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Whale Shark Encounter Full-Day all inclusive Tour from Riviera Maya

Badge of ExcellencePlaya del Carmen, Mexico

From $175.00

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Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 7 hours (approx.)
  • Hotel pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Glide alongside whale sharks and then soak up the sun on Isla Mujeres on this guided day trip from Cancun. A speedboat takes you to a prime viewing location, where you slip on snorkel gear and hop into the water. Marvel at the gentle giants floating by. Then, relax on the white-sand shores of Isla Mujeres’ Playa Norte (North Beach). Lunch and hotel transport from Cancun and Playa del Carmen included.
  • Whale-shark swim encounter and beach time at Isla Mujeres
  • Swim and snorkel in 15-minute rounds near whale sharks
  • Unwind on the postcard-perfect North Beach on Isla Mujeres
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch on Isla Mujeres
  • Snacks, lunch, beverages and hotel transport from Cancun and Playa del Carmen included

What's Included

  • Breakfast (coffee, sweet bread, water, orange juice, fruit)
  • Lunch (Chicken salad sandwiches, shrimp ceviche or fish, guacamole, fruit.
  • Beverages (Water and soft drinks)
  • Professional guide
  • Use of Snorkeling equipment
  • Snorkeling with the whale shark and any wild life encounter like manta rays, dolphins and turtles
  • Another stop for snorkeling on the way back near isla mujeres
  • On request: Veg and vegetarian food, gluten free.
  • Nacional Park Fee and port tax $13 USD

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

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Pickup details

Every where in the Riviera Maya.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not permitted for children 5 years old and under.
  • Not permitted for pregnant women.
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide.
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required.
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • What to bring: Cap, sunglasses, shirt, swimsuit, towel, sandals, biodegradable sunscreen, money for souvenirs.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • 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.

Traveler Photos

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312 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 312 reviews
Very cool!!
Pamela_N, Aug 2022
It was an amazing experience. Except for about half our group getting sea sick. They offered motion sickness medication at our breakfast before embarking on the boat. Some people did not take it others did. Where we were to swim with the whale sharks there were 70 of them during the time we were there. It was incredible to swim next to these gentle Giants. Still waiting on email link for pictures we paid for so hopefully those come through soon.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Was fun yes, do it again no
Lisa_C, Jul 2022
To swim with whale sharks is an awesome experience, but unfortunately it’s one that is shared but hundreds of travelers. Don’t expect the tour to be a private experience. When you get to the whale shark area it was very chaotic with 5 couples trying to get set and ready to jump in. Moses our tour guide kept order as well as anyone could and offered lots of encouragement and information (plus he took awesome pictures!) The ride out to the site is fast and VERY bumpy, but was fun. Breakfast before we left was great. They offered wet suit rentals for $20 which we were glad that we took them up on. Lunch was a little disappointing as we did not have fruit or chicken salad, only ceviche (which everyone enjoyed), ham and cheese sandwiches. Don’t expect much when you get to Isle Mujeres. They want you to stay close to the boat and you cannot go up on the beach to get a drink or walk around (disappointing). You literally stand in the water near a bunch of boats until lunch is made. Not sure I would want to repeat this tour, especially when considering the price. The staff was amazing, just some of logistics were lacking.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Perfect day! 🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋
Stephanie_K, Sep 2021
Such a fun day!! We were worried we wouldn't see any whales, but our tour guide Denys was super optimistic and it put everyone in a good mood - we ended up seeing multiple whales and mantarays. Whole experience was unreal. Our tour group was English and Russian, and our guide Denys balanced both of us really well (I assume because the Russians laughed a lot!). Pick up was easy from the hotel but very early (mine was 6:10AM), and Denys had a GoPro to take photos and videos of us; it was a separate charge so if you have your own GoPro, you might want to bring that. I was traveling alone and it was perfect for me. Lastly, I had lined up a night tour right after this one, and we hit traffic so Denys and my driver offered to drive me to my second location. They really went above and beyond. Loved the tour, just amazing. 5 stars!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great adventure
Harold_Q, Aug 2021
Ecotours was top notch. Our guide, Larissa was excellent. We swam with the Whale Sharks two times, made a stop at Isla Muhares for ceviche and snorkeling and had a great time. Its a long day, and I highly recomnend you take something for seasickness, because you are sitting on the boat in the waves for a good bit of time, but it is well worth it to see and swim with the whale sharks.
Amazing staff and unforgettable experience!
Tamara_G, Jul 2021
Our guide, Paula, the driver, captain, and his crew mate were all friendly and helpful. They were extremely knowledgeable about the area, snorkeling, and the whale sharks. You will 100% snorkel alongside a whale shark and they are so big and beautiful. You get two snorkels with the whale sharks, one snorkel at the reef, and swimming off the beach at Isla Mujeres. If you do not like ceviche, they also have ham and cheese sandwiches. Jumping off the side of the boat into the ocean is a bit scary, but is so worth it. The crew mate or guide will be in the water with you and they will hold your hand if you need their assistance getting to the whale shark and then back to the boat. The entire crew was very kind and patient. They truly wanted us to have a great experience.
Would recommend
Bryant_M, Jul 2021
Katía was an amazing, upbeat guide and we were able to see one Whale Shark up close. The staff were really great photographers and we were able to view the pictures before purchasing. There was a mishap with another boat and their tourists had to load onto our boat, which seemed a little stressful for them, but they navigated it well and made it up to us with an exceptionally beautiful snorkeling spot!
Whale Shark Tour is great!
Ryan_A, Jul 2021
Picked up from the hotel in time. Good communication with the booking team. Collin was great. Driver was great. Boat and crew were amazing. Long cruise out and back but totally worth it! Got great time with whale sharks and good relax time at Isla Mujeres. Great overall experience
daniel_m, Jun 2021
So first I want to say our guide did the best she could in a bad situation! We were put on a Russian tour and it was very frustrating. No warning from the company or anything pretty much because 8 out of the 10 of us were Russian and so our guide had to cater to them well doing most of her talking. Once again. I am not mad at the guide she really did the best she could and was also surprised to English speakers were on the Russian tour. I would recommend the company “ocean tours”we did several trips with them which were wonderful and were never put in a situation like this especially based on the cost! Once again I put all the blame on the company.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Magical Experience
Dana_B, Jun 2021
The whole experience surpassed anything I ever imagined! This has been a bucketlist item of mine since I was a child and words can not describe the majesty of these beautiful creatures. Plus, Katya and her whole crew were so kind, professional and genuine it really made the experience all the more memorable. If you are on the fence about this and some of the other tours, I highly recommend seizing the opportunity to do this seasonal, once in a lifetime experience. You will not regret it.
Almost 100 whale sharks!
Dr_Mike_M, Jul 2020
Phenomenal experience from start to finish! Our guide, Flor, was amazing! Super knowledgeable and accommodating in every way. All safety precautions were in place, which was very comforting. Once on the water, we were greeted by a pod of spinner dolphins playing all around us. Then, after only about 45 minutes of cruising we came upon the main attraction! Literally, almost 100 gorgeous and huge whale sharks gracefully feeding atop the surface, not caring at all about our presence. Additionally, there were about 5-7 giant manta rays who were summersaulting around, getting in on the action. Just an absolute bucket list experience! Chilling at Isla Mujeres on the way back to shore was a nice touch, allowing us to wade and relax at the stunning beach. A perfect day!
Overall it was a good experience...
Ann, Aug 2017
Overall it was a good experience, just too long. Definitely got to see and swim with several whale sharks! The boat crew was great and made an excellent lunch for us. I'm not sure why the tour guide was surprised that most didn't want to stand in the chest deep water at Isla Mujeres after our time with the whales sharks. We spent too much time there. Why have us stand in the water for more than 30 minutes? Roman went to a beach vendor and had time for a couple of smokes on the boat while we stood in the water waiting for lunch, which was tasty. Some of us would have preferred a shorter stop so we could get back to our hotels for beach and beverages. It took us a very long time to get back to our hotel. Rush hour traffic was horrible and it seemed we had to stop at every light, at which at least 4 cars would go around us when it turned green. Roman got out before we did which I thought was odd. Overall it was a great whale shark experience but be sure you're ready to be out of your hotel from 6 AM to at least 4 PM, we got back about 4:15.
2 travelers found this review helpful
This tour was better than we had...
Jane C, Oct 2016
This tour was better than we had hoped for! Went with my daughter and her boyfriend and our french tour guide from EcoTours could not have been more helpful, enthusiastic, informative or kind. Clare did everything possible to ensure everyone not only enjoyed the experience, but had a GoPro camera to ensure we all had photographic and video memories available for a very reasonable fee to remember and share with family and friends. We went on this trip on July 29, 2016. Yes, it is a long day - we traveled from our hotel in Akumal to north of Cancun by minibus, then well over an hour by small boat to find the whale sharks. And yes, we were extremely fortunate to see and swim with many whale sharks and even manta rays. And yes, I would advise taking sea sickness tablets the night before, and the morning of the trip if you suffer. The ocean was quite rough the day we went, and the time waiting on the surface in between dives even began to get to me after taking these precautions! However, no one on our boat was sick, and we were fortunate to have the most exhilarating experience swimming with the whale sharks, with people who respect the ocean wildlife, with an amazing boat captain and mate, who managed to steer their way safely between many, many whale sharks, and quite a few snorkelers and who were determined to help us make the most of this opportunity. The only things I would change are a I would have booked this tour earlier in our trip, because my husband became ill from food/water and was unable to join us, and b I would have rented the wetsuit offered instead of wearing a life jacket, which was restrictive and a bit annoying for a reasonably strong swimmer and PADI-certified diver. But this was a fantastic experience - quite awe-inspiring and humbling to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
2 travelers found this review helpful
Guter Service mit dem Shuttel auch...
Markus B, Aug 2016
Guter Service mit dem Shuttel auch zu Hostels. Das Frühstück war jetzt nichts besonderes aber gut um sich nochmals zu stärken. Der Ausflug war klasse, da wir zu acht auf dem Boot waren plus 1 Guide ein Kapitän und einen Helfer / Guide konnten immer 4 ins Wasser jeweils 2 ein Guide. Die Fahrt war etwas ruppig aber angenehm. Der Führer sowie der Guide und Kapitän waren sehr nett und konnten gut englisch sprechen und brachten einen sehr gut zu den Walhaien. Das Ausklingen den Tages vor der Isla Mujera hatten wir uns etwas anders vorgestellt, mit noch einem kleinen Schnorcheltauchgang zu einem Riff, doch dass Essen und Entspannen auf bzw neben dem Boot war auch angenehm. Würde ich auf jeden Fall wieder machen!


Product code: 13337P1