Water activity

Cancun or Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Tour & Playa Norte Beach

4.5 / 5

44 reviews

Activity provider: Contoy Adventures
Water activity

Cancun or Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Tour & Playa Norte Beach

Activity provider: Contoy Adventures

From US$ 190.45 per person

Swim beside the ocean’s gentle giants on a boat trip from Cancun or the Riviera Maya. Witness the world's largest concentration of whale sharks, enjoy snorkeling, and relax on Playa Norte beach.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 5 - 6 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Spanish, English
Pickup optional
Pickup is from your accommodation, hotel, or Airbnb located in the south of Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, or Kantenah. Please be at the lobby 5 minutes before the pickup time in your confirmation e-mail.
Wheelchair accessible


  • See the largest concentration of whale sharks in the world
  • Snorkel beside the earth's biggest fish
  • Discover amazing sea life in its natural habitat
  • Relax on Playa Norte beach after the swim
Full description

Swim with the largest concentration of whale sharks in the world, just north of Isla Contoy, on this cruise from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Enjoy up to three snorkel or swim immersions with sharks and even spot manta rays and dolphins. Finish with a visit to Playa Norte Beach in Isla Mujeres. Start your tour with early morning pickup from any hotel or Airbnb in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum. Head towards the all-new private marina located at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal in Cancun for a quick check-in. Before boarding, enjoy pastries with coffee while listening to the instructions and safety briefing.  Once in the boat, get kitted out with mandatory life vests and full snorkeling gear. All boats depart at 8 AM and navigate for approximately 45 minutes to the whale shark area north of Contoy. Once you have found the sharks, begin the swimming and snorkeling. Enjoy 2 to 3 immersions per person always with 2 people and 1 guide in the water. Spend a full 2.5 hours in total with the Whale Sharks, also observing Manta Rays, Dolphins, and Turtles.  After swimming with the sharks, make a final stop in beautiful Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres, considered one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world. Here, the boats will remain for about 1 hour for you to relax on the beach or do some more snorkeling. Return to Cancun at around 1 PM where the transportation will take you back to your hotel or Airbnb.

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (if selected)
  • Snorkeling gear
  • 2 to 3 dives per person with the whale sharks
  • Playa Norte beach visit after the dives
  • Pastries and coffee
  • Water and soft drinks
  • Mandatory Federal Dock and National Park fee ($15 USD per person)
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Children under 3 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with back problems
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen

Know before you go

  •  This tour is subject to weather condition
  •  Pregnant women are not allowed for safety reasons and as per federal regulations
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 44 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Me and my wife had the best experience swimming with whale sharks yesterday, there is no words to describe what it feels like to be so close to them. It’s a trip we will never forget, the guide was brilliant, he knew exactly when we should be in the water to get the best angles for the photos and views for us. We loved every minute of it

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April 1, 2023

The. MOST amazing experience I’ve ever had. Swimming alongside a whale shark blows your mind, they are so beautiful and so big. It was a very bumpy long ride out so be prepared, sea sickness tablets are a must but it’s definitely worth the discomfort. Highly recommend, guides were great & very professional

April 1, 2023

We definitely got to swim with the whale sharks but there are a few things you should know before booking. The whale sharks were amazing. There are alot of boats and other people around you. If you book with shuttle and are staying in tulum they do not pick you up at your hotel you must meet at super aki by 5 am by way of taxi or your own way to get to shuttle. When arriving you need to eat pastries quickly and pay for a wet suit if you prefer so u don't need life jacket while swimming. Also u must pay for the 15 dollar federal fee there in card or cash. Be quick to change or be dressed before being picked up your window is short before boarding. I'd suggest bringing a better snorkel that keeps water out. Thos snorkels put water straight in. The swims are short and very fast to keep up with whale shark. It takes alot of energy quickly. Lunch you dock for 15 or so minutes and they bring you a sandwich and ceviche and beer soda and water. You can't go to beach but can swim for a few. Tak

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April 1, 2023

Product ID: 342021