Shark Encounters in Mexico – Whale Sharks & Great Whites

Isla Mujeres and Isla Guadalupe

Scheduled Group Departure: August 6-15, 2016

Whale Shark, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Yucatan Peninsula’s Whale Sharks ~ From May to September, the Whale Shark Biosphere Reserve off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula becomes a feeding ground for large congregations of whale sharks. This is currently the world’s largest aggregation of whale sharks in the world and more than 400 sharks have been recorded in the reserve on a single day. The reserve is about an hour by boat from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The large number of sharks found here during the peak of the season makes Isla Mujeres our favorite place to embark on a whale shark adventure.

Great white shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Guadalupe’s Great White Sharks ~ Isla Guadalupe is one of the world’s top destination for great white shark encounters. Located in the Pacific Ocean about 165 miles west of Ensenada, the water visibility close to Guadalupe is often more than 100’ and the water temperature averages between 65°F-70°F. This is cage diving at its most exciting! More than 170 great whites have been identified in the island’s bay. Because you’ll be using surface supplied air (hookah) instead of scuba tanks, this adventure is open to both divers and non-divers alike.

Itinerary


DAY 1 (Sat, Aug 6): Cancun/ Isla Mujeres Upon arrival at Cancun International Airport, you’ll be met for your private transfer to Gran Puerto Ferry Terminal for your 20 minute ferry ride to Isla Mujeres. The rest of the day is on your own to explore the island. Overnight at Ixchel Beach Hotel (standard room).

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

DAY 2 (Sun, Aug 7): Isla Mujeres ~ Early this morning, you’ll embark on your first whale shark adventure. Twenty-five miles off the coast, in deep blue waters abundant with plankton, whale sharks have come together in large numbers for their annual aggregation. You have the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants as they glide close to the surface, mouth wide open like a vacuum, filtering food from the water. Manta rays may also be in the swimming area. Overnight at Ixchel Beach Hotel. (Lunch)    

Swimming with whale sharks - Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

DAY 3 (Mon, Aug 8): Isla Mujeres ~ Today is yours to enjoy all that Isla has to offer. Optional activities include snorkeling at the nearby National park and the Underwater Sculpture Museum, exploring the island by golf cart or bicycle, embarking on a culinary tour of the island, visiting the turtle nursery, relaxing by the pool or at the beach, etc. We can help you arrange tours ahead of time or you can wait until there to decide. Overnight at Ixchel Beach Hotel.    

Stand up paddle boarding, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

DAY 4 (Tues, Aug 9): Isla Mujeres ~ No two days on the water are alike so today brings another day with whale sharks. This evening, we’ll share big fish tales of the adventure as a group over sunset cocktails. Overnight at Ixchel Beach Hotel.   (Lunch)    

Swimming with manta ray - Mexico

DAY 5 (Wed, Aug 10): Isla Mujeres/ Cancun/ Tijuana ~ You have until this afternoon to continue enjoying Isla. Afternoon transfer back to the airport for your evening flight to Tijuana, Mexico. Overnight at Hotel Real Inn or similar.

DAY 6 (Thurs, Aug 11): Tijuana/ Depart for Guadalupe Island ~ After breakfast, Solmar V’s motorcoach will pick you up at your hotel for your transfer to Ensenada. By lunchtime, you’ll be on board the Solmar V, your home for the next four nights. Early afternoon departure to Guadalupe Island (travel time between 18-20 hrs). (Lunch, Dinner)

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Day 7 (Fri, Aug 12): Guadalupe Island ~ By mid-morning, the Solmar V will be dropping anchor on the west side of Guadalupe Island. Guests are able to enter the two surface cages (4 guests per cage) in one-hour sessions until 6 pm. The cages are operated on a swivel system which attaches to the swim platform making it easy and safe to get in and out of the cages, even in rough weather. Overnight on Solmar V. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Cage diving with great white sharks, Guadalupe Island, Mexico

DAY 8 (Sat, Aug 13): Guadalupe Island ~ The entire day is yours to enter the surface cages for up close encounters with Guadalupe’s great whites.   Surface observations the viewing decks on the boat provide another perspective of these apex predators in action. More than 150 great whites have been identified near Guadalupe. Overnight on Solmar V. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Great white shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico

DAY 9 (Sun, Aug 14): Guadalupe Island/ Depart for Ensenada ~ Continue cage diving today until mid-afternoon. At around 3 pm, the cages will be moved back onto the Solmar V and you’ll begin your return journey to Ensenada. Overnight on Solmar V. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 (Mon, Aug 15): Ensenada/ San Diego/ Departure ~ Late morning/early afternoon arrival to Ensenada and return motorcoach transfer to San Diego. Arrival to San Diego between 4-6 pm. Connect to your flight home. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Whale Shark Video

Great White Shark Video


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DETAILS

Price: $4710 per person based on double occupancy. Upgraded rooms at Ixchel may be available (additional fee will apply). Single supplement available upon request and subject to availability.

Price includes accommodations, private ground transfers between CUN Airport and Gran Puerto Ferry Terminal, two days of guided whale shark tours, meals as listed, non-stop flight from CUN-TIJ, ground transfer to hotel in Tijuana, taxes, snacks and beverages (water, soft drinks, beer; wine with dinner) aboard the Solmar V, luxury motorcoach transfer from Tijuana to Ensenada and from Ensenada to San Diego, snorkel gear during whale shark tours, and tanks, weights, and weight belts for cage diving on Solmar V. A donation to support shark conservation efforts in Mexico will be made on behalf of all trip participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, passport/visa fees, ferry tickets to/from Isla Mujeres (approx. $11 per person), optional extensions, taxis, $15 Guadalupe Island national park fee (payable in cash upon arrival to Ensenada), dive gear (wetsuit, mask, hood, gloves, and booties), and travel insurance.