Whale Shark Encounter

3 hours | La Paz | LAP-785
From
$ 189.95
Max. age: 75 years | Min. age: 8 years | Max. weight: 265 lbs. | Medical restriction (See special notes)
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Points of Interest

  • Underwater Adventure
  • Whale Watching
Includes snack, Strenuous activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Once plentiful off the coast of Mexico, as well at the waters of the world's oceans, the whale sharks are now an endangered species and protected under international and Mexican law. This excursion gives you the wonderful opportunity to see these rare creatures up close in their natural environment. Before you leave on your incredible encounter be sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and a swimsuit under your clothes; your snorkel, mask and fins will be provided. And, most important, bring along a camera or video recorder to show everyone back home your unbelievable adventure with the world's largest fish.

A boat will pick you up at the pier and you'll cruise out into the calm waters of La Paz Bay. Once you arrive at your destination, your guide will provide excellent instruction and help you properly gear up in your equipment before heading out into the bay in search of whale sharks. From early winter until late spring whale sharks are quite common in these waters due to the rich supply of plankton, krill, and small fish, and every year they return to the bay of La Paz. Once a whale shark is spotted, you'll don your mask and enter the water near one of these gentle giants. Whale sharks are the world's largest species of fish and can reach lengths of nearly 40 feet and can weigh in as much as 79,000 pounds. Don't let its massive size fool you, a whale shark really doesn't pose any threat to humans but there are a few things to remember: don't try to ride a whale shark or grab it, that just may make it swim away; since whale sharks swim in schools of three to five that would mean that you could possibly scare all of them away. Let the animal come to you, just try to swim beside it and not make physical contact. When it realizes that you're not a threat then it will swim closer to you but give it plenty of room to maneuver. Remember, even though it swims slowly and gracefully, it's still a large animal living in the wild, giving the fish distance also provides you some safety, too.

At the end of this awesome experience you'll climb back aboard and relax with a refreshing snack. Then, you'll return to your ship in awe of one of nature's most amazing creations with stories to tell your family and friends.

Special Notes:

Tour duration varies due to maritime authority controls over access to the whale sharks. The content of the tour includes 30 minutes by boat to reach the permit checkpoint. Once your boat's permit is checked, the captain waits for clearance before proceeding to the whale shark zone. The wait can be up to 90 minutes. If a long wait is anticipated, your captain helps you to fill in the time with a side trip to a sea lion colony, or swimming and snorkeling at Mogote Beach, or a scenic cruise along the La Paz coastline. Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, reef-safe/biodegradable sunscreen, a cover-up for further protection from the sun, and a hat. Wildlife sightings (including whale sharks) are likely but are not guaranteed. Minimum age is 8 years. Fairly energetic swimming is required; previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Pregnant women and/or guests with respiratory conditions, mobility limitations, neck or back conditions are not allowed to participate. Due to limited spaces, observer options are not available. Snorkel time can depend on sea conditions. New regulations, set by Mexican National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, protect the whale sharks by limiting the number of participants that can be in the water at any one time. Each boat accommodates 10 guests, divided into two groups of five. Time in the water with the whale sharks is limited to a maximum of one hour per group. While one group is in the water, the other group will remain on the boat. A refreshing snack is served to each group relaxing on the boat and guests not currently in the water can watch the whale sharks from the boat.

Medical Restriction:

Guests with recent surgeries, heart or respiratory problems and pregnant women will not be allowed to participate.

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Depart from ship for a scenic ride to Bay of La Paz

Transport type:
Motorized Vessel
Travel time:
00:15
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Steps:
3
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
No

Briefing and instructions for the excursion

Time at site:
00:15
Air conditioned:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Cruising to find and swim with whale sharks

Transport type:
Motorized Vessel
Time at site:
01:30
Air conditioned:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Return to Costa Baja Marina

Transport type:
Motorized Vessel
Travel time:
00:15
Air conditioned:
No
Steps:
3
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
No

Re-board your vessel and return to your ship

Transport type:
Motorized Vessel
Travel time:
00:15
Air conditioned:
Yes
Walking distance:
100
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes