The Whale Sharks north of Cozumel

Snorkeling with Whale Sharks in Cozumel: A Lifetime Experience

Can you snorkel with whale sharks in Cozumel? Yes, you can, and here’s everything you need to know about this extraordinary adventure.

The Incredible Journey of Snorkeling with Whale Sharks

Whale Sharks—the largest fish on the planet are an awe-inspiring sight. We know these gentle giants for their docile nature and intriguing patterns of white spots and stripes. Swimming alongside these enormous creatures is not just a thrilling encounter, but also a humbling experience that reminds us of our small stature in the grand scheme of nature.

The question that arises is “When can you see whale sharks in Cozumel?” Well, the best time to witness these magnificent creatures is between mid-July and mid-August, when the water conditions are calmer and the whale sharks are more abundant.

The Great Migration

Whale sharks undertake an annual migration to the warm waters surrounding the Yucatan Peninsula, making it an ideal spot for tourists and locals to snorkel with these gentle beasts. The whale shark season runs from May 14 to September 14, but it may vary depending on their migration patterns.

The Allure of Cozumel

Cozumel, the third-largest Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, is a popular destination for snorkeling with whale sharks. Known for its crystal clear waters, vibrant marine life, and world-class scuba diving sites, Cozumel offers a unique opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks and experience the aquatic world.

The Tour Experience

The Itinerary

The typical “best whale shark tour Cozumel” begins with a pickup at your hotel. The pickup time depends on your hotel’s location. Once you reach the marina, you set off in a boat to search for the whale sharks and mantas, which takes about an hour and 20 minutes. After reaching the feeding area, you get approximately 2 hours to snorkel with the whale sharks.

Post the snorkeling session, you’ll stop off at Playa Norte Beach at Isla Mujeres. Here, you can unwind while the crew prepares lunch for you. After the meal, you head back to the port in Cancun.

The Rules

For a successful and respectful interaction with the whale sharks, certain rules need to be followed:

  1. It is mandatory to swim with a life jacket or wetsuit.
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from the whale shark.

  • Visitors must not touch or hold the whale shark under any circumstances.

  • Do not obstruct the whale shark’s movement or make sudden moves in the water.

Cost and Inclusions

The average cost for a whale shark tour is around $150.00 USD, which includes air-conditioned transportation, snacks, seasickness medication or natural alternatives, water, soft drinks, light lunch, and complete snorkeling equipment.

Protecting the Giants

As advocates of ocean life protection, it’s essential to remember that whale sharks feed by filtering thousands of gallons of water each day. Therefore, we recommend wearing protective clothing instead of sunscreens. If sunscreen is necessary, it should be biodegradable and applied sparingly before you leave your hotel.

What to Pack

For this day-long tour, remember to carry a towel, sunglasses, a long-sleeve shirt, bio-degradable sunscreen, a hat, sandals, and a light rain jacket. If you own a wetsuit, bring it along.


In the words of the famous American writer Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did.” Indeed, snorkeling with whale sharks in Cozumel is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that leaves you with unforgettable memories and stories to share.

So, take the plunge and embark on the adventure of snorkeling with whale sharks in Cozumel. It’s a decision you won’t regret!

NOTE: Private tours are available. Cancellations and refunds are subject to the tour operator’s policies. We may not see whale sharks during the tour. Please confirm all details with your tour operator.

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