Cozumel Whale Shark Tours

Swim with the world's largest fish.

From $179.00

Swim with the world's largest fish and cross it off your bucket list. After this experience you'll never look at life the same way again.

This incredible tour is available for a short season only, while whale sharks are around the tip of the Yucatan peninsula about 70 miles (110km) from Cozumel.

The current whale shark season is expected to end on September 17, 2019 - see Restrictions.

The boats depart from Punta Sam just north of Cancun to look for the whale sharks. Get there from Cozumel on our land tour by ferry and ground transfer or on our air tour with a 20 minute scenic flight and ground transfer.

When you arrive, you board your boat for the whale shark tour, which includes experienced multilingual guides, plenty of time to have a close encounter with these amazing creatures, snorkel equipment, drinks and sandwiches.

The tours first started when local fishermen noticed the amazingly friendly behavior of these huge spotted sharks, they are in fact the world's largest living fish species.

Nature is amazing in this area where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches have fluffy white sand and shallow waters, and further out are pretty reefs and amazing marine life, like whale sharks and manta rays.

The expert crew will use their years of experience to find the whale sharks on the surface in the area, then you can enter the water in controlled groups to swim and snorkel with these gentle giants.

The feeling of being in the water so close to such a giant creature is a vacation memory you will never forget!

The boat tour lasts around 4-6 hours, depending how quickly you find the whale sharks. If time allows, after swimming with the whale sharks you'll stop at a beach on Isla Mujeres or Holbox to try seafood ceviche and relax before crossing back to the mainland for your flight or ground transfer and ferry back to Cozumel.

Duration

By Land: approx. 9 hours, By Air: approx. 7½ hours. Boat tour approx. 4-6 hours.

Date & Times

May to Sep - see Restrictions.

Air: 7am.
Land: 6:25am (take 5:45am ferry).
Contact us for later private tours.

Pricing

By Air:

$339 per adults/child (5+yr).

Minimum 3 adults/children, available for 2 adults/children with an upgrade fee of $170.

Prices include $25 airport tax per person.

Tour balance payable CASH only on arrival.

By Land:

Adults (9yr+) $179 each

Children (5-8yr) $107.40 each

Tour balance payable cash on arrival. Visa or Mastercard also accepted for the land tour but subject to 10% surcharge and you will need to show a passport or driver’s license as ID.

Age Limit

Minimum 5 years to enter water

Language of Tour

English

Notes

Sighting guarantee:

This tour finds whale sharks 99% of the time. However, nothing is 100% guaranteed with Mother Nature, so in the very unlikely case of your tour not finding whale sharks we will offer you the chance to go on the land tour the following day for free. (Sorry, unfortunately this does not usually work for cruise passengers as most ships only stop in Cozumel for 1 day).

What to bring:

Comfortable walking shoes and light, long clothing (so you are covered and can put minimal sun lotion on before entering the water. Not everyone does this, but the lotion may be bad for the whale sharks so we recommend it); swimsuit, towel and change of clothes; snorkel equipment if you want to use your own; sun protection (biodegradable lotion); cash for optional gratuities, souvenirs and transport to/from airport or ferry.

It can often be choppy. You may want to bring sea sickness medicine to take before boarding the boat

What’s included:

Round trip scenic air and ground transport from Cozumel or ground transport from Playa del Carmen.

$25 airport tax per person on air tours (including infants).

4-6 hour whale shark tour by boat.

Snorkel equipment, multilingual guide, drinks and sandwiches.

Stop at beach for seafood ceviche if time allows.

Not included:

Transport to/from airport or ferry crossing to Playa del Carmen (approx. $20 per person). Buy one-way ferry tickets as you may return with a different company.

Cruise Ship Passengers:

The air tour is available for cruise ship passengers, we will adjust tour duration and departure time to your docking schedule, although we may have to arrange a private boat for you this way so the price may change. Contact us for more details.

Local Operator Information:

Complete operator information, including directions and local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your E-ticket.

Important:

When you arrive to the marina you may have to wait 45-90 minutes before your boat departs, this is due to groups being gathered together, completing paperwork and departures being staggered. While you are waiting there is a beach area to relax and drinks and snacks are available.

Bookings and deposits are non-refundable and non-changeable. Reservation subject to our reservation policy here.

Meeting Point

The land tour has it's meeting point on the pier in Playa del Carmen, so when you disembark from the ferry someone will be there to meet you.

The air tour has its meeting point at Cozumel Airport.

For cruise passengers arriving to the Puerta Maya or International SSA piers (most Carnival , RCCL and some others) this is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride costing around $20 per taxi.

For cruise passengers arriving to the Punta Langosta (most NCL , Disney and some others) this is about a 5-10 minute taxi ride costing around $15 per taxi.

For guests staying downtown or arriving by ferry it is about a 5 minute taxi ride away, costing about $10 per taxi.

For guests staying in northern hotels it is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride away, costing about $15-20.

For guests staying in southern hotels it is about a 15-40 minute taxi ride away, costing about $20-40.

Restrictions

Season Dates

The current season is expected to end on September 17, 2019, but the exact dates will depend on migratory patterns and vary each year. If you book for a date early or late in the season and it turns out the tour can't operate, then we will offer you a refund in full or alternative date. 

Scuba Divers (applies to air tour only)

The flight from Cozumel to Cancun and back has a height of 1,500 - 2,500 feet, which is a low flight. To be extra sure there are no problems for divers, the local hyperbaric chamber recommends 12 hours between your last recreational, no-decompression dive and the flight to Cancun. Normal dives on Cozumel are no-decompression dives; you can enjoy a normal day of diving before taking the Whale Shark by Air Tour. You should be out of the water at 7 pm the day before the flight; night dives are not recommended on the night before this tour.

Other restrictions

Children must be under the supervision of an adult at all times and may only snorkel if they are big enough to use the equipment safely.

Infants under 5 years old are welcome but cannot enter the water and must be under the supervision of an adult at all times. There must be two adults to each infant so one can look after them while the other is in the water.

Life vests are obligatory while snorkeling.

Not recommended for people with asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or back problems, class III obesity or pregnant women.

If you have any physical or mental limitation, please contact us before booking. 

Alcohol may only be consumed after snorkeling.

Sighting guarantee:

This tour finds whale sharks 99% of the time. However, nothing is 100% guaranteed with Mother Nature, so in the very unlikely case of your tour not finding whale sharks we will offer you the chance to go on the land tour the following day for free. (Sorry, unfortunately this does not usually work for cruise passengers as most ships only stop in Cozumel for 1 day).

What to bring:

Comfortable walking shoes and light, long clothing (so you are covered and can put minimal sun lotion on before entering the water. Not everyone does this, but the lotion may be bad for the whale sharks so we recommend it); swimsuit, towel and change of clothes; snorkel equipment if you want to use your own; sun protection (biodegradable lotion); cash for optional gratuities, souvenirs and transport to/from airport or ferry.

It can often be choppy. You may want to bring sea sickness medicine to take before boarding the boat

What’s included:

Round trip scenic air and ground transport from Cozumel or ground transport from Playa del Carmen.

$25 airport tax per person on air tours (including infants).

4-6 hour whale shark tour by boat.

Snorkel equipment, multilingual guide, drinks and sandwiches.

Stop at beach for seafood ceviche if time allows.

Not included:

Transport to/from airport or ferry crossing to Playa del Carmen (approx. $20 per person). Buy one-way ferry tickets as you may return with a different company.

Cruise Ship Passengers:

The air tour is available for cruise ship passengers, we will adjust tour duration and departure time to your docking schedule, although we may have to arrange a private boat for you this way so the price may change. Contact us for more details.

Local Operator Information:

Complete operator information, including directions and local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your E-ticket.

Important:

When you arrive to the marina you may have to wait 45-90 minutes before your boat departs, this is due to groups being gathered together, completing paperwork and departures being staggered. While you are waiting there is a beach area to relax and drinks and snacks are available.

Bookings and deposits are non-refundable and non-changeable. Reservation subject to our reservation policy here.

The land tour has it's meeting point on the pier in Playa del Carmen, so when you disembark from the ferry someone will be there to meet you.

The air tour has its meeting point at Cozumel Airport.

For cruise passengers arriving to the Puerta Maya or International SSA piers (most Carnival , RCCL and some others) this is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride costing around $20 per taxi.

For cruise passengers arriving to the Punta Langosta (most NCL , Disney and some others) this is about a 5-10 minute taxi ride costing around $15 per taxi.

For guests staying downtown or arriving by ferry it is about a 5 minute taxi ride away, costing about $10 per taxi.

For guests staying in northern hotels it is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride away, costing about $15-20.

For guests staying in southern hotels it is about a 15-40 minute taxi ride away, costing about $20-40.

By Air:

$339 per adults/child (5+yr).

Minimum 3 adults/children, available for 2 adults/children with an upgrade fee of $170.

Prices include $25 airport tax per person.

Tour balance payable CASH only on arrival.

By Land:

Adults (9yr+) $179 each

Children (5-8yr) $107.40 each

Tour balance payable cash on arrival. Visa or Mastercard also accepted for the land tour but subject to 10% surcharge and you will need to show a passport or driver’s license as ID.

Season Dates

The current season is expected to end on September 17, 2019, but the exact dates will depend on migratory patterns and vary each year. If you book for a date early or late in the season and it turns out the tour can't operate, then we will offer you a refund in full or alternative date. 

Scuba Divers (applies to air tour only)

The flight from Cozumel to Cancun and back has a height of 1,500 - 2,500 feet, which is a low flight. To be extra sure there are no problems for divers, the local hyperbaric chamber recommends 12 hours between your last recreational, no-decompression dive and the flight to Cancun. Normal dives on Cozumel are no-decompression dives; you can enjoy a normal day of diving before taking the Whale Shark by Air Tour. You should be out of the water at 7 pm the day before the flight; night dives are not recommended on the night before this tour.

Other restrictions

Children must be under the supervision of an adult at all times and may only snorkel if they are big enough to use the equipment safely.

Infants under 5 years old are welcome but cannot enter the water and must be under the supervision of an adult at all times. There must be two adults to each infant so one can look after them while the other is in the water.

Life vests are obligatory while snorkeling.

Not recommended for people with asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or back problems, class III obesity or pregnant women.

If you have any physical or mental limitation, please contact us before booking. 

Alcohol may only be consumed after snorkeling.

Check Availability & Book Now!

The current whale shark season is expected to end on September 17, 2019 - see Restrictions.


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Selected

Select Select Tours Price Deposit
By Air: Adults & Children (5+yr)

$339.00 $99.00
By Air Upgrade Fee - For a group of 2

$170.00 $99.00
By Land: Adults (9yr+)

$179.00 $35.00
By Land: Children (5-8yr)

$107.00 $21.00

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