Swimming with whale sharks is the ultimate bucket list adventure! The Riviera Maya is one of only a few destinations where you can swim with the gentle giants.
One of the most unique experiences is to dive with whale sharks. Growing up to 13 meters (40 ft) long, they are the largest known fish in the ocean. Their size might be intimidating, but they are harmless. Whale sharks actually don’t even have teeth, so, no there is danger of them ripping you apart.
One of the largest gatherings of whale sharks in the world is found between Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy. When we say large, we mean literally up to hundreds of them. They make a pit stop here to feed, because during the summer months, tunas are abundant in those waters. A snack that no self-respecting whale shark could pass up.
Whale sharks can be seen in the Riviera Maya between June and September, peak season is July and August, which means right now! The best way to organize your personal meet up with a whale shark is by taking a tour with a professional guide. Our team at Playa Palms Beach Hotel is happy to help you book your whale shark encounter for a fair price.
You know that we not only care about the well-being of you, our guests, but also about the environment and the creatures sharing this planet with us. Tourism does have an impact on animals and nature, but you can make a difference by following these few simple rules. They not only protect the whale sharks, but keep you safe too!
- For your own safety, only go with a professional guide.
- Observe, don’t touch! It will stress them and also it makes them dive instantly, what spoils the fun for everyone else.
- Don’t use a flash light and avoid taking flash photography.
- Keep noise to a minimum: Enter the water by sliding slowly from the boat (don’t jump) and keep your fins under the water surface while you are kicking to reduce splashing.
- Keep your distance: Stay at least 5 meters (16 ft) away from the head and 4 meters (13 ft) from the tail. If the whale shark swims directly toward you, remain calm and split into two groups so that the shark can swim between you.
- Snorkel calmly and slowly: Do not chase whale sharks and don’t block their path. Approach the shark from the side and swim alongside near its pectoral fin. If the shark rolls over and presents its back, back away. Let the shark control the encounter!
- Please use only biodegradable sunscreen and don’t litter.
If you’re lucky enough to already have gone snorkeling with whale sharks, let us know below what it was like!