug 2022
Our Tour guide Luisa ! She was amazing and knew all the info and tips we needed !! Took us to the best spot.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Fun trip but know what to expect
allison_w, Aug 2022
This was a very nice experience but the company should emphasize what to expect so that you can be prepared. The boat is very small, the type of fishing motorboat that people often keep in their driveways. There is no bathroom, so suggest eating lightly at breakfast (mini croissants, justice, fruit, coffee are provided.) The ride out to the shark area is very long and extremely bumpy. I highly recommend doubling up with Dramamine AND sea bands AND not taking your eyes off the horizon, especially when stopped. I am prone to sickness on small busts and I did all three and was fine. The sharks were amazing and plentiful, but mostly juveniles and therefore on the small side. The guide was very helpful. Afterwards, there is a lovely reef snorkel with many colorful and interesting fish.
Perfect experience!
Kristen_N, Jul 2022
It was amazing!! I will absolutely do it again! The tour guide and crew were great and made us feel comfortable the whole way. This was an incredible experience!
Amazing!!!
Linda_S, Jul 2022
Wow, what an amazing day! We saw whalesharks, manta’s, turtles and dolfins. Organisation was perfect! The guide explained everything very good, we got a lot of interesting information about nature. It was safe, respectful, with humor and fun. We had a beautiful swim near the whalesharks. A very nice lunch at a beautiful beach. I highly recommend this trip with Ocean Travel.
This Experience is Amazing
Erika_S, Jul 2022
Our guides were Diego, Karla, and Danny. They were excellent! Everything was well organized and all transportation was on time. We saw so many whale sharks and a manta! It was an incredible experience and I’d highly recommend this tour!!
Lara is the best whale shark tour operator!
Kathleen_T, Jul 2022
The whale shark tour was absolutely fantastic. Highlight of the trip. Lara is the BEST, hands down. The entire crew was great. They made sure everyone got to swim with the whale sharks at least twice. Great lunch/snacks/drinks as well. Highly recommend!
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Hi , Thanks for your words , we are glad to know about your day with Lara and the whale sharks , we wait for you the next season . Best regards Laura Ocean Tours
Lucky if you find one but may only jump once.
Astrid_X, Jun 2022
Comment: Our guide, Rachelle is so nice and warm. I have stomach flu before departure so we late for few minutes. The team is way for us and not leaving which is good. I was so afraid that they would leave. During the tour, she is nice to everyone and explain to us throughly. Before we go to the boat, she also gives us the dramamine. When we find the whale shark and it’s my turn to jump, I don’t know how to swim at all, therefore, I am so afraid when I jump to the water. I down into the water first and so afraid that I can’t float up. At this point, Jimmy, the sailor held my hand and tried to swim towards the whale shark, but I am so afraid so I just say I can’t and he sent me back to the boat patiently. Although Rachelle encourage me to jump again, I chose to stay at the boat. Due to the tricky twist, my boyfriend didn’t see the whale shark at the first time so they allowed my boyfriend to try once again later. He see the whale shark and feel so impressive. But since there is only one whale found, there are around 20 boats surrounding with 1 whale shark and everyone only get 1 chance to jump and swim with the whale shark for few minutes which is not that much but understandable. During the way to find the shark, we also see a lot flying fish and some giant turtles, which is so amazing! After swimming with the whale shark, we went to snorkeling. Rachelle is so nice and hold my hand all the way, but since I can’t control my body in the sea, the guid Rachelle hold my life jacket and send me back to the boat very patiently. So overall, I would say that if you don’t know how to swim, it’s ok and fine, but you really need so experience for floating in the sea. The guide is so nice and patient to us and care everyone’s feelings. Highly recommend! Suggestions: 1. Remember to put the sunscreen on your body before departure, everywhere that could expose to the sun. My boyfriend didn’t put on arms and get sun burn after we come back. 2. Wear long sleeves and bring some towels with you. 3. Bring a card and some cash 4. Have a good sleep the night before the tour.
2 travelers found this review helpful
Back breaker!
Ge_G, Jun 2022
Don’t book unless you want to break your back. The boat is a small and fast one, taking about 10-15 passengers. The ride to find whaleshark is PURE SUFFERING. the boat is EXTREMELY BUMPY, and it is extremely hard to sit still on the boat. Our guide was pretty polite, passionate and knowledgeable, he explained to us different situations, so We understand that there’s a chance that we won’t see any whaleshark. Although disappointed, we wouldn’t blame anyone for this since it’s all about luck. The boat is the problem. I chatted with other passengers and we all agree that this boat is so uncomfortable that is only makes us want to go home. I clearly heard someone said “we didn’t pay $150 to suffer like this”. Now it is four hour after I got back from the trip, and my back still hurts and make it hard for me to lower my back or even walk for a slightly longer distance, noted that I didn’t have any back injuries or problems before. Reconsider for your back and neck before you book.
Response from Host, Jun 2022
Dear Ge, We are sorry to see that this experience was apparently a tough one for you, and we hope that you could recover from your back pain quickly. We also appreciate you sharing your comments and understanding about the fact that this is nature; we do not have much control on this indeed. This tour is specifically unique and highly coveted by people who have had great experiences with the whale sharks, by seeing many of them, and this is the reason why it has become so popular with the years. Now this is in open sea, we spend an average of 4-5h outside on small boats indeed, sometimes more time even to guarantee you will see them, (the capacity of the boats is regulated byt the marine park, and it can’t actually exceed 10 participants + crew by law, no bigger boats are allowed there), and yes it can get very bumpy out there, and the weather we had in June so far surely did not contribute to create great memories for some of the participants. This activity is not for everyone, and not recommended for people with back problems history, or strong motion sickness. it is not an easy ride to see them , sure, but when you get rewarded with seeing many of them, this would prevail on all the rest and make one forget about the rough side of it of course. Also some would just love being on boats while others may appreciate it less. In your case Ge, I understand that you didn't get to see any that day, so obviously this added to the fact that the weather was not optimistic these days, I can totally understand how the high expectations on such a trip could get down after such an experience. This is surely not what all of our guests woudl experience, and we appreciate seeing that your guide apparently briefed you well on this. We are really sorry to see your experience was resumed into a long and bumpy back breaker ride. This beginning of season has been a little atypical, hectic I must say because of strong winds, and even though the season would normally start in the beginning of June, the best months for this activity have always been July & August. Ge, you are more than welcome to contact me if you would like to discuss further on this, I will be at your entire disposal: geraldine@oceantoursmexico.com. Kind regards, Geradine Ocean tours
1 traveler found this review helpful
Fantastic
Laura_M, Sep 2021
Great tour. Guides and captain are great. Whales are spectacular. If you don't eat fish or avocado bring your own food.
Response from Host, Sep 2021
Hi Laura ! Thank you very much for your feedback! We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the experience with us. We hope that we will meet again in the future, and we wish you a safe trip back home. Maria, Ocean Tours Mexico
1 traveler found this review helpful
Awesome Experience
Will_G, Sep 2021
Our guide Pepe entertained and guided us through an incredible day of adventure on this tour! We swam with a whale shark, snorkeled a reef, and swam off the coast of isla mujeres. The boat crew was also sweet and helpful and everyone had a fantastic time. Book this with Pepe!!
Response from Host, Sep 2021
Hi , Thanks to choosing us for this adventure . We are glad to know that you had an increible day with Pepe . We hope to see you in the future . Best regards Laura Ocean Tours Team
Wonderful experience
Paul_C, Aug 2021
We saw many whale sharks. They were amazing animals. The tour guides were wonderful. We had a great time! Highly recommended
1 traveler found this review helpful
Best day ever
BARBARA_SOARES, Aug 2021
100% worth every penny. Is the boat ride a little long and a little choppy, yes. However, the team instructs you on eating/medicine for sea sickness. The pick up was on time. Diego was very clear on what we could expect and what to do. We did 3 dives and they were all amazing. The captain always making sure he got is a good jump to spend the most time with the sharks and Mundo captured every minute of it! I was scared to do this trip but it is actually pretty peaceful. We loved loved loved it. We ended the trip with a snorkel, guac and ceviche at Isla Mujeres. Perfect!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great Experience
Catherine_C, Aug 2021
Amazing experience!!! Well organized and skillful guide and Captain to position us to swim with the Whale Sharks Would have liked to have the videos a little quicker Had to wait over 2 days for videos and pics to be emailed
1 traveler found this review helpful
Fantastic Experience
MARK_V, Aug 2021
We had a fantastic time swimming with Whale Sharks! Diego and Carla were wonderful guides and were kind and courteous all day. Our captain did a great job of putting us near the fish all morning. We even got to dive three times! No one on our boat got sick, so don’t let that be a deterrent for you. It was an amazing experience!
Amazing experience
David_L, Jul 2021
Wonderful day with knowledgable crew and captain. The tour guide helped those who were a bit nervous into the water and helped them every step of the way so everybody had a chance to see the whale sharks
Response from Host, Aug 2021
Thank you very much for your feedback! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us, alongside our team. We hope to see you again in the future. Gracias! Sasha, Ocean Tours Mexico
I will 1000% do this again!
Charlie_W, Jul 2021
It was an absolute amazing experience! The seas were rough but the captain made the ride as smooth and safe as possible. He put us right next to the whale 3 times each and got some amazing video and pictures.
Response from Host, Aug 2021
Thank you very much for your feedback! We are so happy that you enjoyed snorkeling with us, alongside our team. We hope to see you again in the future if you ever come back to Mexico. Gracias! Sasha, Ocean Tours Mexico
Great day in the ocean!
Colorado, Jul 2021
Pick from hotel was a little late but it was okay. So don’t worry if it happens to you :) Alejandra was an amazing, friendly guide and she knows what she is doing! We had 2 swims with the whale sharks. I missed the first one, but the second jump was so amazing it made up for it. I was swimming right above it-so close! Then we snorkeled and saw some Dory fish and striped fish. Then we were in the water at Isla Mujeres drinking beer and eating delicious ceviche and guacamole. It was a delightful day and I highly recommend this company. I also recommend buying the pictures and video the guide takes for you. Chasing the whale sharks is so quick you won’t likely get good photos. Thank you, crew! We had a wonderful time!
Response from Host, Jul 2021
Thank you very much for your feedback! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us, alongside our team. We hope to see you again in the future. Gracias! Sasha, Ocean Tours Mexico

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Product code: 12861P1