We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Diver and biologist point of view” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Holbox Whale Shark Tours

Holbox Whale Shark Tours
Calle Bravo frente La Playa, Holbox Island, Mexico
305-396-6987
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #2 of 19 Activities in Holbox Island
Type: Tours, Adventure
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Holbox Whale Shark Tours offers Both Public & Private VIP Tours to swim with Whale Sharks from both our Original Departure Point "Isla Holbox", as well as our latest departure point "Cancun". We've got a solid 9 year "Safety" record having satisfied 1000's of nature lovers enjoy this experience. Safe for the entire Family! We've got the Best, most comfortable boats & highly experienced Captains & In Water Guides. We are the Tour "Operator" not just a "Ticket Seller". Dont trust just anybody selling tickets to a tour, Go with the Best to satisfy your Whale Shark Dream & to check this off your "Bucket List"!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Monterey, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Diver and biologist point of view”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

I have to say that the whole whale shark diving thing in Mexico is about the most ecologically disgusting event I have participated in in the last decade. The Mexicans do not give a damn about the animals. There were between 45-65 boats following the whale sharks, with 10-20 divers on each boat. It was a zoo. Many of the manta rays had propeller marks on them. very sad. We were able to be alone with them because we could swim faster than most of the people. The Mexicans have tagged a few of them so that they can locate them each day for the divers. I am certain they are not tagged for research. When I booked the dives I did not know what the set-up was. All in all it was very sad. The only reason those whale sharks are protected is because so much money is being made off of taking people to see them. Hopefully the shark finners will not find them.
The tour operation was average. I have been a certified diver since 1975, and have lost count of the number of dive boats I have dove off of. The sandwiches were far from "deli" quality, in fact the first day I almost threw up when I bit into the sandwich. It was white bread, 1 grey colored piece of processed ham, and a slice of plastic American "cheese." I complained and the next day my husband said they were better. The water was VERY, VERY rough on the second and third days. We pre-booked three days. I was VERY surprised that they sent us out on the boat they did on the third day. We had to travel 5 miles farther out as the whale sharks had moved, and the boat was entirely to small for the size of seas we found ourselves in. I was nervous. When we arrived back on shore I went to change and rinse off and some guy was yelling at me "the shower is not to be used, it is not part of your trip." Well the bathroom was where we changed, and for the price we paid, a simple rinse off before an hour long ride back to the hotel did not seem unreasonable. The guy said I needed to use the outside hose. That was not going to happen. Another diver and I went and rinsed off, and changed. No problem. I then went to buy a t-shirt and another guy took the t-shirt down so that I could try it on. The "Captain" came and started yelling at me not to touch his t-shirts. I bought one despite his rudeness. The Captain is definitely a control freak! I am not sure what he is the Captain of, as they round up local boats if they have extra people. It was odd.
The operations all end up at the same point. Be careful if you take children out, as the boats are all jockeying for position and they are not watching for people! We came home with some great pictures but the entire experience reminded me of how much trouble our oceans are really in. Don't let the whole "biodegradable sunscreen" and other ecological references fool you. The boat marks on the manta rays backs tell all.
One more thing, if there was a bathroom on any of the boats, I have no idea where it was!!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleSharkDaddy, Owner at Holbox Whale Shark Tours, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
We take these things seriously. Unfortunately we have no control of the number of permits allowing TOO MANY Boats to conduct this activity. Considering the majority of our reviews ARE 5 Star its difficult to say what might have happened this day in ?? All of my staff pride themselves on TOP Customer service & I'll remind ALL that this is our Mission.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    115
    9
    2
    2
    7
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Horrible Trip”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Whale sharks were beautiful!!!! The trip was a disaster The captain of the boat had no concern regarding the passengers on boat. The surfs was very high and probably they should of cancelled the trip, but didn't. We were told it would take a while to find the Whale Sharks and once a boat found them we would be notified by radio. Captain Rennie ran the boat full throttle through the waves. The boat would come out of the water and smack back down!!!! It was hard to hold on so you were so beat up by the end of the trip. Once you get there you have 2-3 times in the water 5-7 mins total. Then on the way home once again the MANIAC captain had to go full throttle to get back. Both ways he would wave at the other boats he passed. Then we got back and had to wait 25 mins for the other boat to return. That was the captain we would rather of had!!!! Use another boat company that has more concern for the safety of the passengers!!!!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleSharkDaddy, Owner at Holbox Whale Shark Tours, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Well our apolgies are in order here. On the Day these nice folks went one of our Normal Captains Called in and had to ask for a day off as his Daughter had fallen & broke her arm. He needed to take her to the Hospital.

So we were forced at the last minute to Find another Captain to drive the Boat, OR the 10 Passengers ready to go would have been cancelled....with a short time limit we were forced to get another captain from another company.

Under the circumstances it appears he was more interested inGetting Out & back ASAP without regard to our clients Comfort. This was CERTAINY the EXCEPTION & NOT the RULE of our Normal 5 Star Services. We're SORRY.....He'll never drive one of our boats again! ! !
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, CA
2 reviews
“Rodrigo's team made the very best of a tough situation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

When we recently experienced some bad weather and sea conditions while on our vacation in Holbox Rod kept us informed on best possible days to move our scheduled trips allowing us to not worry about if we were or weren't going the night before so we could either head to bed early or go out and play. When we finally got some decent weather the sea's were still very rough and a few people got sick where Rodrigo's crew took the very best care of them while helping us get the best whale shark experience possible. Unfortunately one of the people who got sick was my fiancé so we had to cancel our second day and without any issue at all Rod refunded 100% of our money for the un-used trip and wished us well. So easy to do business with and unlike so many other companies we could have used in Mexico who would have never refunded our money Rod didn't blink and took care of it.

Thank you to Marvin who was our guide, what a wonderful human being who cared for sick, worked to make the others have a great experience and when other boat captains got out of line where things started to look potentially unsafe Marvin got on the radio and gave them all hell. Suddenly things improved... Great trip Marvin... Thank you

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleSharkDaddy, Owner at Holbox Whale Shark Tours, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
We do our BEST to help all clients get the BEST Whale Shark Experience possible. Hats off to "MARVIN"For his Great work. We'll be sure to Share that with he & his CREW!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Whale shark daddy with VIP”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Wow, what a great experence! Captin Elmer and Raul were an amazing team and took us to see beautiful animals and filled our day with unexpected treats. Doing VIP was great, we didn't have to wait in line swim and we were in the middle of a manta ray school. Well worth the few extra $'s.

Thanks whale shark daddy!
Sweeney family

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleSharkDaddy, Owner at Holbox Whale Shark Tours, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
YES the VIP PRIVATE EXPERIENCE is the WAY TO GO. It allows up to 2 Full Hours of Swim Time + our Best Crews & Boats. Glad to know we "HIT"the Mark.....AGAIN!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“VIP with Whale Shark Daddy was incredible!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

We had a group of 4 for the VIP whale shark adventure and it was definitely worth it! Captain Elmer and our guide Raoule were so much fun! They really knew where to see the animals and obviously loved their jobs. We had our own boat and got to the whale sharks before anyone else, so we had them for about 30 min to ourselves. Plus tons of mantas and even a sea turtle! They made us fresh ceviche and guacamole and took us snorkeling too. We had a truly wonderful time and would recommend it to anyone!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleSharkDaddy, Owner at Holbox Whale Shark Tours, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
YES for MAXIMUM Time in the water with these majestic animals SO VERY Docile & friendly! we do recomend the PRIVATE VIP Touir. Its worth the EXtra $$$ if its within your budget. If not, our Deluxe Public "Shared" tour is still a Highly rewarding experience "You'll NEVER-EVER" Forget!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Holbox Whale Shark Tours also viewed

 
Holbox Island, Quintana Roo
 

Been to Holbox Whale Shark Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Holbox Whale Shark Tours, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.