Where to swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun? 2024

Where to swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun?

The 2024 Whale Shark season in Cancun & Riviera Maya starts on June 1st.

With a new year comes new resolutions and fresh bucket list travel goals! Swimming with Whale Sharks is a bucket list adventure that everyone should experience at least once or twice in a lifetime.

Are you on the planning stages of your next trip to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya, be sure to take advantage of the largest concentration of Whale Sharks on Planet Earth. Have you ever considered swimming next to the biggest shark in the ocean? 

Tulum Private Tours Riviera Maya Mexico
Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun

For marine-animal lovers, swimming with Whale Sharks in Cancun, Mexico, is something out of this world, a magnificent encounter hard to describe, something you don’t do every day, something you dream about, something you plan on doing ahead of time, either you are a certified scuba diver or just a regular snorkeler. Whale Sharks are easy to admire, they swim under the waves and cruise at a slow pace, this provides us with a great chance to get in the water next to them.

Where is the best place to swim with whale sharks?

During the summer months whale sharks gather in large groups around the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, next to the north-eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, where the crystal-blue waters of Isla Mujeres and Cancun mix with the emerald-green waters of Holbox and the Gulf of Mexico. These two streams of water generate the perfect mix of nutrients, water temperature, and habitat conditions for Whale Sharks to thrive. 

Whale Shark protected area Mexican Caribbean
In Yellow: Whale Shark feeding area in the Mexican Caribbean

When is the best time to snorkel with whale sharks?

The warm temperatures of the Mexican Caribbean attract whale sharks to different areas of the coast, between late May and early September. June, July and August are considered the best months to swim with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres. Planning your trip during the summer season gives you the best chances of swimming with whale sharks around Cancun and The Riviera Maya.

2024 Whale Shark Season starts on the 1st of June and ends around the second week of September. Don’t miss this opportunity if you are in Cancun during the summer months! The best days to book your Whale Shark tour are 3 days before and after a full moon, due to fish spawning, this means that there will be more food in the water (to spawn refers to the process of freely releasing eggs into a body of water).

2024 Full Moon schedule

  • May 23rd
  • June 21st
  • July 21st
  • August 19th
  • Sept 17th
Whale Shark Swimming Tours
Cancun Whale Shark encounter

How big are the Whale Sharks in Cancun? 

The whale shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 18.8 m. The whale shark holds many records for size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the most massive living non-mammalian animal according to Wikipedia.


Whale Shark size chart
Size of a Whale Shark

Is it safe to swim with whale sharks?

Whale Sharks are peaceful creatures! Although they may reach up t0 40 or 50 feet in length, whale sharks are totally harmless to humans. Booking your Whale Shark Tour with a responsible tour operator with great reviews and excellent reputation is highly recommended!

How to choose a reputable Whale Shark Tour operator?

It’s crucial to find a reputable tour agency. While many tour companies employ experienced tour guides and take responsibility for your safety, there are many others providing false information, make fake promises and cut corners to lower their costs.

At The Custom Tour Riviera Maya we provide only the best whale shark tours. Since 2007, we are the pioneers of this adventures. We kindly ask you to help us protect these magnificent whale sharks by following the official rules and regulations: 

Whale Shark Rules
Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun guidelines

The 2024 Whale Shark season starts on June 1st. Book it today and make sure you don’t miss this extraordinary experience!


Tulum Private Tours Riviera Maya Mexico
Private Whale Shark Safari by The Custom Tour

Looking for more Whale Shark Swimming Tips & Reviews? Click here!

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