An incredible opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience is waiting for you in the crystal clear Caribbean waters of Isla Mujeres. Every summer between May and September hundreds of whale sharks gather to peacefully graze on plankton in what becomes the world’s largest congregation of these animals.
Swimming with these gentle giants, holder of the title of world’s largest fish, is an amazing experience that only happens in a privileged few spots around the world, and nowhere else is this easy to find them or has this many whale sharks at once.
Be a part of this tour to join a select number of people that have witnessed firsthand the grace and beauty of the whale sharks in a fun, exciting and safe adventures.
7:00 am Pick up at your Hotel (6:00 AM from Playa del Carmen)
7:30 am: informative pre-departure briefing at Marina Hacienda del Mar. Your knowledgeable, certified guide will provide the group with information about the whale sharks and the whale shark reserve as well as safety protocols and the rules we’ll be following.
8:00 am: departure from the marina to the whale shark reserve. The reserve is an area of open seas North of Isla Mujeres, arriving here and finding the whale sharks can take between 45 minutes and an hour. Once we find them the adventure begins.
12:30 pm: enjoy lunch on the boat off the coast of Isla Mujeres in one of the world’s most beautiful beaches (as ranked by Condé Nast in 2013). After lunch you can enjoy the beach and relax for a while.
1:30 pm: estimated time of return to the marina and end of the tour.
Covid Safety Measures
As we continue to live through the Covid-19 pandemic it is important that we respect the safety measures to keep us all safe. Here are some of the measures that you will be encountering in this tour:
- We ask that you please fill this health questionnaire at most 24 hours before the tour.
- Upon pick up you will be welcomed, have your temperature checked, apply anti-bacterial gel and check that you have completed your health questionnaire
- We ask that you please utilize a face mask that covers your mouth and nose during the tour. Our team has disposable masks in case you need one
- Antibacterial gel is available at the transport units and the boats at all times
- We ask that you respect all hygiene measures in place to ensure yours and our safety
- Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters (5ft)
- Disinfect your belongings at every opportunity
Frequently asked questions
What exactly is a whale shark?
Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish, growing beyond 10 meters in length and weighing more than 19 tons. Despite their name they are not whales, but they are sharks, however similarly to many whales these sharks are filter feeders and not predators.
Are whale sharks dangerous?
They are not; while they remain wild animals and are technically capable of harming us given their immense size and strength, they are known for their gentle nature. Whale sharks pay no mind to us swimming with them and continue to feed in our presence, so long as we respect them they will not interact with us.
Am I harming the environment or the sharks by being here?
You are not. This activity is strictly regulated and the guidelines we follow when watching them from the boat or in the water with them are designed to ensure both our and their safety. If we follow these rules, that include a no diving and no touching, we can all coexist happily.
Can I touch the whale sharks?
No you may not, his is strictly prohibited. Touching the sharks risks stressing them causing them to leave the area and stop feeding them for that day. We ask everyone to remain at least 10ft from these animals at any time when in the water with them.
Do I need to wear a life jacket?
Yes, this is not optional. Regulations stipulate that you must wear a flotation device at all times; your only other option is wearing a full wetsuit of 3mm thickness or more. These are not included with the tour but are available for rental or you can bring your own. Rash guards and other lighter protection do not count as flotation devices.
How can I prevent seasickness?
If you are prone to seasickness we advice that you consult your doctor for the best medication possible for you. They will present you a range of options that you can take and the proper ways of taking them to prevent any seasickness. We do not sell any medication at our facilities.
What happens if we don’t find the whale sharks?
This tour guarantees whale shark encounters in June, July and August. If no client on a tour during these dates saw a whale shark during the expedition you can either reschedule your tour at no additional cost or be eligible for a full refund. We offer this tour in the months of May and September as well, and while whale sharks are sighted the vast majority of these tours we do not offer a guarantee for these two months.
Don’t wait any longer and make your reservation for this life-changing wild animal encounter.
- Comfortable transportation
- Professional Guides
- Lunch (sandwiches and ceviches)
- Beverages (soda and water)
- Snorkeling equipment and life jacket
- Neoprene rental (optional)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Extra expenses (souvenirs, videos, photos, etc.)
- Environmental and dock tax $15 USD
- This expedition operates daily only from May to September
- It is important to stay hydrated during this expedition and after it. This is paramount to prevent seasickness or heatstroke.
- This is a physical activity and it begins early in the morning. We recommend that you make sure that you have a good night of rest the night before the tour and that you do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol the night before. Hangovers at sea are not fun.
- You are required to wear a flotation device when you are in the water. This is usually a life-jacket but can also be substituted with a wetsuit with a thickness of 3mm or more. There is an option to rent one from us (not included in the tour) or you can bring your own.
- There are options for souvenirs and memorabilia such as: videos and photography, t-shirts, etc. These can be paid for with cash or Visa/Master card.
What to bring
- We recommend that you bring cool, long-sleeved clothing to the boat to protect yourself from the sun. The use of sunscreen is not allowed in the marina or on the boat to protect the whale sharks from possibly harmful chemicals.
- If you bring a waterproof camera you can ask our guides to take pictures and videos of your experience, make us of this perk!
- Pick up is available in most of hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Exact time of your pick-up will be sent by email after booking.
- In case we dont have pick-up for a specific hotel or location will be sent you the nearest meeting point where pick-up is available
Refunds and Cancellations:
- Cancellations made 48 hrs before = 100% refund
- Cancellations made between 36-48 hrs before = 80% refund.
- Cancellations made between 24-36 hrs before = 50% refund.
- Cancellations made less than 24 hrs before = no refund.
- No show = no refund
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