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Whale Shark Experience in La Paz

Whale Shark Experience in La Paz

Ready for an unforgettable encounter alongside the world’s largest fish?
In the state’s capital city of La Paz on the Sea of Cortez two hours north of Los Cabos, whale sharks are common at this time of year. They’re filter-feeding plankton eaters, not hunters, so swimming and snorkeling alongside these benign leviathans is safe.
According to a recent story in Mexico News Daily, “Whale sharks, as their name suggests, are big. Enormous, really. Adults sometimes weigh as much as 60,000 pounds, and even those on the smaller side can weigh 20 tons or more. That’s almost as big as the humpbacks and gray whales that draw visitors to Los Cabos each winter.
But whale sharks aren’t whales. Despite the name, they’re the world’s largest species of fish. But yes, they’re sharks, too, with terrifying mouths that measure six feet wide and contain over 3,000 teeth. On the other hand, “it’s perfectly safe to get up close and personal with these gentle giants, despite their gaping maws and innumerable rows of tiny teeth.”
Aquatic adventurers can enjoy close encounters with these massive fish off the tip of El Mogote peninsula in La Paz. This is one of only two areas in Mexico--the other is the Yucatán Peninsula – where swimming with whale sharks is possible. As the enormous fish glides slowly through the water in search of plankton, snorkelers can follow alongside to observe their feeding habits. Swimming gently near the surface, these docile creatures allow people to approach them without risk.

“The experience is often a humbling one,” Mexico News Daily reported, “as whale sharks can be as much as six to seven times the length of an average human (up to 40 feet long). But it’s also magical, and for most, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.” Whale sharks are capable of living up to 70 years in the wild, so it’s possible for repeat visitors to see the same whale sharks on subsequent excursions. “Telling them apart takes a bit of practice…but whale sharks’ spotting patterns are as unique as fingerprints,” the story concluded.

The seasonal timeframes for whales and whale sharks are nearly the same, although the whale shark season lasts a bit longer, running from October through May. Prime time for swimming with whale sharks is during the early part of the season, from October to February. This is a peak feeding period for whale sharks, an endangered species that also visits the Bay of La Paz to breed.

Environmentally sustainable whale shark tours are offered by a handful of outfitters based in Cabo San Lucas, including Cabo Adventures. Experienced boat captains and bilingual guides ensure all safety protocols and regulations are following, creating an ideal experience for guests.

The day-long excursion in a deluxe van (the drive from Cabo to La Paz is two hours) includes snorkel equipment and wetsuit, full "Baja style" lunch and flavored waters. Minimum age is 8 years old. Fairly vigorous swimming is required. Previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Tour cost, currently featuring a 30% savings for online booking, starts at $202 USD for adults, $153 USD for children 8 to 11 years old. Private experiences are also available. https://www.cabo-adventures.com/en/tour/whale-shark-encounter