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“Most amazing experience ever!”
Review of Mexico Whale Shark

Mexico Whale Shark
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I have to say that this was one of the greatest experiences I had in the water. I’ve been scuba diving for many years and never have seen a whale shark before. When we approached them my girlfriend started crying because it was just so beautiful to see these animals in their native environment. If you are in the area around June-August this is a must do activity. The ride to get there is rather long and could be choppy so definitely take sea sickness medicine.

The crew were amazing. Very friendly and likable. Issac and Cindy were top notch and definitely took great care of us. Thanks guys!! In the way back we had a little rest on the beach of Isla Mujeres and they made some of the best ceviche I ever had. The light breakfast and sandwiches after our Whale Shark encounter were also very good.

I highly recommend this experience through Mexico Whale Shark. These guys are very good at what they do and I’ll definitely be back with the whole family to go see the Whale Sharks with them again!

Thank kjkopa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"ceviche"
in 72 reviews
"sea sickness"
in 16 reviews
"isla mujeres"
in 63 reviews
"light breakfast"
in 15 reviews
"boat ride"
in 23 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 20 reviews
"swim with the sharks"
in 9 reviews
"private marina"
in 3 reviews
"bucket list"
in 14 reviews
"great captain"
in 6 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 14 reviews
"flamingo restaurant"
in 2 reviews
"sodas water"
in 2 reviews
"signed waivers"
in 2 reviews
"sickness tablets"
in 2 reviews
"feeling sea sick"
in 2 reviews
"wet suits"
in 9 reviews
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27 - 31 of 270 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

(Photos coming soon. Wi-Fi is too weak to upload.)

A Wonderful Experience, But Be Prepared...

Read til the end to ensure you get the best experience possible!

My wife and I are staying in Tulum, so we woke up at about 4:45 AM to be on the road by 5:15 AM. Putting us at the meeting location, Flamingo’s, by 7:30 AM.

We arrive at Flamingo’s and everyone is very welcoming. A light breakfast was available, but we didn’t partake. Instead, we had a couple of granola bars on the way up to Cancun. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t super hungry, but not too full upon departure. Boy was that a good decision (I’ll get to that in a sec).

Upon departure of the meeting location, it was about an hour and a half boat ride to the whale shark zone. A bumpy ride, at that.

When we arrived, it was so surreal. Everywhere you looked, there were whale shark fins sticking up out of the water. The captain said there were about 75-100 out there with us yesterday (06/22/2018). It was absolutely incredible. Also worth mention that there were a few mantas out there with us as well!

We took turns in groups of 2, with each group getting a very fair amount of time with each jump. Raul, one of our guides, made sure we all got the best experience possible with the whale sharks. When I tell you this experience is incredible, I don’t think that does it justice. It was a magical experience.

Once we left the whale shark zone, we traveled about another hour and a half to Isla Mujeres for lunch. We anchored the boat in waist deep, crystal clear waters and got to hang for about an hour. They served some great Ceviche and sandwiches. Also, some great looking salads for the vegans out there.

After that, we traveled about 10 mins back to the dock at the original meeting location.

Now, I don’t want this next part to make this trip seem negative at all. I only mention it to make sure that you have the best experience possible.

Even if you aren’t prone to seasickness, TAKE MEDICINE! Prepare for this and start taking your motion sickness meds a few days in advance because not only is the ride in general quite rough, but once you are out there sitting still and waiting your turn, the seas can be very rough. A few people in our group were very sick. You could also look around on other boats and see many others hanging off the side and chumming the waters. Don’t think you are too tough for meds. Because not taking them could ruin this excellent experience.

Last but not least. I want to give a major shoutout to our guides Raul and our captain (I feel bad that I’m unsure of the captain’s name) Ernesto(?). Without a good captain, it could hurt the experience. Having someone who not only put us in fantastic spots to swim with the sharks, but to control the boat as well as he did in rough seas, that helps so much. Raul is the man. I just can’t even say enough good things about him. He helped every single person every step of the way. Major shout out to those guys. If you take this trip, I really hope you’re lucky enough to end up on their boat.

I hope this help to make someone’s experience that much better!

4  Thank Jeremy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We went with Mexico Whale Shark for a tour on Monday, June 11, 2018. We were originally scheduled for Wednesday, but they told us the weather could get bad and recommended we move it up, which we did - sure enough the weather Wednesday was nasty! We were picked up from our hotel in northern Playa del Carmen and it took about an hour to get to where the boat would leave. Once we got there we stayed at Flamingo's restaurant for about 30 minutes and filled out some paperwork and had a bit of fruit before boarding the boat. From there it was about an hour to hour and 15 minutes ride to where the sharks were.

Once we got to the area there were probably 30-40 other boats, some definitely nicer looking than ours, but everyone was having the same great experience. We were paired up in teams of two (I went in with my wife) and the pairs would go in with a guide (Cindy on our boat). The boat driver would place us in front of a whale shark and we jumped in and would swim alongside. The first time in didn't go great, the shark moved and my wife's snorkel was clogged. We were in the water maybe 5 minutes then got out and the next four groups went in. After that, we got to go a second time, which was amazing! We were nice and close to a big shark and stayed in the water for 6-7 minutes. We also got to see several sharks swim right next to the boat while we were watching others take their turns.

We got through fairly quickly so we got to go a third time, which was extra (we were told we would be able to get in twice). The third time turned out to be the best - there were four sharks swimming right in the area all around us and we got a little more time in the water - completely amazing!

Please note you need to be ready to go when the driver says go. It's a bit hectic, but he has to position the boat just right in front of the shark as they swim too fast for us mere humans to catch up to or keep up with for long. So be ready when the time comes and take the plunge!

Once we were done, we had a light lunch of chicken sandwiches and water or Coke and started on the way back. The return boat ride was another hour and change. We stopped at the beach at Isla Mujeres for 30 minutes or so - amazing water and beach, very beautiful! The crew also made a nice ceviche and guacamole while we were swimming at the beach - we had that once we got back onboard. After that, it was a short 10-15 minutes to a snorkeling area. Cindy, our guide, had some food she broke up to attract some fish. We snorkeled for 15-20 minutes, saw some nice fish, then it was back on the boat and 10-15 minutes back to the dock.

Bring a change of clothes when you get back to the dock - you can change at the Flamingo's restaurant. The car ride back is long (hour plus if staying in Playa) and not comfortable if wet.

Be sure to bring reef safe sunscreen - no regular sunscreen is allowed due to the sensitivity of the shark skin (they will sell you some as well). We wore long sleeve rash guards, no need to worry about sunscreen on your back or arms that way. Best to have a dry bag too if possible as things tend to get wet on the boat, and bring an extra towel for changing later.

Bring cash - they ask that you pay upfront a deposit via PayPal, but the rest is paid in cash when you get to Flamingo's. You will also want to have cash to tip the boat driver, the diver who swims with you, and the bus driver - we tipped $20 to each.

It is a truly amazing experience and well worth it. You will get up early (we were picked up at 6:30am - the earliest couple was picked up before 5am), but you can nap on the bus there and back.

There are lots of tour operators, some with nicer equipment, but Mexico Whale Shark did a great job and they were reasonably priced. Highly recommended!

1  Thank Joel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Wow! This was the most amazing day ever!! Such a fantastic company, picked us up on time and arranged breakfast for us before we headed out. Lovely small group and after 45 mins on the boat getting to the location we saw Whale Sharks straight away. We followed 7 in total and one with a baby. But there was maybe 30-40 in total that all the boats were following. Took turns in twos to jump in and swim with them. Be prepared to swim hard to follow them and keep up- they provide fins so it makes it easier. You can hire a GoPro for $40 which recommend, we hadn’t used one before but was very easy just put onto video and off you go. We have incredible videos of the whale shark swimming towards us with its mouth open. We got there early and left before it got too busy so that was perfect. Then onto Isla Mujeres where we snorkelled and saw a Ray, and swam in beautiful water while they cooked fresh fish for us followed by pineapple. Ticked off my bucket list. Thank you so much for the best day!!!

Thank josea08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Best day of our honeymoon! It was so incredible to swim with these gentle giants. Our captain Esteban was amazing and made us incredible ceviche. Our guide Toto was wonderful. He made us table/raft so we could enjoy our lunch in the water. Definitely worth it!

Thank Claire O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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