Cancun Whale Shark Tour

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Adult: 199 $169.15
Child: 179 $152.15
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Avoid crowds! We also offer a Private Cancun Whale Shark Tour. Check it out
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.

"Amzazing tour with fantastic tour guide"

5 Stars

Very clean equipment, fitting everyones needs. The boat's captain (boat Regi) obviously knew where to go to get the highest number of whale sharks.

WilkyWay101 - Holzminden, Germany.

About the Cancun Whale Shark Tour

Click the titles below to expand each section.

Cancun Whale Shark Tour Itinerary

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

  • 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 we go swimming with Whale Sharks, we'll enjoy a freshly-prepared and delicious continental breakfast at the pier in Cancun. After breakfast we'll proceed to boarding the boat, and once boarded, the discovery of swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico begins! 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.

  • 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 approx.

  • The boat will stay in the whale shark area for up to 3 hours. Each client will jump into the water 3 times, for about 10 minutes each.

  • After your swim with the Whale Sharks in their natural habitat, 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 – which is our last stop on 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).

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 Snorkeling area (Your Certified Bilingual guide will give a safety note prior to speedboats).
  • 9:30 AM Arrival at the spot to swim with Whale Sharks. We will gear up and stay for up to 3 hours approx.
  • 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 Tulum area.

What's Included

At Ocean Tours we take care of every detail so you can have a unique experience when we take you to swim with Whale Sharks in Mexico.

We include all that's necessary to fully enjoy your Whale Shark swimming experience. Below, you'll find a list of our inclusions plus some suggestions for what you may to consider bringing on the Whale Shark 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 Warranty: In the unlikely, 1% chance we don’t see any Whale Sharks, you get a 100% hassle-free 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.
  • 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

Aygul - Russia

Ocean Tours Guides

Stefan - Germany & Yurian - Holland

Ocean Tours Guides

Pia & Gonza - Argentina

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.

  • Is the tour guided?

    The Whale Shark Tour in Cancun is 100% guided. We offer professional guides in multiple languages.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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 on any particular day. The main difference is that the waters around Isla Mujeres are warm, clear, and blue, while 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?

    We will pick you up at your hotel or accommodation at the beginning of the day and drop you off at the end of the day. Round-trip transportation is included in the cost of the tour.

  • 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 different prevention methods for free: Dramamine, ginger tea, and pressure point bracelets. In the unlikely case that 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 to receive total satisfaction & success which is why we let you swim with the Whale Sharks in Mexico for as long 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 including 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 wetsuit, please feel free to bring it along: this way, you won’t need a life jacket to swim with Whale Sharks in Mexico. If you don’t have one we can provide them to be rented for 15 usd.

  • Do I have to bring food and drinks?

    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 which also includes beer to complete your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Can I bring my camera?

    You are welcome to bring your own camera. For the entire whale shark tour, 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 watching 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.

    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.

    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’ve developed the most complete Whale Shark tour, covering every need of our clients.

  • We are the Tour Operator

    Every service and every part of the tour is directly operated by Ocean Tours. This is why we’re able to guarantee an excellent and high quality service. Most of the web pages you see are simply selling tours as a middle-man, providing little to no guarantee of quality, safety or assurance. Here, you buy directly from the tour operator.

  • Swim till you can swim no more with the Whale Sharks!

    We’ll give you all opportunities necessary to make sure you see the Whale Shark. We understand that this is not an inexpensive tour and that you even have to wake up very early to be on time, so with that in mind, once we’re in the Whale Shark area you’re allowed to jump-in as many times as possible to swim with the Whale Sharks and to fully enjoy your experience. Even if some days are difficult and the Whale Sharks aren’t as abundant in numbers, we’ll continue to do our best to swim enough times.

  • Top-rated Whale Shark Tour Operator

    Ocean Tours is the No. 1 Whale Shark tour operator & supplier in TripAdvisor in the entire Mayan Riviera, and we’re the only tour operator with a full 5-Star Rating and Certificate of Excellence with TripAdvisor.

  • Small Groups

    We only take small groups of clients with a maximum boat capacity of 10 people, so that we can create an environment that’s personalized & comfortable, giving you that “private tour feeling” without the “private tour price”.

  • We guarantee that you swim with the Whale Sharks!

    We provide a no-hassle 100% Guarantee to watch & swim with the Whale Sharks in Mexico. If you don’t see a single Shark on your tour, we’ll gladly refund you 100% of your tour price. If you do see/watch Whale Sharks but for some reason are unable to swim with them, we’ll also happily refund you 50% of your tour price.

  • Seasickness Prevention

    We do everything possible to prevent seasickness from happening to our guests, which is why we offer three prevention methods FOR FREE, such as dramamine, ginger tea, and pressure point bracelets. Again, all prevention methods are free of any charge!

  • Prescription Snorkeling Mask

    If you wear glasses, we can provide you with a prescription snorkeling mask, at no extra cost, so you can properly see the Whale Sharks underwater. All you need to do is give us advance notice during the time of booking your tour with us!

  • Vegetarian Lunch

    Upon request, we’re able to provide vegetarian options to our guests. You’ll be simply delighted! Featuring a delicious pasta salad with olive oil, fresh tomatoes and olives, served with guacamole, tortilla chips, and fruit. Our breakfast is also vegetarian.

  • Get your Pictures with the Whale Sharks

    We make sure there’s a photographer in each boat, and you can purchase a 2GB USB with all pictures and HD videos taken with a GoPro camera during your tour. You also can take your own aquatic camera.

  • Professional Guides

    Our guides are enthusiastic, experienced, knowledgeable, safe, and most importantly, they love what they do! The whole team will make your tour an unforgettable experience.

  • We Care

    We take three crew members on each boat to ensure all your needs are taken care of and to also ensure that you swim as much as you like: captain, sailor/guide, bilingual guide/photographer.

  • 12 Years of Experience operating Whale Shark Tour

    We have over 12 years of experience in operating Whale Shark tours as Ocean Tours, starting way back in 2005. Because of this experience, we’ve developed the expertise, knowledge, and truly honed our craft of finding Whale Sharks when no one else can.

  • Best Snorkeling Gear

    We provide only the highest quality snorkeling equipment, with a water-release valve in the snorkel that makes it much easier to expel any water that may enter. It also improves breathing, allowing you to jump in right away with the Whale Sharks, without being hindered by your equipment.

  • We go the Extra Mile

    On every tour, our captain and guide are experienced in locating and spotting Turtles, Sailfish, Dolphins and Manta Rays to make your experience even more amazing!