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

star-4.5356 Reviews
Cancún, Mexico

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon7 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 9 more


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
Have questions?
(888) 651-9785
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Bilingual biologist/naturalist guide
Water and soft drinks
Air-conditioned vehicle
Use of snorkeling equipment (life jacket, visor, fins, snorkel)
Alcoholic Beverages
Personal expenses

Departure Point

Carretera, Carr. a Punta Sam, Puerto Juarez, 84, 77500 Cancún, Yuc., Mexico

Departure Time

Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods.
Tulum Departure
6/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:05:00 AM - 03:00 PM
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:05:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Riviera Maya Departure
6/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Without transportation
6/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:07:30 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Playa Del Carmen Departure
6/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Cancun Departure
6/1/2021 - 9/17/2021
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM
5/24/2022 - 9/17/2022
Monday - Sunday:06:00 AM - 01:00 PM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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 ($10usd 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

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.

  • 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is the maximum group size during Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya.

Still Have Questions?

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356 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 356 reviews
Great day of experiences on the water
, Jun 2021
Alex, Daniel and Captain Jaime were all fantastic! Our pick-up at the hotel was promptly at 6:30a as the first ones to be picked up en route to the port. We were returned to our hotel at about 3:30p after a full day. On this day, the sharks were about 80 min by boat from the Cancun port. Our Captain did a great job minimizing choppy waters, so no one aboard experienced seasickness. We did take Dramamine with us, however We arrived to see a good 10 + sharks hard to really count. We were positioned perfectly in pairs to jump right along side the sharks, so the viewing was amazing! Daniel was there to assist anyone needing help in the water. Really great crew! The visit to Isla Mujeres was also lovely. I would recommend this tour!
A great way to swim with the whale sharks.
, Jun 2021
Alex and the crew were amazing and we had a great time swimming alongside these magical creatures. Captain Jaime's ceviche was delightful. We reached for a responsible tour operator and where very happy with our experience, thr concern for the sharks themselves as well as our comfort and safety as passengers.
Wonderful adventure for the whole family
, Jun 2021
Everyone was very kind and personable. I took my two daughters (8 and 9 yrs old). My youngest had to have a lead during a previous horseback riding experience elsewhere and she really wanted to ride solo this time. They gave both of my daughters the opportunity to practice riding and controlling their horses and since my younger child was solid, they let her ride solo. My 9 year old was nervous, so they gave her a lead. Both children were comfortable and happy! We laughed and chitchatted with the two ladies (Esmeralda and another kind guide - forgot her name!) the entire way through the jungle. It was a wonderful experience and the refreshing dip in the cenote at the end was the perfect way to conclude the adventure!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Read to know exactly what you’re getting into
, Jun 2021
We arrived early at the Marina Hacienda Del Mar, everything was in order and we were checked in for our boat ride. The first thing you might think when you see the boat might be akin to Luke Skywalker when he saw the millennium falcon “what a piece of junk!” And indeed, the boat is absolutely Spartan but rips through the water leaving no regard for the welfare of its passengers. You’re in for a bumpy ride. We were lucky and only had to do it for an hour and half to get to the sharks (not the 3-4 hours it takes based on other reviews) if you get sea or motion sick at all STAY HOME. You will be miserable and the experience will not be worth it. Once we got to the sharks things took quite a turn as the stern faced captain started barking confusing orders at us to get our snorkel gear on and prepare to disembark into whale shark infested waters. In the confusion I ended up in the water prematurely and had to be hauled back onto the boat. To see a whale shark, you’ll dodge other boats and swimmers in an attempt to play a version of “whale shark whack-a-mole” while the captain tries drop you into the water hopefully within arms reach of the monster fish. You’ll spend a total of 2 minutes in the water and you might see a glimpse of one as it swims by. Cool but absolutely overhyped and underwhelming. Bucket list item checked off I guess. Save some time and find one in an aquarium that lets you spend time actually looking at it. We were at the shark site for less than 30 minutes as everyone took a couple turns swallowing sea water in the chaos. We then left and headed to isla mujeres for “lunch” which was just chips and guacamole and ceviche made on the boat. The food was actually delicious but not enough for a meal, at best a snack. You could take your chances with a warm ham sandwich but I wouldn’t and didn’t. If this experience was 50 dollars per person, yes. At its price point? No. Not worth the money, absolutely taxing day, overhyped and oversold and I would not take this tour again. Not to mention they don’t allow ANY sunscreen, so expect to get crispy. Super crispy. Save your health.
Horrible Experience
, Jun 2021
This could be a nice excursion for extreme backpackers but it’s not for the average tourist. We spent 1 hour by bus to get to the marina, then 3 hours in a boat just looking for the sharks (we needed up 30 miles out at sea) Each person only gets 2 turns in the water maximum, and each turn lasts 5-10 minutes. If you’re lucky you might get to swim with the shark for a total of 20 minutes. We weren’t allowed to use any sunscreen as it’s harmful to the animals (not even eco friendly sunblock was allowed). I understand this rule but it should’ve been mentioned before hand so we could have prepared better. Almost all the travelers in my group ended up with blistering sunburns, ours was so bad we couldn’t leave our hotel for the next day. My husband ended up getting terribly seasick (vomiting stomach acid for hours, choking on his own vomit, and even losing consciousness). This is something we weren’t expecting as he never gets seasick or motion sickness, but being on a small boat in deep ocean waves for 6 hours was hard on everyone, half of the boat was puking. The captain was extremely rude and unhelpful, and refused to take us to a doctor/pharmacy. I honestly thought my husband was going into heat stroke but they just didn’t care. There also were 20 boats surround this one poor whale shark, with 2 divers from each boat allowed to dive at a time, there were 40 people in the water. I wouldn’t call that eco friendly. This tour was not upfront about how extreme and dangerous it really is, please rethink this experience (regardless of who the provider is) unless you are in excellent health and can withstand the extreme conditions (we spent a total of 8 hours at sea, no sun screen, small boat in deep sea waves, for 15 minutes with a shark). Not worth the money or pain!!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Bucket List Item- Check
, Jun 2021
Comparing to all the other groups I saw doing the same thing, my rating went up to 4 stars. What made this group special was Juan Carlos that is very good with the customer. Very attentive and polite. The captain knew his way and people to talk to and find the sharks. Seeing the sharks was truly amazing. My only reason for not giving 5 stars, is due to the fact that we couldn’t stay in the water very long. I get it that they can’t just leave you there snorkeling. My point is, I’d get a private boat next time vs having 8 divers, or even just going with 4 people and splitting the cost. Anyway, it was definitely worth. The ceviche the captain made was bomb!
ONCE in a lifetime experience
, Jun 2021
What a special experience. Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Turtles, Dolphins… simply unforgettable. The guide was tremendous and took care of everyone very well. Don‘t forget the nausea medication. Half of the group puked.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Do it!
, Jun 2021
I absolutely loved this trip. It was a once in a lifetime experience and Marcella, Leo and the captain made me feel 100 percent comfortable. They even provide footage and edit it for you an extra cost. Book it, you won’t regret it.
World Class Experience
, Jun 2021
AMAZING!! We were so scared at the thought of swimming with the sharks and the nerves did not leave but we were SO GLAD we did this once in a lifetime experience. The guide Alex and his crew were extremely attentive, they jumped into the water with us and held our hands as we were shocked to see the giant whale shark swimming right in front of us! You are probably in the water for just a few minutes but that is MORE than enough. It sure is a wild sight to see up close, and we jumped twice to see it again! For lunch on our way to Isla Mujeres the crew gave us delicious sandwiches (way better than the Subway I’ve received on other tours) and made fresh ceviche and guacamole, so tasty!!! Do not miss out on this experience! Pickup and dropoff was smooth. Unlike other tours where we needed to get a taxi to the hotel meetup point, we were able to arrange pickup from our Air Bnb downtown!
Whale shark tour
, Jun 2021
Awesome experience! Marcella was a fabulous and knowledgeable guide. The only down part is the hour-and-a-half bumpy boat ride to get there. Once there there were whale sharks everywhere and we got to spend a good amount of time snorkeling with him. Absolutely I must do experience if you love the water and the sea

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