What Is It Like to Swim with a Shark?

Whale sharks in Cabo are gentle giants and beautiful creatures. A swim with whale sharks is a safe but exciting way to experience the wildlife in Cabo.

In the warm sparkling blue waters just off Baja California, Melanie jumped off a boat, adjusted her snorkeling mask and looked—and out of the blue, a giant whale shark appeared. She had no reason to fear these gentle giants. Instead, Melanie watched in amazement as they swam by, and soon she joined them, swimming alongside and marveling.

“They never seem in a hurry, but before you know it, even though you're swimming at top speed with your fins they've passed you and slowly fade away till all you see are their spots . . . and then even those slowly disappear back into the blue ocean.” For Melanie, the chance to swim with whale sharks was the thrill of a lifetime. She wrote about her experience swimming with sharks in a TripAdvisor review, and couldn’t have been happier with her experience or her tour guides.

There are few experiences out there quite like swimming with whale sharks in Cabo San Lucas. These sharks are gentle, beautiful, and breathtaking, and definitely worth a visit if you travel to Cabo from October to April, the months they are basking in the warm waters nearby. Here’s what you can expect on a tour that lets you swim with whale sharks in Cabo.

Knowledgeable Guides

Melanie was impressed with how well her Whale Shark Encounter guides were able to navigate the waters to find the best spots to see whale sharks in Cabo. They “ably stood at the prow of our boats, spotting the faint shadows of these giants as they fed on the algae the wind and waves push against the coast for them.” After she and her fellow travelers swam with a group of whale sharks, they hopped back up on the boat and the guides tracked down another shark or two to swim with.

The Whale Shark Encounter guides will teach you everything you need to know to swim safely with whale sharks. They will also teach you about these creatures and other facts about the Baja California wildlife and landscapes. This tour is both an adventure and educational.

Gentle Giants

whale shark underwater

Whale sharks in Cabo are nothing like the man-eating monsters you saw in Jaws. There’s nothing to fear from these beautiful, calm creatures, who earned the nickname Gentle Giants. Swimming alongside the whale sharks is safe and even peaceful.

What are whale sharks? Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, and their diet consists of microscopic plankton and ocean nekton—meaning nearby swimmers are of no interest to them, at least as a food source. They are an endangered species, and only inhabit tropical waters. They can be found in droves near Cabo San Lucas from October to April.

The name “whale shark” can be confusing—are they sharks or whales? These creatures are in fact sharks. They have a skeleton made of cartilage, pectoral fins not fused to the head, and breathe through five to seven gill slits on the sides of their heads. All these are characteristics of sharks. Unlike most sharks (but like many whales), whale sharks are filter feeders—they have thousands of tiny teeth that filter organic material from the water for them to eat.

Natural Environment

One of the best parts of taking a swim with whale sharks in Cabo San Lucas is the chance to see these beautiful animals up close, in their natural environment.

As part of your Whale Shark Encounter tour, you’ll go out on the waters of Baja California in a boat, enjoying the beautiful landscapes while searching for sharks to swim with. Once some whale sharks are spotted, you’ll hop out of the boat and go snorkeling, experiencing the water and ocean floor as you’ve never seen it before. Along with whale sharks, you might also get to spot other marine wildlife, including fish, dolphins, whales, and rays.

Swim with Whale Sharks in Cabo

The spotted whale sharks of Cabo are among Baja California’s most beautiful creatures. While you are visiting the area, make sure to book a Whale Shark Encounter tour for an unforgettable experience.

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