Add dates

Playa del Carmen Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Playa del Carmen Dolphin & whale watching

Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

1. Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

Punta Allen is a picturesque and perfect place to park yourself on a boat tour. Here explore the local lagoons and come face to face with the incredible wildlife of this region. You'll have the chance to see beautiful birds and maybe even the opportunity to see wild dolphins and sea turtles that live in these waters. On the tour, also stop at the 2nd largest coral reef in the world, where you can jump out of the boat and enjoy a pleasant snorkel adventure (subject to sea conditions). You'll be amazed at the colors of this very healthy coral reef and the varieties of fish are absolutely stunning. The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish. Then, head to the beach, where the picture-perfect sandbar awaits. Here enjoy a delicious Caribbean lunch of fresh fish and fruit before heading back out to explore a bit more. The biodiversity of the Yucatan Peninsula is essential and the aim is to share this passion with you and teach you how you can all work to keep this great natural land safe for future generations. It became a World Heritage Site in 1987 and you'll understand why.

Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks

2. Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks

Snorkel with whale sharks on this day trip from Cancun (from May to September). Take a boat out whale shark reserve in the waters surrounding Isla Contoy follow your naturalist or marine biologist guide for once-in-a-lifetime experience. Savor a delicious lunch and drinks on the boat. Be picked up early in the morning from your hotel in Cancun and hop aboard a comfortable van for the drive to Puerto Juarez (Marina Hacienda del Mar). Listen to an informative briefing to help you understand whale sharks and the area's ecosystems. Depart from Marina Hacienda del Mar on a boat and head towards the whale shark reserve in the waters surrounding Isla Contoy. Use high-quality snorkel gear to see whale sharks. Feel confident snorkeling with the help of your guide. Sit down to a filling lunch on the boat with stunning views of the coast of Isla Mujeres. Afterwards, cool off with a swim in the clear turquoise waters. Travel back to Marina Hacienda del Mar and transfer by van back to your accommodation.

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

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

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.

Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Encounter

4. Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Encounter

Be picked up from your accommodation at 5:45 AM in Tulum, 6:45 AM in Playa del Carmen, or 7:45 AM in Cancun. During the drive, your guide will explain the itinerary and teach you about whale sharks and their habitat. Upon arriving at the marina, relax and eat breakfast. Depart to the whale shark area and start your search. Once you spot a whale shark, go snorkeling. There is a maximum of 1 ship per whale shark and 2 people per guide. During the trip, your guide will teach you about the fauna of this ecosystem.  Sandwiches, fruit, soft drinks, and water will be served. Then, you will return to Isla Mujeres for lunch: sandwiches and shrimp ceviche or fish with guacamole and fruit. After an hour of relaxing or swimming at the beach Playa Norte in Islas Mujeres, return to the marina at 3:30 PM.

From Playa del Carmen: Whale Shark Tour

5. From Playa del Carmen: Whale Shark Tour

Get picked up from any hotel in Tulum, Akumal or Playa del Carmen. Get the ultimate adrenaline thrill in the Mexican Caribbean on a 6-hour whale shark snorkel tour. Swim and snorkel with the gentle giants in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Following pick-up, you'll be transferred to the marina to board a boat. Enjoy complimentary food and beverages on the way to the snorkel site, where you will put on your snorkeling gear and get a safety briefing on what to expect in the sea. Jump into the ocean to snorkel with the world’s biggest fish as you come face-to-face with the whale sharks. Some adult specimens can measure up to 13 meters in length, though accounts of individuals of up to 18 meters have been recorded. Swim with the whale sharks for about 2 hours for a truly unique experience. Then, go to Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres to enjoy a delicious lunch. Board your boat for the return transfer to the marina, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your hotel. Note, that the whale shark encounter is a safe activity, and available from May to September.

From Playa del Carmen or Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks

6. From Playa del Carmen or Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks

Swim with the mighty whale sharks off the coast of Cancun on this guided boat trip. Be surrounded by these massive creatures, learn about their behavior, and enjoy a hearty lunch after your swim. Start with pickup from your hotel and then hop on a small powerboat from Cancun. The conservation and protection of the area is of top concern so the number of visitors is limited every day and you can only swim with whale sharks with a certified captain and expert guides. Your guide will teach you how to swim with whale sharks in Cancun with instructions that ensure you maximize your experience while causing no harm to the delicate ecosystem. Swim with the whale sharks as many times as you wish during a 3-hour stay in the area. Professional guides will make sure you feel safe and you have the best possible views of the whale sharks – even if you are not an experienced snorkeler. Learn why the whale sharks are called “dominos”, what is “bottling” and why these gentle giants are only interested in eating microscopic meals. Thankfully. Your whale shark adventure from Playa del Carmen or Cancun includes a lunch of the freshest local ingredients to refuel after your huge adventure.

Whale Shark Safari Snorkeling Tour

7. Whale Shark Safari Snorkeling Tour

On this tour, you can either snorkel with white whales or view them from our boat. Measuring up to 46 feet (14 meters) and weighing up to 15 tons, the whale shark is the largest fish in the world. They are very docile creatures, eating only plankton and enjoy the interaction with the people who come to swim with them. Your tour starts in the morning between 06:00 AM to 07:00 AM. You will be picked-up from your hotel and take you to Punta Sam in Cancun. Here you will take a high-speed boat to the whale sharks. En route, you will be shown the abundant sea and bird life found at Isla Contoy. On a typical day, see a School of Wild Dolphins, Flocks of Flamingos, Stingrays, Ibis, Egrets, Pelicans and the rare "Chimay Birds.” In small groups, enter the water to swim among the whale sharks. You will be provided with full snorkel gear, masks, flippers and life vests.

Quintana Roo: Whale Shark Swim, Private Boat Trip, and Lunch

8. Quintana Roo: Whale Shark Swim, Private Boat Trip, and Lunch

Enjoy a private boat tour with plenty of time to swim with whale sharks. Try fresh local food for lunch. Following pickup from your hotel in Cancún, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum, climb aboard the air-conditioned private van to be taken straight to the port. Enjoy a quick breakfast at the marina. Then, listen to your expert guide share the activity briefing and safety rules. Next, set sail to an area popular with whale sharks near Isla Contoy. Swim with these incredible fish. Enjoy the perks of a private tour: more chances to jump in and swim with the sharks and no waiting for other travelers. After your swim, sail to Playa Norte at Isla Mujeres for lunch. Taste fresh fish ceviche and relax on the top-rated beach. Finally, relax on the sail back to Punta Sam Port before taking your van transfer back to your hotel.

Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks & Playa Norte Beach

9. Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks & Playa Norte Beach

Hop on a boat and head for Contoy Island, home to the largest congregation of whale sharks in the world. After a close encounter with these creatures, head for the beach to relax or snorkel. Start your adventure at the marina in Cancun with some coffee and bread. Receive a safety briefing from the crew and board your boat. Life vests and full snorkeling gear will be provided to ensure you have the safest and best experience. Enjoy the boat trip out to Contoy Island, then get ready to jump in and swim with the sharks. Savour the experience of swimming with these incredible creatures. There will be 2 to 3 immersions per person, always with 2 people and the guide in the water at any one time. After swimming with the sharks, enjoy a stop at Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres. Either relax on the beach or do some more snorkeling. Enjoy some soft drinks and snacks, before heading back by boat to the marina at Cancun.

Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks Boat Tour

10. Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks Boat Tour

Swim with the mighty whale sharks off the coast of Cancun on this guided boat trip. Be surrounded by these massive creatures, learn about their behavior, and enjoy a hearty lunch after your swimSwim with whale sharks in Cancun, the biggest fish in the sea Start with pickup from your hotel and then hop on a small powerboat from Cancun. The conservation and protection of the area is of top concern so the number of visitors is limited every day and you can only swim with whale sharks with a certified captain and expert guides. Your guide will teach you how to swim with whale sharks in Cancun with instructions that ensure you maximize your experience while causing no harm to the delicate ecosystem. Swim with the whale sharks as many times as you wish during a 3-hour stay in the area. Professional guides will make sure you feel safe and you have the best possible views of the whale sharks – even if you are not an experienced snorkeler. Learn why the whale sharks are called “dominos”, what is “bottling” and why these gentle giants are only interested in eating microscopic meals. Thankfully. Your whale shark adventure from Playa del Carmen or Cancun includes a lunch of the freshest local ingredients to refuel after your huge adventure.

  • Water activities
10 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Playa del Carmen

What top attractions are a must-see in Playa del Carmen?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen?

The best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Playa del Carmen

Want to discover all there is to do in Playa del Carmen? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Playa del Carmen

Overall rating

3.7 / 5

based on 3 reviews

What a wonderful excursion! Pablo and Martin, our tour guides, were great! They do their job with enthusiasm and joy. Their knowledge of the biosphere park is so great that they gave us exciting background information - in addition to the impressions of the flora and fauna. The entire excursion was perfectly organized (already the mail traffic with the office worker Paola was fast and very friendly, the bus driver Luis drove very carefully). We were picked up from the hotel on time and brought back on time. We are happy to recommend both the organizer and the two companions Pablo and Martin. THANK YOU for the unique day!

Tour starts very early, while others are just on their way to see the whale sharks, you are already driving back. Seasickness is not to be underestimated, but you will be well taken care of. Pick up on time, guide was great. Can only be recommended, even if you are only in the water with the whale sharks for a short time. Stopover at Isla Mujeres is relaxing, with some free time to swim in the turquoise waters. We skipped lunch because of nausea, so I can't rate it.

Lea and Nikita were fantastic guides. Thanks to them, we were able to see many animals up close and had enough time to observe them in peace. It was a lot of fun. The experiences were breathtaking!

This tour was awesome. Martin the guide knows a lot and is super cool. We were able to see large sea turtles and reef sharks. The lunch at the beach was nice. I can just recommend this tour.

The best excursion we did during our trip to Mexico