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Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya

star-4.5469 Reviews
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Cancún, Mexico
Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon7 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 9 more

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
Saved to wishlist!
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 $15 USD IN CASH PER PERSON PAYABLE THE DAY OF YOUR TOUR
This operator has two meet-up options available. You can either meet at the departure point below or select a location for pick-up.
Marina Hacienda del Mar , Carretera, Carr. a Punta Sam, Puerto Juarez, 84, 77500 Cancún, Yuc., Mexico

Carretera Puerto Juarez, Carr. a Punta Sam Km 1.5, Juárez, 77500 Cancún, Q.R. Marina "Hacienda del Mar"

Hmm...we can’t seem to find this place. Please check the spelling, or choose another location.

Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods.
Tulum Departure
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:05:00 AM - 03:00 PM
5/24/2023 - 9/17/2023
Monday - Sunday:05:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Riviera Maya Departure
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2023 - 9/17/2023
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Without transportation
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:07:30 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2023 - 9/17/2023
Monday - Sunday:07:30 AM - 01:00 PM
Playa Del Carmen Departure
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2023 - 9/17/2023
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Cancun Departure
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2023 - 9/17/2023
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
This activity will end right where it started.-. 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
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We recommended to ask your doctor if you can take seasickness pills before your tour.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • 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
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY EcoColors Mexico
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.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "You can't wear sunscreen so bring a long sleeve shirt and hat to keep the sun off your skin." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
469 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 469 reviews
star-5
Perfect Day with the Whale Sharks
Sara_D
, Jun 2022
Swimming with the whale sharks was amazing and our guides were the best. Couldn’t ask for a more perfect and magical experience.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Unbelievable
krisloomis
, Jun 2022
This was an awesome experience. Captain Noah, Gino and Jose on the vessel Azalia took us out and the whale shark experience was pretty amazing! They made sure each of us got a chance with the whale shark. They were attentive to all our needs. The boat ride is long but it was a sunny beautiful day. Definitely recommend.
star-2
Spend your money elsewhere
Nina_V
, Jun 2022
Wasted money! This was more like an expensive boat trip than anything else. The title “swimming with whale sharks” has nothing to do with the experience. We jumped in the water for literally 15 seconds, there was just one poor specimen that was surrounded by 30 boats with everyone jumping on top of him. We thought the experience wouldn’t be so devastating for the animal when we booked the trip as it also said we would need to pay an additional fee for the protected area. This is unfortunately all about exploiting the poor animals. I sincerely thought this would be the experience of a lifetime but I couldn’t have been more wrong. You’re better off spending your money elsewhere.
star-5
Incredible!
BrittniMason
, Jun 2022
My kids and I had a great time swimming with the whale sharks! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. We even had a pod of dolphins swim along with the boat for awhile!
star-1
Worst Tour I’ve ever been on. Unsafe and misleading
Michelle_Y
, Jun 2022
Please read the reviews before you book this. If you’re looking for a peaceful and safe time seeing some whale sharks this tour isn’t for you. The tour started off with a late pick-up, then got split into a random select of people. The crew was nice and tried to accommodate everyone however the boat was just so tiny! If you’re someone who gets seasick even just a little bit please steer clear. Our captain was going so fast we were getting SMACKED with large choppy waves I felt as if I were going to fall off the boat. People were throwing up left and right & Everyone on the boat hung to the rails for dear life. the little boy next to me had red eyes from all the salt water smacking him in the face. Not to mention if we weren’t holding on for our lives we could’ve slipped and fell in the ocean it was truly a tour from hell. On top of that we DIDNT get to see whale sharks which I, of course do not blame the crew since that’s out of their control but it was still terrible. There’s no bathrooms on the small boat so they force you to go into the choppy ocean on a ladder and urinate on yourself. So terrible. The food they provided were 5 chips each person, guacamole and small ceviche. I was hoping this was going to be a good tour since my husband and I choose this to be our most expensive trip we were so excited just to be disappointed. Save your money and do something else.
3 travelers found this review helpful
star-2
Be warned what you signing up for
Jami_K
, Jun 2022
Writing a review to warn you what are getting into. We did not see whale sharks which this review and star rating is not taking consideration due the inability to predict nature. So, this is not a quick boat ride to swim. It’s a 2 hour ride into the deep sea. The worst part is they don’t tell you this (but do suggest on stopping at a pharmacy for Dramamine.) Which we did. Out of 8 people on our boat, all but one got sick. So sick, we’re not sure how we would have even gotten on the snorkel gear and fins if whale sharks had been spotted. We rode around for 2 hours like this. Also bring a towel and dry clothes. No towels provided and no suggestions to bring a towel were given. Made for a long van ride back. Miserable.
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-1
Wasted an entire day of vacation
Mariah_D
, Jun 2022
I would not recommend. We didn’t see any whale sharks or even snorkel. The entire day was spent sailing mindlessly. 1. 5am pickup- We were picked up at 5am, and went to about 3-4 other hotels to get other travelers. Once we picked up the final travelers, it was 7:30am. We then headed to the Marina which was another hour away, and had a cash fee of $15 US dollars per person, that we weren’t notified of 2. 8:50am -Begin sailing to the “whale sharks” when it started lightning and thunder storming. The waves were extremely rough. We took medication beforehand but Almost everyone was sick. Either they were nauseous or had a headache because of the turbulence. We rid for about an hour in the storm before the rain stopped, then another hour looking for the sharks. Everyone was falling asleep and waking up and we were still sailing, mindlessly. The tour guide was giving no information. Around 11am I asked what the plan was, and he talked around the question. We sailed for another hour. 3. 12pm- The captain and tour guide asks if anyone has to use the bathroom. 8/10 people did, so they told us to climb down the ladder into the ocean. We are in the middle of dark ocean waters, who knows where. We got down to use the bathroom and the waves immediately start pushing us away from the boat. The guide is making jokes like “see you later” when we’re already frustrated. It was extremely hard to get back to the boat and even climb ourselves up 4. 1pm - We start sailing back, after sailing for 4 hours doing absolutely nothing. We also were told to put on sunscreen beforehand so it wouldn’t harm the sea animals, so by this time, everyone’s sunscreen was worn off and we were all burning. 5. 2pm - We arrive at some random beach. At this point I think they wanted to feel they needed to “get their moneys worth.” But at this point we’re irritated. Just take us back to the resort. We hadn’t eaten all day, so I asked the guide when was lunch being served. He told me I needed to get off the boat and into the water. I told him no, I needed to eat. I’m vegetarian and stated that on 3 different forms, he then told me that I didn’t tell anyone, so they only had ham sandwiches and ceviche. They then proceeded to give me some white bread, a slice of lettuce and a tomato. I ask when we’re leaving. He says 15 minutes. Another 45 passes and I ask again. 2:45-3 - 3pm is the time we were supposed to be back at the resorts. We’re just now leaving this random beach when the boat won’t turn on. So we sit while they figure out how to get the engine going again. We finally get back to the van and he lets everyone take a bathroom break. 6. 3-5pm is spent dropping everyone back off at their resorts. Our dropoff was last since we were the first pickup. So we spent 12 hours doing absolutely nothing, sunburnt and starving. So, safe to say I wouldn’t recommend this. Whale sharks, snorkeling, and food where all apart of this package and 2/3 we didn’t get, and the food was terrible.
4 travelers found this review helpful
star-2
Disappointed
Hollie_H
, Jun 2022
Very sea sick - tiny speed boat and choppy sea are not a good mix. When we finally found 1 whale shark they only let two people in with it and it was gone so no one else got a chance. A lot of money and not worth it.
3 travelers found this review helpful
star-2
Poor tour program coordiantion.
minwoo_k
, Jun 2022
1. Pick up not organized: we got mail that pick will be made at 6:50AM in front of hotel. And i was waiting from 6:45. No one showed and no one answered phone until 7:25 AM 2. Additional cost for taxi: We book the taxi to go directly and just answered that they are coming. We canceled the taxi with cancellation charge. And we had phone call that they will not pick us but we must come directly. We took the taxi with our own expense but tour agency didn't apologize anything. no compensation. no refund for the cost. 3. Poor scheduel: We depart at 9AM (2 hours delay) from the harbor We didn't see the whale-shark as more than 50 boats are chasing for the 1 fish. No time to go into water. (only snorkeling after finishing the program) We comeback at 4PM (3 hours delay) We had another schedule but missed it due to this program delay. 4. However, the boat crew was kind and try to listen. Only very very poor coordination.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Worst excursion and a scam
Jennifer_T
, Jun 2022
This was by far the biggest waste of a day. Our tour guide was very disorganized and had no idea what she was doing. She said we were stopping at a drug store to get Dramamine but the store was closed so we never got any. They took us out into very bad conditions at least 8 foot waves slamming the boat up and down for 4 hours straight. We saw zero marine life! When we had to use the restroom they had us hold onto a ladder and try to urinate while these huge waves were slamming into our backs in the water. When we had lunch we had a tablespoon of guacamole, if we asked for more they said they didn’t have enough. They kept us for 7 plus hours and gave us a tiny scoop of guacamole with maybe 10 chips. When we went to the island we could only swim around the boat not visit the island. In the picture I posted that is the island and it’s very close (swimmable distance) but they wouldn’t let us go. This experience was nothing short of a nightmare and possibly a scam, be aware.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Wonderful day at sea!
marissabramlett
, Jun 2022
Wonderful crew and great to see the whale sharks! We also saw dolphins and turtles! Great day on the boat!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Memorable!
Keira_P
, Jun 2022
Super early pick up but so so worth it! Especially for people who have mever swam with whale sharks. Hubby and I had a very memorable experience. Heads up though, they prefer you to not put sunscreen to preserve the living in the water so ensure to bring things to protect your skin!
star-3
Family Adventure
Joy_P
, Jun 2022
Boat guides, ceviche, guacamole, and snorkeling were all amazing. However went spent 3-4 hours looking for whale sharks and there were so many boats trying to do the same that when it was our turn we wouldn’t of been able to see anything. Very crowded. As well only two snorkelers are allowed in the water at a time. Unfortunately the boat ride was way more extensive than we thought and made for a long day.
star-5
A life time experience I will forever hold onto
Sabrina_J
, Jun 2022
I had a great time! They really got up close and personal with the whale sharks. I loved every minute of it. They greatly care about the environment and the animals. I learned so much from them and had a great time seeing whale sharks! We also saw dolphins and turtles! We had am very relaxing lunch and the staff was so friendly and wonderful company to be around. A life time experience I will forever hold onto. Thank you
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Amazing bucket list Adventure!
Sameer_V
, Jun 2022
The guests on board were all friendly, Marcella was informative and funny, Tito was super helpful in the water and Jaime made the best ceviche!
star-4
Beautiful experience, which needs some corrections.
Goran_B
, Jun 2022
It’s memorable experience being so close to whale sharks. But it’s also sad, how we are harassing this beautiful creatures. It should be limited, how many boats can go there and swim with whale sharks. And jumping in the sea for one minute is not a lot, since this is probably one time experience. We also didn’t get many informations about this animals. Stop at Isla Muheres near all this hotels is not necessary.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Awesome excursion!!
Michelle_S
, Jun 2022
Gil and the crew of the Maximo were great! They make the best ceviche and guacamole I've ever had! They also were masterful at maneuvering the boat to maximize the snorkel encounter with the whale sharks.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Once a lifetime event
rachel_Q
, May 2022
Great tour, cancun must have. This is a once a lifetime event. A Very special experience,when u see the whale shark and swim with them, everything worth it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Totally worth it!!
Adil_R
, May 2022
It was such a breathtaking experience!! They were so nice to us and made the tour very fun and interesting! I recommend to anyone staying in Cancun!!
star-5
Amazing whale shark experience
Amy_H
, May 2022
The whole experience was amazing. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, the captain was great, making sure we all swam with the whale sharks and saw other marine life and made an amazing lunch. Once we were at the swim location the man who swam with us made sure we all got an up close experience with the sharks. The whole trip was outstanding.
1 traveler found this review helpful

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