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Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon5 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 7 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785


Swim and snorkel alongside whale sharks on this guided tour in Cancun. A boat speeds you to a prime viewing location, and en route, you might spot dolphins, turtles, and manta rays. Experienced guides are there to make sure you enjoy a safe and fun swim and snorkel. Enjoy breakfast at the pier before setting off, as well as snacks and unlimited beverages while on board. Hotel transport included. Note: This seasonal tour is offered from May through mid-September.
  • Whale-shark encounter tour in Cancun
  • Swim and snorkel near whale sharks in the Caribbean
  • Keep watch for other marine life including turtles, dolphins, and manta rays
  • Purchase videos and photos of your encounter, if you like
  • Hotel transport, breakfast, and snacks included
Saved to wishlist!
Round Transportation with AC
Continental Breakfast(pastries, coffee, juice, fresh fruit)
Drinks(water, softdrinks)
Fish or Shrimp Ceviche with totopos & guacamole(please advise of dietary restrictions)
Snorkel equipment & Life Jacket.
The Natural Reserve Fee 13 USD per person is payable upon pick-up in cash
Souvenirs (available to purchase)
HD videos and pictures of your whale shark watching experience. These pictures are taken with a go-pro style camera. At the end of the day you can buy an 8GB USB with all your photos and videos.

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
For Airbnb choose one of our meeting points available. Or send the full address to provide the nearest meeting point. Pick up Tulum between 5:30-06:30. Pick up from Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya 06:30-07:30 and pick up from Cancun between 07:00-07:30

Departure Time

Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods.
1/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 04:00 PM
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking (Vegetarian & Gluten free Options available under request)
  • Seasonal tour operating from June to mid-September
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Ocean Tours Mexico

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date 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.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
What is the policy on sanitization during Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
What is the social distancing policy during Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.
What is the maximum group size during Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
This activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.

Traveler Photos


264 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 264 reviews
Great day w/ everything included
, Sep 2020
Great day w/ everything covered logistically. Guides were knowledgeable and helpful everyone feel comfortable
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
, Jul 2020
Great!!! Marco was awesome! They served the best guacamole for lunch! They went above and beyond to insure we were happy. FYI take something for sea sickness
Unbelievably good - just do it!
, Sep 2019
After having been let down the night before we were supposed to do the same thing with Coba Tulum Tour's "Whale Shark Experience in Cancun (Lifetime memories) Lunch and Drinks Included" we were delighted that Viator (the parent company behind TripAdvisor) stepped in and sorted this for us before we had to return to the UK. Okay it was a bit more expensive but the arrangements and day were absolutely brilliant. A fantastic guide who with the crew managed to get us 4 dives alongside these huge creatures. The pickups were on time and comfortable. They provided food and gave excellent advice, everything being done properly. We brought our own breatheeasy type masks but they provided all the gear anyway - but I am a pathetic swimmer and the masks we brought made me less nervous. You jump in just ahead of the sharks and then swim for your life alongside them. I can't describe how awesome this is, you just have to experience it. We got a 4th dive in but 3 is normal. On the day we went out there was no shortage of whale sharks but note they are some way out from the coast and if the ride is bumpy you might feel a bit sick - but they provided tablets for those who felt they needed them. Lunch was provided in the bay of Isla Muerta, but it was quite crowded by the time we got there because we spent longer than most of the boats with the whales (which is better I think than getting to lunch early!). We didn't really feature in the video that was taken but it is pot luck anyway, and I didn't begrudge the USB stick fee even though we were only in a couple of the video scenes and photos.
Awesome, life changing
, Aug 2019
I genuinely want to thank Pablo, Captain Salvatore and everyone at Ocean Tours for the most fantastic day. You took fantastic care of us and were both hugely professional and meaningfully friendly. My teen kids think that this was a life changing experience and so do I. So genuinely, thanks.
Swimming with wheel sharks in Cancun Mexico
, Jul 2019
I was very impressed with the professional and courteous staff. The tour was outstanding and the tour guides were excellent.
Do It with Dramamine!
Cecilia F
, Jul 2018
This tour is a bit pricey, but no one else will give it cheaper, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do eat the breakfast provided and apply the biodegradable sunscreen when waiting on the dock. But don’t take the Dramamine until the boat is on its way, and be sure to take 2, not 1. You will be riding in a small boat (seats about 12), at top speed, for about an hour (exact time needed for the Dramamine to take effect). There is a caution to this tour re: back issues; the reason is the boat ride, not the actual encounter with the whale sharks. If the seas are choppy, you will be flying off your seat about 6-10 inches. Once the whale sharks have been spotted, all the boat captains radio each other, and you will be in a location with about 50 other boats. Here’s where the pills come in because only 2 are allowed to go from each boat. This means that if you are not in the water, you will be swaying to the motion of the seas. Once it’s your turn, the boat captain will position the boat in a way that the whale shark will pass by it. Once he sees it is almost at the boat, your guide will yell, “Now, now, now!” and you will jump in the water and swim along with it. You will swim with the shark as long as you are able. Once you no longer can keep up, your safety officer (someone from the crew who jumped in with you) will tell you to get back to the boat. And another set of 2 will jump in. You will get to go 3 times. When I first jumped in with my daughter, we had the luck to actually swim with 3 whale sharks – because when we no longer could keep up with one, another came by from the opposite direction! It is a short excursion, but it is exhilarating. After the time with the sharks is done, we head to Isla Mujeres for some beach time. Take the opportunity to reapply the suntan lotion! The boat docks right on the beach, and the crew serves up some ceviche, chips, guacamole, and drinks on a floating table constructed out of the life jackets - fun and realxing! My only problem with this tour is the dock tax and the National Park’s fees ($23 and $34 respectively). That adds up to $57,which when adjusted to the American dollar is under $3 USD. How this translates to $10 is beyond me. We already had the National Park bracelet from a previous activity and therefore were not given the new one even though we were forced to pay for it. Francesca also charged $40 for the USB, when our paper said $35. Special deal for us? In summary, find out if the $10 fee can be reduced because if you are a party of 4 or more, this can add up pretty quickly. But overall, everyone was amiable and out to make you happy. Recommend!
Definitely not worth the time or...
, Aug 2017
Definitely not worth the time or money at least on the day we went. Took about an 1 1/2 to get to where the whale sharks were. Not a big deal but there were about 50 other boats circling in these small areas. People had to hurry up and jump off the side of the boat and there were way too many people in the area, water was murky because of the tons of boats circling. A times it looked like the boats were going to run in to each other. Total time spent in the water was about 5 minutes with about 30 seconds of actually seeing the whale shark. VERY disappointing. Definitely not worth the money if you are going for that. Snorkeling part was supposed to be at Playa Mujeres but we instead stayed on the boat and snorkeled at a reef area that was pretty good but most of the reefs are dying so kinda sad. Ceviche was very good and the people working on the trip were super nice. Save your on something else.
The whale shark experience was...
marilyn s
, Aug 2017
The whale shark experience was fanadtic. The creatures are magnificent and being so close to them is amazing. The tour, not so great. They were one hour and a half late for pickup with no phone call or explanation. We called them to determine what the issue was. Not good. When we got to the dock some of us were put into a different tour. There was not much organization. After swimming with the sharks there was a snorkeling stop that was very weak, no fish and a decaying reef. A beach stop with lunch was next. This was a time waster and not sanitary. They washed the plates and utensils in the ocean. This was the same ocean that they urged you to urinate in. I loved the whale shark encounter, the tour and company, not so much.
This tour was amazing! You...
Dawn S
, Aug 2017
This tour was amazing! You definitely won't regret this experience. Our guide Louise, Lulu, was fabulous also!! She was extremely knowledgeable about the whales and very conscientious about the environment. One note, you will not be able to use sunblock at all. They also HIGHLY encourage you to take Dramamine. Lulu brought it and gave each of us one and a banana to eat with it. A family that was in our group said that they tend to get sea sick and had already taken Dramamine.Lulu was concerned that they had taken it to early. Their daughter ended up getting sick anyway. Everybody else was fine. They serve you a light breakfast, mini muffins and some fruit, before you head out. When you get out to the whales, about an hour boat ride, you will then get in with them in partners. This is unlike other tours where everyone just gets in. I believe it is standard across all whale shark tours as they are regulated. We got to swim with them 4 times. The whales were not bothered at all by us swimming right next to them. Again, a truly amazing experience. After the whale sharks you head over to Isla Mujeres to snorkle and have lunch. Lulu guided us on the snorkle around a reef. Don't get super excited about the snorkling. This is not the best snorkling but it doesn't detract from the tour since personally for us it was about swimming with the whale sharks. Lunch was fish ceviche and guacamole. If you are not a fan of ceviche I would bring a little something to eat since we got back to get into the van for drop offs around 1:30.
First of all, we want to compliment...
Michael W
, Jun 2017
First of all, we want to compliment our tour guide Misa - she really tried to explain everything in detail and make the best out of the circumstances. A chance to swim with whale sharks sounded really fascinating for us. But unfortunately it turned out to be an expensive disappointment. The transportation was on time. The explanations during the trip were hold detailed and in many languages. We then got to know that, although it is written on tripadvisor, even biological suncream was not allowed - so make up your mind whether you want to travel by boat at least 5 hours in total without any protection of the sun bevorehand. Furthermore, it is helpful to bring long t-shirts as an alternative you can buy them for 20 from the company itself. Before the tour starts, you are given snorkling equipment and a live jacket the jacket also prevents diving, you are only allowed to swim on the surface. The boat trip to the meeting point with whale sharks took us 1.5 hours and it was really uncomfortable. The boat sways very much and is, in our opinion, not constructed to drive into the open sea. Before the tour they offered us some tables against seasickness which didn't help. Getting there, we noticed about 20 other boats which also carried people who booked the same tour. You can swim next to the whale sharks for 2 times for about 5 minutes. Only 2 people of one boat were allowed to swim with the whale shark at once which doesn't mean, that there are no other people from other boats swimming with the shark as well. One guide will always be with you to take some pictures and videos of you and the whale shark costs 40 in total. After the whale encounter we drove off to Isla Mujeres for a bit of snorkling and lunch. The riff was nothing special, you could see that the years of tourism really damaged the environment. The lunch was held in a lagoon of the island on the boat or in the water but the quality was just average. In our opinion whale sharks are really fascinating and peaceful animals. But the feeling we got from this tour was that we were included in a mass processing. We only had a few rushed minutes with a whale shark and had to get out before the next couple could get into water. And the fact that there were so many boats searching for whale sharks at onw place didn't help the fact that it was a waste of money for some minutes in the sea. We also can't believe that so many boats wouldn't be stressful for these poor creatures.

Product code: 12861P1

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