Let's go Swimming with Whale Sharks

This is a Private Tour

This means that all transportation (including ground transportation and boats when applicable) are exclusive to your group, and so are the guide, driver, and captain when applicable. The itinerary and time table mentioned in this tour include the suggested times and durations of each activity, but they can be changed to fit your group's preference within reason and availability.

Groups of up to 10 passengers.
Group Price: 1490 $1490
Choose a Payment Method:

During checkout, you can choose to pay now, and the rest on the day of the tour.

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TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

"Best Experience Ever"

5 Stars

Myself and my Husband did the Whale Shark encounter in Cancun about a week ago. The experience was a once in a lifetime and a must do if you're ever in Cancun.

Lilly - Manchester, UK.

"Excellent Tour and the Best Staff"

5 Stars

The tour offered by Ocean Tours was amazing, the guides Katia and David are both very knowledgeable and friendly and make this trip exceptional!

Xijadi - Santiago, Chile.

About the Whale Shark Tour

Click the titles below to expand each section.

Whale Shark Tour Itinerary

  • Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in either the Riviera Maya or Cancun, then we will take you to our location and pier where the boats are waiting for the adventure to begin!

  • Before boarding, we'll enjoy a freshly-prepared and delicious continental breakfast. After breakfast we'll proceed to boarding the boat, and once boarded, the discovery of swimming with Whale Sharks and Mantas begins! On average, you can expect to enjoy a beautiful and scenic speedboat ride that takes about an hour to get to the where the area Whale Sharks gather.

  • Once we find the Whale Sharks, we'll get in the water and snorkel and swim with these majestic creatures for approximately three hours.

  • After your swim with the Whale Sharks, we will go snorkeling at another beautiful location, the coral reef in Isla Mujeres. We'll then bring you to Playa Norte – named one of the Most Beautiful Beaches in the World – and it is our last stop of the Whale Shark tour in Isla Mujeres, where we'll have lunch, beer and fun!

  • From Playa Norte we'll return back to our pier in Cancun, where your guide and driver will bring you back to your hotel. Expect to arrive back to your hotels around 15:30 (Cancun Hotels) and 16:30 (Riviera Maya Hotels).

  • Our amazingly friendly, knowledgeable and passionate guides will make your Whale Shark swimming experience the highlight of your holiday. We love doing this so much, and we can’t wait to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with you!

Whale Shark Tour Time Table

  • 5:45 AM Pick-up at your hotel or accommodation in Tulum.
  • 6:30 AM Pick-up at your hotel or accommodation in Playa del Carmen.
  • 7:20 AM Pick-up at your hotel or accommodation in Cancun.
  • 7:45 AM Arrival to the pier in Cancun.
  • 8:00 AM Breakfast buffet at the pier in Cancun.
  • 8:30 AM Speed boat departure to Whale Shark area (Your Certified Bilingual guide will give a safety note prior to speedboats).
  • 9:30 AM Arrival at the Whale Shark Area. We will gear up and stay for about 3 hours.
  • 11:30 AM Departure from the Whale Shark Area to Isla Mujeres.
  • 12:30 PM Arrival and snorkeling at Isla Mujeres Coral reef.
  • 01:00 PM Classic Caribbean Lunch at "Playa Norte" in Isla Mujeres (vegetarian options available upon request).
  • 02:30 PM Departure back to the pier in Cancun (transportation ready to take you back to your accommodations).
  • 03:30 PM Arrival to hotels and accommodations in the Cancun area.
  • 4:00 to 5:00 PM Arrival to hotels and accommodations in the Playa del Carmen area.
  • 5:30 PM Arrival to hotels and accommodations in the Tutlum area.

What's Included

At Ocean Tours we take care of every detail so you can have a unique experience swimming with the Whale Sharks.

We include all that's necessary to fully enjoy your Whale Shark experience. Below, you'll find a list of our inclusions plus some suggestions for what you may to consider bringing on the tour.

 

This tour includes:

  • Free Round-Trip Ground Transportation from Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum. Pick up and drop-off at your hotel, rental or home is included in the tour price.
  • Whale Shark Guaranty for the unlikely, 1% chance we don’t see any Whale Sharks (Our 100%, No-Hassle Refund).
  • Continental Breakfast Buffet.
  • Bottled Water and Soft Drinks.
  • Classic Caribbean Lunch with shrimp/fish ceviche, tortilla chips, guacamole and fruits (vegetarian available upon advance request).
  • Sandwiches all day to fuel your snorkeling adventure.
  • Full gear including a high-performance silicon mask and a snorkel with release valve .
  • Seasickness Prevention by three methods such as dramamine, ginger tea or pressure point bracelet – completely free, at no cost to you.
  • Prescription Snorkeling Mask, If you wear glasses (advance notice required).
  • Experienced, Bilingual Guides in English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Polish.
  • Snorkeling in the Whale Shark area as much as possible, as well as at Isla Mujeres.
  • Relax and Swim at Playa Norte, one of the world’s top-rated beaches.
  • Best -in-Class Speed Boats with two, four-stroke ecological engines and noise-reduction.
  • The nature reserve fee (10 USD per person) is not included in the price.
  • Floating Safety Vests are mandatory due to new regulations in Mexico in 2019.

Guides and Boats

Professional Guides

  • Most of our guides are diving instructors or dive masters, and have all been hand-selected by Ocean tours for their passion and care for nature, awesome attitude and exceptional empathy.

  • Our first concern is to give our clients a unique experience that they can remember for years to come. At all times, our team is there for you with knowledge, motivation, attention, and trust.

  • We truly provide the Mayan Riviera's best quality in service and tours, and we always ensure the total satisfaction of our clients. We love what we do and we want to share these amazing experiences with you!

Ocean Tours Guides

Tamara - Dolorez

Ocean Tours Guides

Yurian

Ocean Tours Guides

Franka - Maca

Some of our Boats / Transportation:

 

Whale Shark Tour Boats

Boat Ballihoo

Whale Shark Tour Boats

Boat Fantasea

Whale Shark Tour Boats

Boat Whale Shark Tour

Whale Shark Tour Boats

VIP Boat Fantasea

Whale Shark Tour Boats

Our Boats

Whale Shark Tour Boats

Our Boats

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are whale sharks dangerous?

    There’s no record of Whale Sharks or Mantas hurting any human being.

    Whale sharks are very large and congregate in the waters around Isla Mujeres and Holbox to feed on tiny fish eggs and microscopic organisms. Also whale sharks are not fast swimmers and on average cruise through the water at just 3 mph. They also actively avoid swimming into objects and other creatures.

  • Do whale sharks have teeth?

    Whale sharks do have teeth but they have incredibly tiny teeth evolved to aid in filter feeding, they really are gentle giants. Whale sharks have no need to bite anything, they simply filter-feed which involves a sucking process. So just to be clear whale sharks don’t eat humans, they have never harmed a human directly or indirectly.

  • Is the tour guided?

    Our guides will make you feel safe, secure, comfortable and most importantly they’ll ensure you have the best view of the whale sharks! Even if you’re not an experienced snorkeler, or if you’re not so comfortable swimming, the guide will ensure your swim with the Whale Sharks is an unforgettable experience! Our guides make sure that practically anyone can do the Cancun whale shark tour regardless of their physical ability. Even if the guide has to literally hold your hand they will get you close up with the ocean’s largest fish.

  • Whale sharks in Isla Mujeres or whale sharks in Holbox - What’s the difference?

    This is a popular question as when you look for “Cancun whale shark tour” you may not actually know where the sharks are exactly. Every year hundreds of whale sharks arrive in the waters of Cancun in fact it’s the largest aggregation of whale sharks in the world. Sometimes we find whale sharks in Isla Mujeres and sometimes we find the whale sharks in Holbox it all depends on where their preferred food source is drifting. The main difference is that the waters around Isla Mujeres are warm, clear, and blue and the waters around Holbox are green, and colder. Either way you will get to swim with 18+ foot whale sharks so wherever they are we will find them.

  • Where do I have to go?

    The good news is that we pick you up from your accommodation at the beginning of the day and drop you off at the end of the day. The other bit of good news is that there is no bad news, you don’t have to do anything we will arrange all transportation for you.

  • Will I get sea sick?

    Some people suffer from seasickness on boats, it’s a part of life and we totally understand. That is why we do everything we can to prevent this from happening to our guests. To ensure you’ll have the best Whale Shark watching & swimming experience, we offer three various prevention methods for free, such as: Dramamine, ginger tea, or a pressure point bracelet. If in the unlikely case you still get seasick on the boat, our guides are trained to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

  • How many times can I swim with whale sharks during the tour?

    Our goal is is for you, our clients/new friends, to receive total satisfaction & success which is why we let you swim with the Whale Sharks as much as possible! We’ll stay in the Whale Shark watching area for approximately three hours.

  • Do I have to bring my own snorkeling gear?

    You can if you want to, but we also provide all snorkeling gear includes mask, snorkel, fins, and life jacket. All our snorkels have a release valve that immediately expels any water that enters your snorkel. If you have a wet suit, please feel free to bring it along: this way, you won’t need a life jacket to swim with Whale Sharks. If you don’t have one we can provide them to be rented for 15 usd.

  • Do I have to bring food and drink?

    At the pier, you will have a light breakfast ready upon your arrival. During the day, there will be plenty of bottled water & soft drinks, as well as sandwiches to snack on the boats. When we’ve finished snorkeling with whale sharks, we’ll have a classic Caribbean lunch in the beautiful waters of Isla Mujeres to complete your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Can I bring my camera?

    f you want to you can bring your underwater camera. For the entire excursion, your guide will shoot videos & pictures on a GoPro in high-definition during your Whale Shark experience. At the end of your trip, you’re able to purchase a 2GB USB loaded with moments & memories of your experience for just $40 USD.

    Regardless of age, all people entering the Whale Shark area are required to pay a Natural Reserve Fee. This fee is not included in the tour price and is payable upon pick-up at your accommodation at the beginning of your tour ($10 USD/Person).

  • Are whale sharks whales, or sharks?

    Although the name is confusing, whale sharks are sharks. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean and can reach up to 12 meters or perhaps even bigger.

  • Can I swim with whale sharks if I am Pregnant?

    Pregnant women are welcome on this tour only between the 11th and 28th week of pregnancy. Pregnant woman will go on the back side of the speedboat where there’s less movement inside the boat.

    If you’re pregnant, please let us know at the time of booking your Whale Shark tour so we can recommend the best day with the best sea conditions.

    We understand you may need more assistance and we’re more than happy to assist you!

    When onboard and in the water, remember to take your time, keep calm and enjoy, we will always be assisting you.

    The boat’s edge is 2.5 feet (0.7 mts) above the surface of the water, With the help of your guide and sailor it’s easy and safe to accompany anyone into the water.

    The seasickness could be an issue, but we have an effective method to prevent it, such as a pressure point bracelet (acupuncture).

    Please remember to ask for help whenever needed during your tour.

    As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns prior to your tour, either through email or a quick chat on the phone! We’re here to help!

  • Can children swim with whale sharks?

    Children are the most adventurous and they are welcome on the tour.

    All children above the age of two can swim with the Whale Sharks. Children can go swimming with a parent, guide or any adult. As well, we supply all gear suitable for children.

    We don’t recommend infants and toddlers younger than two years of age, however if it’s necessary you’re more than welcome to bring your child if there are good sea conditions. Please contact us to let us know, and we will advise you on the best day to bring your infant. Additionally, please keep in mind that we will be boating for approx. six hours in total.

    Children under the age of 4 join the tour for free, however they must pay the Natural Reserve Fee of just $10 USD.

    Children between 4 and 11 years old pay a reduced price. Reduced prices for children between 4-11 years of age appear in the form upon booking your tour.

    Please let us know if you have additional questions relating to young children and infants.

  • Can people with disabilities swim with whale sharks?

    We know how important this experience is for you. We also understand that you may need more assistance and we are happy to assist you!

    When onboard and in the water, remember to take your time, keep calm and enjoy, we will always be assisting you.

    We’ll set you up at in the most comfortable and calm location of the speedboat.

    The boat’s edge is 2.5 feet (0.7 mts) above the surface of the water. With the help of your guide and sailor, it’s easy and safe to accompany anyone into the water.

    Lastly, we also have snorkeling masks with prescription if you wear glasses. Please let us know in your reservation if you need us to provide you with a prescription mask.

    Need more information? Please feel free to contact us through email or phone!

  • Can I swim with whale sharks if I'm staying in Cozumel?

    If you’re staying in Cozumel and you want to swim with the Whale Sharks, then you have to take the ferry to Playa del Carmen. The cost of the ferry is not included in the tour’s price, however your ground transportation to and from Playa del Carmen is included.

    The tour begins with your guide picking you up at Playa del Carmen’s ferry terminal.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t any Whale Sharks in Cozumel and at this time, it isn’t possible to go to the Whale Shark area with a speed boat from Cozumel!

    All Whale Shark speed boats depart from piers in Cancun or Isla Mujeres.

    Therefore, we recommend that clients staying in Cozumel should take the 05:45 AM ferry which arrives in the Playa del Carmen pier at 06:30. One of our Ocean Tours’ guides will be waiting for you at “Señor Frog’s” front door, just 60 feet from the ferry exit. From there, the guide will accompany you to your van with A/C, bottled water and an experienced driver ready to go. Your guide will be with you during the entire tour.

    When we return from the tour, your guide will take you to the ferry pier in Playa del Carmen so you can take the 4:00 PM ferry back to Cozumel.

    If the 05:45 AM Ferry is too early for you, then you can take a later ferry only if you do a Private Whale Shark Tour with us.

    Curious about our Private Whale Shark Tour? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to see if this tour is the right fit for you!

    For more information on the ferry schedule visit this link.

  • Are whale sharks endangered?

    Whale Sharks are considered "vulnerable to extinction" and are in the Red List of Threatened Species.

    They are in danger due to threats resulting from human activities, including non-biodegradable sunscreen, plastic/waste/toxins/oil spills in the ocean, cutting the fins off sharks, being caught in fishing nets, and even for sport.

Why do it with Us

Our first concern is the total satisfaction of our clients!

  • We strive to be the Best

    We are rated excellent on TripAdvisor, Google, and other rating platforms thanks to our commitment to excellence.

  • We are the Tour Operator

    Every service and every part of the tour is directly operated by Ocean Tours. We guarantee an excellent high quality service to ensure the total satisfaction of our clients.

  • We are Experienced

    We have over 10 years of experience in operating tours as Ocean Tours started in year 2005.

  • We are Professional

    Our guides are enthusiastic, experienced and knowledgeable. The whole team will make your tour unforgettable.

  • We are Dedicated

    Working with small groups of clients, max. 12 people per van ensures you a familiar private tour feeling.

  • We want you to remember your tour forever!

    One professional photographer per group!

  • We are Safe

    Our professional guides are certified in First-Aid.
    Our transportation is very safe and comfortable, and our drivers are very experienced.

  • Professional Photographers Team

    Our professional photographers team will come with you on the tour and get the best shots at these fantastic locations.