Cancun

Whale Sharks Small-Group Tour in Cancun and Riviera Maya

Cancun, Mexico
Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun Small Group Snorkeling Tour

From $175.00

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 7 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Snorkel with Mexican whale sharks on a full-day group snorkeling tour off the Yucatan Coast from Playa del Carmen. Under the direction of an expert guide, swim with the world’s largest fish while looking out for dolphins, manta rays, and turtles. Immerse yourself in the marine magnificence of Mexico’s waters on this spectacular small-group adventure.
  • Whale shark snorkeling adventure off the coast of Cancun
  • Comprehensive narration from a professional guide
  • Lunch on the boat off the coast of Isla Mujeres in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
  • Complimentary pickup and drop off from most Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum hotels

What's Included

  • Bilingual biologist/naturalist guide
  • Lunch
  • Water and soft drinks
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Use of snorkeling equipment (life jacket, visor, fins, snorkel)
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • ENVIRONMENTAL TAX AND DOCK USE $20.00 USD IN CASH PER PERSON PAYABLE THE DAY OF YOUR TOUR

Meeting and Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Carretera a Punta Sam
    Carr. a Punta Sam Supermanzana 84, Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

    Carretera Puerto Juárez, Carr. a Punta Sam Supermanzana 84, 77500 Cancún, Q.R. "Marina Xtabay"

Pickup points

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Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

-. AIRBNB STAYS .- We fully accept tours with Airbnb reservations, the pick-up will take place in a nearby public place or a more central meeting point in order to speed up the arrival times to the tours. Tour departs from major hotels around Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and from the Super Aki Supermarket in Tulum. Tour returns to the original point of departure

What To Expect

Depart from your Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Tulum hotel to begin your aquatic adventure with gentle marine giants. Board a comfortable vessel and set sail with your small group to explore the Yucatan Peninsula, one of the only places in the world where you can share the water with whale sharks. 

Observe the calm waters surrounding Isla Contoy, Holbox, and Isla Mujeres for whale sharks, then once you’ve spotted one, don your snorkeling gear and plunge into the iridescent water to snorkel alongside the fascinating fish. Glide resplendently beside the incredible creatures, watching them feast upon microscopic plankton while enjoying the tropical temperatures of the Yucatan’s water. 

Return to the boat and relax as you cruise towards the silken sands of Isla Mujeres, to a blissful beach known as Playa Norte. Recline upon the white sands and swim in the glittering turquoise waters before feasting upon a delicious lunch of traditional Mexican dishes. Naturalists will delight in the abundance of bird and marine species on the island.

Back on the boat, listen as your onboard biologist regales with fascinating facts about the local wildlife. Information on how to safely interact with marine life will also be provided to ensure your safety and security at all times. 

The small number limit of 10 participants ensures an intimate and enjoyable experience on the Mexican Whale Shark Snorkel Adventure. 

Note: The tour includes two jumps into the water with a possibility for more, time allowing.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 8 years
  • This tour requires a minimum number of passengers to operate. There is a possibility that the tour may be canceled after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be provided the option to take the tour on an alternative date or be refunded in full.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • It is not recommended for pregnant women and people with heart and back problems.
  • We only permit biodegradable sunscreen and we invite you to use it when you are in your Hotel before your trip because we care about your health and marine life.
  • Near public transportation
  • We recommended to ask your doctor if you can take seasickness pills before your tour.
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Environmental tax and dock use excludes ($15 usd in cash per person payable the day of your tour)
  • You can bring your own bottle of water (glass or recyclable)
  • We use mouth covers all the time
  • We use gel antibacterial
  • We wash our hands every 30 minutes
  • We do not touch our face, noise and mount
  • We say “Hello” with 1.5 mts of distance
  • We take the temperature to our employees every day
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 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.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Brett_M
Awesome experience! Very kind and friendly staff, who guide you through everything perfectly. They know the spots, they know the procedures, they know it all and you can trust them to show you the best time possible. The Whale Sharks are incredible, and so cooperative with all of us side swimmers. Pretty surreal. I was also celebrating a birthday and they made sure to acknowledge it and even gifted me a piece of merch for the occasion. All around amazing experience. Would highly recommend.

Reviews

4.5
789 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 789 reviews
Great experience, highly recommend
Chenyu_L, Dec 2023
Awesome trip, great guide, caption and crew. We saw 4 whale sharks and everyone gets their turn to go into water when the whale shark comes near. We also had freshly made cheviche and guacamole for lunch, liked it a lot! Lastly, I want to thank the caption for his quick reaction to fetch my gopro that was about to sink into the deep ocean!
$170 for a bad lunch and long boat ride
Jared_B, Sep 2023
This was a complete waste of money for me. The description of the trip sounded great and I had high expectations but it was just a long boat ride and we only got like 5-10 minutes of swimming with whale sharks. It took us about 2.5 hours to find whale sharks and by this point some of us were having extreme motion sickness from being on the boat so long. I was feeling so sick that I couldn't even make anything of the experience. I tried to swim with the whale sharks anyway but it was just awful. We then went to the island and literally only stayed there for about 15 minutes to swim around which was way less than what I was expecting. They then gave us lunch which was a huge letdown, all they gave us was some tortilla chips from a bag that I could buy for a dollar or two, some "homemade" guacamole, and some premade sandwiches that were just bleh. This was a total wasted day on my trip and I really wish I would have done something else. If you do decide to do this, be ready to wait up to 2 and a half hours to find some whale sharks, getting possible motion sickness, and a low effort lunch. I would advise that you do anything other than this because it came out to be just an overblown boat ride.
100% recommend
Achraf_K, Sep 2023
The snorkel underwater was surreal. The crew and the guide Diego were amazing, he explained everything clearly and they guiding us to follow the whale sharks. The crew was also well prepared with all equipment. I'd highly recommend and do it again. Only thing is I'd wish to have more time snorkeling with the whale sharks.
Amazing Experience
Muhammed_S, Sep 2023
One of the best experiences I’ve done, communication and pickup was easy, had two chances to snorkel, first one was with a whale shark, and the second was with three manta rays. Boat ride can be rough so would be a good idea to take sea sickness tablets if you’re susceptible.
If you like getting scammed choose this one
Caden_W, Sep 2023
Me and my brother decided to do this tour to get a fun and unique experience but it ended up being a huge waste of time and money. We sat around in a shaky boat for around 5 hours and saw nothing but a couple dolphins, for only a few seconds. No whale sharks or manta rays like they said they were “going to find”. So what they did to “make up for it” was let us snorkel around a open part of Cancun not even a reef which we were going to do anyways. Now while this did upset me I figured that since we didn’t get to see anything we would get a partial refund, however they refused to give any refund at all.
Excusion of a Lifetime
Jacqueline_M, Sep 2023
Our guide, Omar was simply amazing! Knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful. I'm so pleased with our experience!
Book it and have an amazing experience!!
Alexandra_S, Sep 2023
I selected this tour because of the small group size, which I was very happy about. The size was perfect and gave everyone plenty of time with the sharks and it was easy to interact with eachother. Everyone got two times in the water with the whale sharks -- the sharks were so close and it was a truly amazing experience! Then we had a lovely lunch and swam on isla mujeres. Just a wonderful time!
Disappointed & lots of extra charges
Evie_J, Sep 2023
Had based my trip to Mexico around going to see the whale sharks so was really excited for this trip. The driver was lovely, but I was so disappointed on the boat. The staff were very focused around making additional money from us (Charging another £15/20 to use the required wetsuit) and asked for 80 USD for a go pro picture and were fairly pushy about this. I was told to jump in for one of my two 3 minute dives when the whale shark was a long way away and I don’t feel like I was able to see them properly, I was rushed in and rushed out of the boat, and I didn’t feel like my experience was valued, it was all about making extra money. I felt like the staff on board were quite rude and didn’t explain things properly. It was also a 6 hour trip and there was no toilet or facilities on the boat. Feel really disappointed as I’d been looking forward to doing this for so long!
Memorable
Cinthia_T, Sep 2023
How beautiful the water looked! And getting to see the whale shark really close to the boat. I rated this experience a three because I felt really rushed when it came to swimming with the sharks. Our guide looked frustrated when I wouldn’t put my head down to see the shark. I simply couldn’t breath right because water was entering my goggles.
Amazing
Sophie_A, Sep 2023
This was an incredible experience. We were staying near Akumal and it was a long day with a lot of traveling but the transport was prompt and comfortable. Overall completely worth it and would highly recommend EcoColour.
Highlight of the trip
Samer_A, Sep 2023
It’s a long day that starts early so don’t party the night before, and get some great sleep. We saw the whale sharks and plenty of manta rays, but that is pure luck. It’s about 1.5 hours into the middle of the sea, and you’re looking for a large but relatively small animal in open ocean. An animal that is blue and not always near the surface. Obviously there’s no guarantee so if you’re going to have a fit that you didn’t get to see one, don’t go. This isn’t an aquarium, they aren’t chumming the water for them, so it’s not going to happen for everyone. The guides were amazing. Many other boats were a lot more aggressive while our boat (Led by Santiago) were more conscientious and respectful. They were very informative and made everyone feel included, safe, and excited. If you do get to see the whale sharks, it’s a core memory. I only got to see one for a like 30 seconds but that was enough. It was a beautiful experience and I would definitely recommend it and do it again. If you’re prone to burning, bring sun covering clothes, as you cannot wear sunscreen due to environmental protection. It wasn’t a huge problem as the boat is shaded but if you’re pale it will be. HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP!
Once in a life time experience
Lorraine_A, Sep 2023
Got picked up on time nice welcome everything was explained we were lucky to see lots off whale sharks had two swims got really close also saw dolphins and manta rays we had sandwiches provided and lunch on the boat at the beach really good day to remember
Didn’t see any today but still a good adventure
cantenn_r, Sep 2023
Wonderful caption and guide. We sadly just didn’t see any whale sharks this day. Next time I will go with a company that offers a discount if you don’t encounter what you are out looking for.
Great Experience
Thrishanna_M, Sep 2023
Amazing to see whale sharks in the ocean and swim with them! They do let you know before hand you swim in pairs for a few minutes at a time (you go twice if there is enough time) and can only get in the water to swim if 5 or more whale sharks are spotted. We were able to swim twice to see them and it was a memorable experience
Memorable Experience
Thrishanna_M, Sep 2023
It was amazing to swim with whale sharks in the ocean! The trip is very long to their location and you only get to go in for a few minutes at a time but it was amazing to see them! The guide was knowledgeable and experienced. Will 100% do this again
Love the whale sharks
faith_b, Sep 2023
Hector and Diego made sure we got up close and personal with the whale sharks - my picture is from a go pro and resolution is poor because it’s from my phone . Unbelievable experience and worth the money .
An Amazing Experience
Shane_N, Sep 2023
Charlie was an excellent tour guide. He managed expectations, letting everyone know that you cannot find the whale sharks some days. However, we quickly found one and snorkeled with it twice for about 5-10 minutes. Since we found the shark so fast, we were able to move to our next destination, a beautiful beach where we could swim for a bit while the boat crew prepared everyone fish ceviche. An amazing experience.
Great Trip
Brandon_K, Sep 2023
Charlie(Carlos) and the team were awesome. We had a great ride and snokel with a whale shark as well as very good ceviche.
Plan B
Rossana_J, Sep 2023
Courteous tour guide, captain and assistant. I enjoyed the company of six passengers. No whale sharks to be found after trolling the area for three hours. The good news was everyone was patient. We ended up snorkeling in a sunken boat area. The tropical fish was plentiful. The cerviche and guacamole was delicious. I returned safely back to my air b and b.
Only go if you really, really, really love whale sharks.
Jeremy_V, Aug 2023
Unfortunately, there were no memorable parts to this excursion. The guides and boat crew were great but there's no guarantee you'll see whale sharks. Our scheduled tour and the following day were cancelled due to wind/rough seas. On the third day we were able to go out but that day should have been cancelled too. The seas were still very rough and most people were ill. It was the first time seasickness caused me to vomit. The whole boat ride out to sea and then searching around for hours (with 40 other boats covering hundreds of square miles) felt like torture. Even if we had found a whale shark, you need to get in line with hundreds of other people to get a glimpse. We were told by a guide that bad weather causes the whale's food supply to move deeper, making it less likely to see whale sharks. So, only go if there have been several days of nice weather prior to your excursion date. There was a very short snorkelling stop on the return trip, but it was very underwhelming. This was my first and last attempt to see whale sharks in the wild.
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