Swim with the Largest Fish in the Sea!

Join us for a LaPaz whale shark tour!

We highly recommend that you include a day during your Baja vacation to snorkel with whale sharks in Mexico’s Bay of La Paz. Set off in a motor-skiff to observe and swim alongside the whale sharks, the largest fish in the world! 

Sign Up Early!  It's critical that you sign up well in advance so that we can confirm our departure with Baja Park authorities.  The permits to swim with whale sharks are highly restricted and limited. If you are planning a sea kayak or whale watching trip with us, please ask our Adventure Consultants about these tours at the time you sign up.  Our tours adhere to and support all regulations regarding swimming with whale sharks and we conduct these tours with the utmost respect for these magnificent fish, following all protocols designed to protect them. 

We depart from a La Paz marina and travel about 45 minutes to the whale shark swimming zone, a designated area where the whale sharks are feeding and swimming.  On our way you prepare by putting on a wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel. Once a whale shark is spotted, you slide off of our skiff under the direction of your guide.  This is your chance to swim alongside the ocean’s gentle giants.  Watch their gaping mouths engulf mass amounts of plankton as they slowly glide along. The juvenile whale sharks in La Paz are a whopping 4-8 meters (12-24 feet)  long with mouths that yawn open over 4-5 feet, yet they’re no Moby Dick with their mild disposition. It’s rare to experience something as awe-inspiring as swimming alongside these mammoth, polka-dotted creatures that course the Gulf of California.

A talented local, National Park-certified whale shark guide accompanies you on your swim. Their knowledge and passion for whale sharks is obvious as they work to make your time swimming in La Paz educative, meaningful, and memorable.

Our one-day whale shark tours are the perfect complement to our LaPaz based kayaking adventures and pair perfectly before or after our Espiritu Santo or Isla San Jose tours. Again, because this is a highly regulated activity, please sign up as far in advance as possible. Watch the video below to learn more about this amazing activity.

 

Images & Videos

whale shark in LaPaz
Man standing on a boat with a snorkel mask on in La Paz, Baja California Sur
whale shark eating plankton under water
whale shark in bay of LaPaz, Baja
Whale shark in the Gulf of California outside of La Paz
women snorkeling in Baja California Sur
Panga in the Gulf of California on a guided whale shark snorkeling tour
La Paz Malecon at sunset
Man snorkeling in La Paz, Baja
Gulf of California outside of La Paz on Espiritu Santo Island
Person swimming near whale shark
man snorkeling with a whale shark
whale shark in LaPaz
Man standing on a boat with a snorkel mask on in La Paz, Baja California Sur
whale shark eating plankton under water
whale shark in bay of LaPaz, Baja
Whale shark in the Gulf of California outside of La Paz
women snorkeling in Baja California Sur
Panga in the Gulf of California on a guided whale shark snorkeling tour
La Paz Malecon at sunset
Man snorkeling in La Paz, Baja
Gulf of California outside of La Paz on Espiritu Santo Island
Person swimming near whale shark
man snorkeling with a whale shark

Itinerary

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Day 1

LaPaz Whale Shark Tour

What to Expect: 

Many people describe snorkeling with whale sharks as exhilarating and humbling, but most of all memorable. There are few places in the world where you can observe whale sharks in the wild, even less where you can actually get in the water and experience them up close and personal. Our whale shark tours are based out of LaPaz where these gentle giants flock to the plankton rich waters of the Bay of LaPaz. We depart from a designated marina in LaPaz at a specified time, which is determined when we get our Park permit.  Usually this is early in the morning, but we will inform you the day before of the exact time.  The trip takes about 4-5 hours, depending on a  variety of factors.  Snacks are included in your outing as well as the full services of our talented interpretive guides. (If you want to see what it's really like, check out this video of snorkeling with whale sharks)

Your Guides: 

To share and guide you in this exhilarating experience you will be accompanied by our National Park-certified bilingual, professional, educated, fun, and experienced guides.  Our guides are the best in the business and are committed to ensuring you have the time of your life on this incredible adventure. In addition they are trained in interpretive guiding and share educational information about whale sharks, LaPaz and other marine life in the Gulf of California, also known as the Vermillion Sea.

What to Bring:

  • Swimsuit (It's efficient and convenient if you dress with your swimsuit on or under your clothes)
  • Clothing with sun protection. Rashguards work great to wear under your PFD if wet suits are not needed.
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterbottle
  • Rash guard
  • Sunscreen

Conservation Partnership:

Please note that $5 of your trip fee is donated to Whale Shark Mexico, a leading conservation and research organization focused on education and sustainable management of whale sharks.

New Restrictions per Mexico National Parks:

This activity is very well managed by the Park and marine authorities of Mexico.  There has to be a minimum number of whale sharks in the area before it is opened for swimming with them.  There is a strict limit to the number of boats that can enter the whale shark-protected zone. These regulations have changed every year in the past few years and are generally getting more and more restrictive. Therefore it's of paramount importance that you sign up as well in advance as possible.

All vessels must be equipped with a GPS tracking system and communicate with a monitoring authority via radio before entering the whale shark grounds. Once entering the whale shark grounds, vessels have between 1.5 and 2 hours to remain in the area before they must leave. 

Weather - If the area is too windy and/or there are waves that are too large, we cannot operate these trips.  Be prepared for the possibility of last-minute cancellations.  See our Cancellation and Refunds policy for these trips below.

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD)
Oct 01, 2024 to Apr 30, 2025
Lowest tier Price
$140£0€0$0$0$140£0€0$0$0

Supplementary Information

Please note: $140 per person price is for groups of 4+. For groups of 2-3 a $50 per person surcharge applies.

*Our one day whale shark tours make an excellent addition to our LaPaz based kayaking adventures and pair perfectly before or after our Espiritu Santo or Isla San Jose tours. Just tell your Adventure Consultant you would like to snorkel with Whale Sharks as part of your tour and we'll get everything set up for you! 

Price Per Person: Groups of 2- 3

  • $190
  • $5 of your trip fee is donated to Whale Shark Mexico, a leading conservation and research organization focused on education and sustainable management of whale sharks.

Price Per Person: Groups of 4 -10

  • $140
  • $5 of your trip fee is donated to Whale Shark Mexico, a leading conservation and research organization focused on education and sustainable management of whale sharks.

Includes: 

  • Professional bilingual guides that provide a high-quality educational experience
  • An up-close, personal encounter with peaceful whale sharks
  • Coaching and instruction in snorkeling from our guides
  • Certified Captain
  • All snorkeling equipment (Wetsuits, snorkel, mask and fins)
  • Snacks
  • Clean drinking water

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: If Park Regulations change because of a lack of whale sharks in the area and we are not able to perform the tour, we provide a 100% refund.  Be aware that weather sometimes prevents us from being able to operate the whale shark trips as planned.  We will try and find a substitute time in this case. If we cannot leave the harbor on the morning of your trip,  a full refund will be granted.  If we depart from the harbor and then discover that the waves are too big and/or the wind too strong for a positive trip experience, we will return to the harbor and provide a 60% refund of that portion of the trip fee allocated to the whale shark experience. 

Reviews

4.933335
Average: 4.9 (15 votes)

Reviews

5

Phenomenal!!!

We went as a family for day trip. The whale sharks were the most beautiful creatures ever. We were able to swim as long as any of us wanted to (though it is hard work to keep up with them). We all had a fabulous time!

5

Like nothing you can imagine

My daughters and I went at the beginning of our kayaking trip. I cannot imagine a better way to start a vacation. The guides were helpful and we saw so, so many HUGE whale sharks. Incredible.

5

Big Shark, Big Fun

Swimming next to a whale shark was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got great video of the shark and was able to swim next to it several times. I was particularly impressed with how our guides made sure that we were not disturbing the shark and that we respected its space. After our last swim, a pod of dolphins came by to harass the shark and deter it from entering where they were catching fish. I would do this again!

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FAQ & More

Do I need to sign up well in advance for swimming with whale sharks?

YES! Due to the limited number of boats allowed into the whale shark protected zone each day, it's critical you sign up as far in advance as possible

Do I have to go sea kayaking with you to sign up for this trip?

No. We welcome sign ups from anyone, whether you are participating in one of our sea kayaking or whale watching trips or not.

How long is the boat ride from the marina to the designated swimming area?

The boat ride is between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours long depending on where we enter the whale shark swimming area which is a protected zone.

Can I touch the whale sharks?

To adhere to local regulations, touching the whale sharks is prohibited. A whale shark may swim close to you and possible brush your skin, but in the chance that happens, we ask that you do not lend out a hand to add additional impact or disturbance to these creatures.

When is the season to swim with whale sharks?

The best season to swim with whale sharks is Fall through Spring. November through April being the best months.

If I have never snorkeled before, is this tour a good choice for me?

If you have never been snorkeling before we would strongly recommend you find a place to practice before this tour. You want to be comfortable with a mask and snorkel and be able to swim while breathing through a snorkel.

Are whale sharks dangerous?

Whale sharks are generally considered to be gentle and non-threatening to humans. They are filter feeders, mainly consuming plankton and small fish, and their feeding behavior poses little risk to people. They do not show any interest in preying on humans. It's always essential to approach any interaction with wildlife, including whale sharks, with caution and respect.

What are your Terms and Conditions?

Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.

I'm not a strong swimmer.  Can I still go on this tour?

Swimming with the whale sharks can be physically demanding if they are moving along at a moderate pace.  Sometimes the whale sharks are not swimming much themselves, in which case you can get relatively close (never closer than 6.5' or 2 meters), without as much effort.  But if the whale sharks are feeding and swimming at the same time, they move at a pace that requires active use of your legs and fins.  

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