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“very sad, pathetic”
Review of Whaleshark Tours

Whaleshark Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Swim with the Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, sustainable eco tourism, meet the Ocean gentle Giants
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“very sad, pathetic”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

By late August, most all the really large animals have gone. What you will see (though still highly promoted) are WhaleSharks in the 20-foot range, which (at least for me) was not a big deal. The seas were rough, and everyone was tossing their cookies. But the worst part by FAR, was the manner in which the tour functioned. Astonishing by US standards for endangered species, absolutely illegal! 100 boats converge on the basking pod, and just swarm in close. The Captain determines which direction a dorsal fin is headed, zooms the boat directly in front, and as the fish swerves to avoid the stopped vessel, 4 snorkelers jump overboard at once, "bombing" the weary creatures near constantly, boat-after-boat, sometimes people hitting them, all day, every day, for the entire season. I was shocked. The only thing being exploited more than the gentle sea-life? ..... were the oblivious tourists to participate in this abuse. I understand people are desperate for some kind of REAL experience, but there has GOT to be a more respectful way to do this. It just broke my heart to see these giants skimming the discarded cigarette butts. I cried that night for what a mess we are making of the natural world. Humans are not the only life-form that matters.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
17 Thank EmitPantac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“BUCKET LIST!!!!”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Top ten things I've done. There had to be a hundred whale sharks in the water the day we went. Some huge fish!!!! Some well bigger than the boat we showed up on. Invest in a GoPro or some sort of underwater camera to capture these monsters. And don't be afraid they are beautiful and completely harmless and gentle.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank RoccoTerenzio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great experience!!”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Must do during the months the whalesharks are there. Mdiving with them is a great experience. Our guide and captain were very informative and polite.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Juanola23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One in a lifetime experience”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

In the summer months you can do this activity. Swimming with whalesharks is one of the best experiences I ever had!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank juan m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pataskala, Ohio
Level Contributor
140 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Whale sharks are amazing”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We were actually staying in Cozumel for the week. Our dive shop set this up through Ocean Connections. We took the 6 am ferry out of Cozumel and they met us at the church on the square. We got in a van with a lot of other people and drove toward Cancun and someplace north of there. They dropped us off at a building that was a centralized place for different tour operators to do the whale shark adventure. It is was a mad house. No body really knew what was going on and you just kind of had to fend for yourself. They had a line to get the wrist bands and pay the balance or whatever you owed. Then you could buy a t-shirt or sunscreen or rent a wet suit. They also had juice and pound cake at another table. Unfortunately there were people who were smoking in this very crowded pavillion, so it didn't help anything. If you have your own equipment (including wet suit) I would recommend bringing it along. It is a pain to haul around, but we were much more comfortable with the equipment we own then their cheap rental gear. If you did not rent a wet suit, you needed to wear the life jacket at all times once the boat left the pier. I am glad we brought our own.
At the building they gave us a briefing on whale sharks and boat numbers. They split the groups into an English presentation and a Spanish presentation. We then loaded onto the boats with our boat captains. The ride was about an hour into open water. It was a bumpy ride, but being scuba divers, it is just what I expected. They have a radio that helps them locate where the whale sharks are on that day.
Once we arrived, they allowed people in the water 2 at a time with the guide. We had a beautiful sunny day and we were fortunate to have about 100 whale sharks in the area. There were also several Manta rays which is not unusual. We were allowed in the water with them twice. The sharks would come up to the boat, so there was plenty to watch as other people were in the water.
The normally take people to Isla Contoy, but the water was too rough that day so they took us to a more protected reef area. This allowed people to do some more snorkeling while the crew made fresh shrimp ceviche. They also had a cooler with water, soda and some beer.
They then took us back to the starting point where you could buy a video of the trip. I was really hoping that there would be some place to shower and change. Unfortunately, they have a very small bathroom area. I did manage to change out of my bathing suit into a dry pair of shorts. I knew that we had another few hours til we would be back in Cozumel and wanted to be more comfortable.
Be sure to bring lots of sunscreen as it is easy to get burnt on a boat like this. I would have liked to have a little more time in the water with the whale sharks. They are just amazing as they suck up the water and filter out the nutrients. The water was a little cloudy that day, so we did not get great pictures, but the experience was well worth the trip.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Biology-Teacher308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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