The Whale Shark Tour in Cancún is growing in popularity. And for a good reason. It is an indescribable feeling to dive together with whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins in the tropical waters off the Yucatán. Even the coral reefs can't keep up.

But when choosing the right provider, important things have to be considered in order to find a nice and cheap tour. The time when whale sharks are seen is also important.

  1. When is the best time for the Whale Shark Tour in Cancun?
  2. Which provider for whale shark tours do you recommend?
  3. What should you consider when choosing a provider?
  4. What to bring on the Whale Shark Tour?
  5. What is the Whale Shark Tour in Cancun
  6. Besides whale sharks, what animals will I see on the tour?

When is the best time for the Whale Shark Tour in Cancun?

The best time for a whale shark tour in Cancun is usually between June and September. In other months there are sometimes no whale sharks to be seen. Instead there are other animals to admire, such as turtles, rays and dolphins.

This is when whale sharks enter the waters around Cancun on their annual migration. During these months there is a high probability that you will encounter a significant number of whale sharks on your tour.

Exact time may vary and depends on factors such as ocean currents and plankton availability.

Tour operators in Cancun are usually familiar with the most up-to-date information about whale shark occurrences and can help you find the best dates for your whale shark tour.

It is usually not recommended to book a tour directly with a hostel, hotel or Cancun airport. In most cases, only one provider is used here and the commissions cause additional costs.

The top 5 providers of whale shark diving tours are*:

  1. Eco Tours Adventure
  2. Contoy Adventures
  3. EcoColors Mexico
  4. DC Explorer Isla Mujeres
  5. Ocean Tours

All rated based on reviews from leading review platforms such as Tripadvisor, Viator and GetYourGuide*.

Reviews for Whale Shark tours

We can therefore only recommend looking at the reviews of other travelers beforehand and booking through a portal like GetYourGuide or Viator, because there you will get your money refunded if something doesn't work.

The best rated tours are as follows:

What should you consider when choosing a provider?

When choosing a provider for your whale shark tour in Cancun, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Provider Experience and Reputation: Check the provider's experience and reputation. Read customer reviews, recommendations, and testimonials to ensure the operator is trustworthy and offering quality tours.
  2. Permissions and Certifications: Make sure the vendor has the required permissions and authorization to conduct Whale Shark tours. These demonstrate that the provider is in compliance with local environmental regulations and best practices.
  3. Security measures: Find out about the security measures of the provider. Make sure that rescue equipment is available and that the guides are trained in first aid. The provider should have clear safety protocols during the tour.
  4. Group size: Ask about the maximum group size per boat or per swimmer. A smaller group size allows for a more personalized experience and reduces disturbance to the whale sharks.
  5. Eco-Friendly Approach: Notice if the provider is taking an eco-friendly approach. A responsible supplier should be committed to protecting whale sharks and their habitats, for example by adhering to codes of conduct and using environmentally friendly practices.
  6. Prices and services: Compare the prices and included services from different providers. Keep in mind that the lowest price isn't always the best choice. Look for a provider that offers good value for money and provides transparent information about included services such as transport, equipment and meals.

By considering these factors, you can choose a trusted provider that will provide you with a safe and rewarding whale shark tour in Cancún.

What is the Whale Shark Tour in Cancun?

Swim with the world's largest fish, whale sharks, on the Whale Shark Tour in Cancún. Cancún and Yucatán, is a well-known hotspot for whale shark watching.

The tour typically begins early in the morning when whale sharks are most active in Cancun waters. The whale shark tours are accompanied by guides who will explain everything you need to know about whale sharks and introduce you to these majestic creatures in a safe and responsible manner. After a short briefing and safety procedures, it's off to the water where visitors have the opportunity to swim side-by-side with the whale sharks and observe them in their natural habitat.

During the tour, participants often also have the opportunity to spot other marine life such as manta rays, dolphins, and various species of sea turtles. The waters off Cancún are teeming with a rich variety of marine life, making for an unforgettable experience.

Besides whale sharks, what animals will I see on the tour?

On a Whale Shark Tour in Cancún you have the opportunity to discover other fascinating marine life in addition to the majestic whale sharks. Here are some animals you may see during your tour:

  1. Manta Ray: Manta rays are impressive creatures with a wingspan of up to several meters. They can be spotted in the waters around Cancún and make a breathtaking spectacle.
  2. Dolphins: Dolphins are common in Cancun waters. It is possible that during your Whale Shark Tour you will see dolphins playfully jumping through the water.
  3. Sea Turtles: Cancún is also known for its sea turtle population. During your tour, you might be lucky enough to see one or even more of these beautiful creatures gliding peacefully through the sea.
  4. Different Fish Species: The waters around Cancún are home to a variety of fish species. You might spot colorful tropical fish, barracuda, and other sea creatures that populate the reefs and underwater landscapes.

It is important to note that sightings of these animals can depend on various factors such as time of year, weather conditions and individual luck. However, the tour guides are usually good at knowing the best spots for animal encounters and doing their best to provide a rich experience.

Pros and cons of whale shark tours in Yucatán

Benefits of Whale Shark Diving Tours in Cancún

Proximity to the Whale SharksCancún is a well-known hotspot for whale sharks, and the tours offer an opportunity to get up close and personal with them.
Impressive EncountersSwimming with the majestic whale sharks is an unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience.
Natural HabitatThe tours allow to experience the whale sharks in their natural habitat.
Awareness to protectThe tours promote awareness of the conservation of whale sharks and their habitats.

Disadvantages of Whale Shark Day Trips

Seasonal AvailabilityWhale shark season in Cancún is restricted to certain months, which limits availability.
Weather-related uncertaintiesweather conditions
n can influence the execution of the tours and lead to uncertainties.
High demand in high seasonDuring high season there can be high demand for tours which can lead to shortages.
Potential CrowdsPopular tours can have large crowds of tourists, which can affect the experience.

Environmental restrictions for whale shark diving tours in Cancún

Whale shark tour operators in Cancún must adhere to certain environmental regulations. Whale shark tour operators in Cancún and Riviera Maya are licensed by the Mexican government. The number of boats that can be on the water at any one time is limited and there are strict rules for whale shark spotting. Tourists are not allowed to get closer than 2 meters to the whale sharks and it is forbidden to touch the animals. Tourists are also not allowed to bring sunscreen or other chemicals into the water to avoid polluting the environment.

What to bring on the Whale Shark Tour?

On your whale shark tour in Cancún you should bring the following things:

  • Swim gear (swimwear, snorkel, goggles, fins) for maximum enjoyment on Whale Shark Tour. Depending on the provider, this is already provided.
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses) - which is waterproof and non-soluble
  • Water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Towel and change of clothes to feel fresh after swimming.
  • Camera or GoPro to capture the impressive moments of the tour.
  • Waterproof bag or pouch to protect valuables from water.