Whale Shark Tour from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Riviera Maya

Badge of ExcellenceCancún, Mexico
Whale Shark Encounter All Inclusive Tour in Cancun

From USD 209.00

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 8 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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

What's Included

  • 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 15 USD per person is payable upon pick-up in cash
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenirs (available to purchase)
  • HD videos and pictures of your whale shark watching experience available in digital package.
  • Wetsuit Rental

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Flamingos
    Carr. Puerto Juarez Carretera a Punta Sam Km. 3.5, Juárez, 77520 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

    If you book without transportation (option meetingpoint pier) we will meet you at Flamingos Seafood Kitchen | Restaurant on Carr. Puerto Juarez Carretera a Punta Sam Km. 3.5, Juárez, 77520 Cancún, Q.R.

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

Select your preferred activity option to see hours.
View tour option

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

We offer pick up from any hotel, airbnb or private residence. Pick up Tulum between 04:00-05:00 am. Pick up from Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya 05:30-06:30 am and pick up from Cancun between 06:00-07:00 am. Pick up from Isla Mujeres is from the Gasstation Pemex in Isla Mujeres.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking (Vegetarian & Gluten free Options available under request)
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Seasonal tour operating from June to mid-September
  • Most travellers can participate
  • The duration of this tour may vary due to reasons beyond our control. On average, the boat activity lasts 5 hours, but this can be longer due to weather conditions, in which area we find the whale sharks and how many opportunities there are to swim with them. The transfer time from your hotel to our pier depends on your location and traffic conditions. The tour, including the transfer, can take between 7 and 12 hours.
  • minimum age as of 3 years old
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers

Cancellation Policy

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 cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

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Q:How long is the boat ride to see the Whale Sharks during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:On average, you can expect to enjoy a beautiful and scenic speedboat ride that takes about one hour to get to the area where the Whale Sharks gather.

Mar. 2021

Q:How long will we swim with the Whale Sharks during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Once we find the best spot to swim with Whale Sharks, we'll get in the water and snorkel and swim with these majestic creatures for up to 3 hours.

Mar. 2021

Q:Are Whale Sharks dangerous?

A:No, they are not dangerous. Whale sharks congregate in the waters around Isla Mujeres and Holbox to feed on microscopic organisms. Their average swimming speed is just 3 mph. You will have the opportunity to snorkel with them just a few feet away!

Mar. 2021

Q:Do Whale Sharks have teeth?

A:Whale sharks do have teeth but they are incredibly tiny and are used for filter feeding. They really are gentle giants.

Mar. 2021

Q:Is swimming with Whale Sharks appropriate for children?

A:Swimming with Whale Sharks is fun for the Whole Family! Our Whale Shark Discovery Tour is child-friendly and elderly-friendly. Everyone's invited to join!

Mar. 2021

Q:Is there a vegetarian option available during the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Yes, vegetarian options are available, however, they must be requested in advance. Feel free to let us know of any dietary restrictions in the "Special Requirements" box at checkout.

Mar. 2021

Q:What should I bring with me on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:We recommend bringing a towel, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a change of clothing, and money for souvenirs, photos, and the required Natural Reserve Fee ($13 USD per person).

Mar. 2021

Q:Should I bring my camera on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Yes, you are welcome to bring your own waterproof camera.

Mar. 2021

Q:What should I wear on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. We recommend wearing your bathing suit under your regular clothes and bringing sandals or water shoes and an extra set of dry clothes.

Mar. 2021

Q:Do I have to bring snorkeling gear on the Whale Shark All-Inclusive Tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya?

A:You can if you want to, but we provide all snorkeling gear including mask, snorkel, fins, and life jacket. If you own a wetsuit, please feel free to bring it along. If you don’t have one we can provide them to be rented for $15 USD.

Mar. 2021

Traveller Photos

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Featured review
Our tour guide Pia was so sweet and knowledgeable. She stayed my my boyfriend’s side as he got seasick and knew so much about the whale sharks, you could tell she loved what she does. The experience was AMAZING!! I had so much fun and would recommend it to everyone. All the equipment you need is provided, just being the adventure and smiles.


630 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 630 reviews
Beat expectations
Ben_C, Sept 2023
Incredible experience swam with whale sharks and manta rays, managed to see turtles and dolphins and even some baby sharks, Alana our guide, the captain and sailor all made our experience great
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Ben, thanks for your review, it's so amazing you had such an opportunity of seeing so many variety of species and even the baby sharks, that must be incredible! We are happy your adventure was so complete and our team did a good job. Thanks for recommending us! Kindly, Paula - Ocean Tours Team
Bucket List Adventure!
dana_w, Sept 2023
We had a great tour guide and boat captain! We found whale sharks quickly and we’re able to get two dives with them! We were so excited to be able to see them so up close! Unforgettable adventure!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
hello Dana thank you for your review, we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your excursion and that you got to spend as much time with the whalesharks in their natural habitat as possible. see you on your next visit to the Riviera Maya! Mariana - Ocean Tours
Amazing Whale Shark Experience!
Gabriela_P, Aug 2023
The whale shark tour with Ocean Tours was amazing. Our guide Lucie was wonderful. She spoke French, Spanish and English! She was super energetic and made sure we had a great time the entire trip. We were picked up on time (the pickup actually arrived a few minutes early) and Lucie explained the day’s activities in detail on the way to Flamingo, the meeting point. At the Flamingo dock we were greeted with a light fruit and pastry breakfast. Then we headed out to find the shark whales. We got to do two jumps in groups of two’s, which is what we were hoping for. We did one jump with Jose and the second jump with Diego, both guides were amazing at making sure we saw and kept up with the whale shark as long as possible. After swimming with the whale sharks we went to do some snorkeling and afterward the captain took us to another area where we got to hang out in the water while eating some delicious ceviche and guacamole. Oh, and Lucie had sandwich snacks for in between activities! The entire team was awesome and made this experience unforgettable. Not to mention they did a much better job at filming us with the whale sharks than we did for ourselves. Tip: do the first jump without trying to record it to immerse yourself fully in the experience and that way you know what to expect on the second jump. I will recommend Ocean Tours to anyone looking for a unique, fun experience in Cancun. Thanks to Lucie, Diego, Jose and our trusted Captain!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
hello! Thank you for your review and for recognizing how hard the team of guides work and prepare for their tours behind the scene, as well as all our boat crews, who always keep our guests, and the whalesharks safe! looking forward to hosting you again! Mariana - Ocean Tours
Bummed and happy at the same time
Shelley_R, Aug 2023
I'll start by saying the tour guide Pepe, boat captain and other guide were amazing and did everything they could to find whale sharks. It was a rough, long ride so taking meds is a must! We had a windy day and the waves were a tad crazy. The captain however knew what he was doing and navigated the waves like a champ. A few ppl got sick but I had a mini pharmacy with me so that helped everyone. After a few hours we found 1 whale shark. We just got to see the fin and 2 if our people got to swim with it. Within 5 minutes there were about 20-30 boats surrounding it. My excitement turned into guilt! This poor whale shark!! It disappeared and I don't blame it. We searched for another hour or so and the boat vibe was low. I asked PePe if we could just stop and jump in the water for a break and he said great idea. Everyone loved it so we just floated and swam a bit. Near the end of the day dolphins appeared and swimwear our boat so we jumped in and got to swimwith dolphins for a few minutes!! That kind of made up for no whale sharks! We snorkeled near by for about an hour then went back. Overall it was good because if the guides, food, drinks and positive attitudes but the whake shark part did suck!
Amazing tour!
Victor_V, Aug 2023
Tour was amazing. Our guide, Juan was excellent. Even helped my daughter and I swim next to the whale shark for a longer periods of time (daughter is 9). The captain and other helper were good too, but Juan made this tour amazing as helped all slow swimmers keep up with the whale shark. I know he got a good workout that day.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Hello , Thanks for choosing us and your comments as well . We are glad to know that you had an amzaing tour with Juan and the captain . We wish to see you again . Best regards Laura Ocean Tours
Very Fun if You Are Experienced
Linda_B, Aug 2023
This was a very informative and fun excursion if you are an experienced snorkeler. I would not recommend for beginners or young children due to having to jump in the water off of the side of the boat and having to swim fast to keep up with the whale sharks’ movements. Such a fun day filled with lots of views of marine life.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
hello Linda thank you for your review, we will take into consideration your comments to make the experience safe and enjoyable to all. hopefully we can host you again on your next trip to the Riviera Maya. Mariana - Ocean Tours
Once in a lifetime
Lee_D, Aug 2023
Beautiful experience, but price / quality overrated, especially considering that you have to pay another 15 USD pp entrance fee and the “voluntary” tip for the crew and guide. (According guide their income depends on tip, while the average income in Mexico is 10 USD and we paid 200 USD pp) Also the modest lunch was really modest and even the setting was originally poor: standing at the see with a tray in my hand…. But anyway great experience for the 4 minutes with the whales!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We apologize if you found the price-to-quality ratio overrated. We take customer feedback seriously, and we'll take this into consideration for future improvements. It's important to us that our customers feel they receive fair value for the price paid. Regarding the additional costs such as the entrance fee and the "voluntary" tip for the crew and guide, we understand that this can add up and impact the overall perception of the tour's value. We will review our pricing structure to ensure transparency and avoid any unexpected costs in the future. As for the modest lunch and the setting, we regret any inconvenience caused. We strive to provide enjoyable experiences, including meal arrangements, and we'll reevaluate the lunch options to better meet our customers' expectations. It's good to hear that you appreciated the whales' encounter, and we hope those magical moments will remain in your memory. We genuinely appreciate your feedback as it helps us in our ongoing efforts to improve our services and ensure that each customer has a memorable and satisfying experience. If you decide to join us again in the future, we will work hard to provide you with an even better and more enjoyable adventure. Thank you for choosing us as your adventure partner Kind regards. Diana Ocean Tours Mexico.
Amazing experience
Trent_R, Aug 2023
Swimming with the sharks was great! Our guide was very nice and did an awesome job. The captain of the boat was very experienced and did a great job
Response from Host, Aug 2023
hello Trent happy to hear that you were able to enjoy the company of the whalesharks, thank you for acknowledging the hard work of the boat captain to provide you with the best excursion possible. see you soon ! Mariana - Ocean Tours
We had Rochelle as our...
Rebecca_C, July 2023
We had Rochelle as our guide and this was the most incredible experience, she was really knowledgeable and the whole day was amazing. Highly reccomend
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Dear Rebecca, thanks for your comment! It's great you enjoyed the company of Rachelle, our tour guide, and you had such an amazing day. Thanks for recommending us! Kind regards, Paula - Ocean Tours Team
Awesome time!
PETER_C, July 2023
Great time. The crew was professional and experienced. Our guide Xena was knowledgeable, professional and fun! WOUL DO AGAIN AND AGAIN. AWESOME.
Response from Host, July 2023
hello Peter! we are delighted to hear you had an amazing time and YES! we hope to host you again and again! cheers! Mariana Ocean Tours
Disappointed in no whale sharks but customer service was good.
Kristen_W, July 2023
We saw zero whale sharks despite looking for 4 hours. Our captain and guide definitely were trying to find them but it just wasn't our day. We understand that there are no guarantees on excursions like this but we were still very disappointed. The company did immediately reach out and offered us vouchers for a future trip. We instead requested a partial refund, which they did grant us. We still feel like we paid for a very expensive four hour boat ride. Note - Our guide said that it was extremely rare to not see any but after talking to other people who been living in the area, it does seem to be more and more common that none are spotted. Definitely something to consider before booking.
Response from Host, July 2023
Dear Kristen, We apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience you experienced during your whale shark excursion. Despite the efforts made by your captain and guide, sometimes nature can be unpredictable, and wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. We understand your frustration, and we thank you for your understanding in this matter. We appreciate your feedback and take it seriously. It is indeed essential for us to consider such occurrences and manage expectations for future bookings. We strive to provide our customers with the best experiences possible, and we will take your insights into account to improve our services. We are glad to hear that our company promptly reached out to offer you vouchers for a future trip as a gesture of goodwill. We understand that you expected more from your tour and that you invested both time and money. Rest assured that we value our customers, and we will continue to make efforts to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our excursions. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, and we hope to have the opportunity to make it up to you in the future with a better and more satisfying experience. Should you decide to book with us again, we will do our utmost to provide you with a memorable and rewarding adventure. Kind regards, Diana Ocean Tours Team.
Wonderful trip
Brittany_M, July 2023
Wonderful time! Swam with whale sharks, snorkeled at the reef, then got to relax in beautiful water with beer and a delicious ceviche & avocado lunch!
Amazing tour, friendly...
Shelly_M, July 2023
Amazing tour, friendly staff and awesome experience. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to swim with whale sharks.
This was ABSOLUTELY...
Jacqueline_M, July 2023
This was ABSOLUTELY amazing ! Our tour guide T was amazing, the whale sharks were beautiful, and the whole experience was great. Swimming with the whale sharks was a once in a lifetime experience. Besides seeing the whale sharks, we saw sea turtles, flying fish, a sting ray and dolphins on our way back! We tried to swim with them ! Definitely take Dramamine or anything to help with seasickness. It is a longer boat ride to the location. Overall, book this tour !
Sharks, Rays, and Ceviche!
Stephanie_A, July 2023
Simply amazing. Our tour guide Rachelle was amazing. Our Captain Sisi also let us swim with manta rays after our whale shark jumps. It was all spectacular and we will be back!
Response from Host, July 2023
Hi , Thanks for your preference and your words . We are glad to know that you had an amazing experience with Rachelle and the rest of the Team as well , Best regards Laura Ocean Tours
WELL WHALEshark DONE!!!! 5 STARS!!!! A must... lifechanging....
Brent_P, July 2023
The whole excursion was 5 stars, from the breakfast prior, to the ride out and patience in finding a WILD whale shark to snorkel with as these aren't in a aquarium, to unexpectedly also snorkel with a school of dolphins, to the snacks on boat, to the ride to beach area and lunch, and then finishing it off with snorkeling reef briefly. What big shoes to fill but they did it with ease. Diego was the best.... highly recommend as it's worth every penny.
Response from Host, July 2023
Dear Brent, thank you so much for your comment! It's amazing to know you are so satisfied with the experience and everything fulfill your expectations, it means a lot to us. thanks for choosing us and hope to see you for next year's whale shark season! Kindly, Paula - Ocean Tours Team
Amazing trip! Diego was great!
Nikki_L, July 2023
Amazing trip! Our guide Diego was wonderful. You could tell how much experience our captain had in how well he maneuvered the boat so we could jump in at the right time. Such an awesome experience!
Sofia & the tour was the BEST!
Angela_P, July 2023
Our guide, Sofia, was BEYOND wonderful! I would do this trip over and over again!!! Everything was perfect!
Response from Host, July 2023
Dear Angela, thanks for reaching us, we are happy to know you enjoyed this adventure and that you want to come back, we will be more than pleased to have you again with us! Kind regards, Paula - Ocean Tours Team
Amazing experience!
nishana_i, June 2023
This was a most memorable, bucket list experience! It's pretty choppy in those waters so definitely have the ginger tea and/or dramamine, just in case. Since this is like a safari, you never know if you would have any sightings. But for us, it was definitely worth the trouble. We were lucky and found few whale sharks. I felt the captain was really good at making sure we jump in front of the whale sharks so we can get the best view and swim along with them, unlike some of the other tours. Pepe and Laurie made sure we had the best time in the water and got some awesome videos that were worth paying for! Pepe overall was a great guide and took awesome care of us. This tour was definitely a dream come true. If you are adventurous and patient, highly recommended!
Response from Host, June 2023
Dear Nishan, thank you very much for your comment. It's great to know this was a dream come true for you, and that you enjoyed your time in water with our team Pepe and Laurie :) Kind regards, Paula Ocean Tours
An absolute MUST do!!!
Alex_S, Sept 2022
I will come back to Cancun JUST to do this tour!!! It was INCREDIBLE!! And the tour guide, captain, and first Mate were all top notch!! We had the most amazing time! Our guide was so knowledgeable and informative about the whale sharks. Everyone was so kind and helpful and patient with my dad who is older and moves a little slower. We ended up hitting a big storm on the way back but even the downpour didn’t stop the fun! We still went snorkeling and had the most delicious ceviche! We can’t wait to come back and do this tour again!

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