Looking for the best La Paz whale shark tours?

You’ve come to the right place!

La Paz in Baja California Sur is a major destination for travelers because of its beautiful beaches, scenic views, diverse marine life, and it’s close to Los Cabos. It’s also known for whale shark viewing.

It can be challenging to choose the best tour to watch these gentle giants, so to help you sort through all your options, I’ve put together an honest review of the best whale shark tours in La Paz, Mexico.

I’ll tell you what to expect on each tour, and help you choose the best one for your budget and preferences.

Get ready to book the best La Paz whale shark tours!

Interesting Facts about Whale Sharks in La Paz, Mexico

  • Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the world, growing up to 40 feet in length and weighing up to 20 tons.
  • La Paz is one of the few places in the world where whale sharks congregate in large numbers, particularly from October to April.
  • Despite their size, whale sharks are gentle giants and are not a threat to humans. In fact, swimming with them is a popular tourist activity in La Paz as they are not aggressive.
  • The whale sharks in La Paz are known for their distinctive feeding behavior, where they swim vertically with their mouths open to filter plankton and small fish from the water.
  • They are slow-moving and spend their time mostly under the surface.
  • Scientists are still learning about the migration patterns and habits of whale sharks, but they are considered a vulnerable endangered species due to overfishing and habitat destruction.

When is Whale shark season in La Paz (La Paz whale shark season)

Though the whale sharks are present year-round, La Paz whale shark season is between October and April, with the peak season being from November to January.

This is the time when plankton, krill, and other whale shark foods are teeming around the area, thereby attracting whale sharks to come and feed.

In the beginning of the season in October, water temperatures can rise to 80 F (26 C) and visibility can reach up to 60 feet (18 m), but you might not see aggregations of the whale sharks that much during this time.

As the season eases into January, the water temperature drops to about 60 F (15 C), and you may see an increase in the aggregations.

Swim with whale sharks in La Paz: What to expect

One of the most impressive and unexpected travel experiences you can participate in Mexico is swimming with whale sharks.

With around 95 whale sharks congregating annually in the La Paz bay, this is one of the best places to swim with whale sharks in the entire world!  What makes it even more incredible is that you only have to travel a couple hours outside of La Paz to reach one of the best spots to see these gentle giants.

The small community of La Paz works hard to protect these gentle giants and attracts tourists from around the world. Here’s a look at some things you can expect when you visit and swim with the whale sharks.

First off in the list, you need to ensure that the tours you are taking are eco-friendly and follow responsible tourism practices to protect the marine environment. There are strict rules for swimming with whale sharks so check whether the tour operators  are licensed or certified according to the local regulations. They are regulated by Mexico’s SEMARNAT (the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources).

Second, as a tourist, you need to do your due diligence as well. Do not touch, chase, or stress down the whale sharks. Use biodegradable sunscreen. When you feed them, you have to be careful not to nudge them with your flipper feet. Only a few people in the water at a time from any one boat will be allowed to go. This is practiced by all boat operators.

Lastly, do your research so that you are well aware of what to expect in your trip. Generally, tours last 2-3 hours, but it may vary depending on the weather. You can scuba dive, snorkel, swim with them, feed them to see them up close.

Below are the best tours that we can recommend. Check out their descriptions!

The Best Tours

1.  https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Whale-shark-experience-at-La-Paz/d22173-48947P1

This guided excursion allows you to discover the underwater home of whale sharks. You’ll have a blast swimming with whale sharks while snorkeling and have several opportunities to see them up close.

A 45-minute boat ride takes you to the next stop, the sea lion sanctuary. On this reef, which is exceptionally clear, you may go snorkeling with sea lions. A school of sardines may even be encountered, in addition to other types of fish and sea lions.

You’ll then travel to Balandra Beach, enjoy a wonderful meal, and have some downtime. Another notable moment was this. A gourmet beach lunch will be provided for you, complete with mouthwatering bean burritos and tostadas filled with ceviche. In addition, they offer ice-cold drinks that you may get after sailing and swimming.

2.    https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Swimming-with-Whale-Sharks-and-Todos-Santos-Tour/d22173-26054P4

You will embark on a catamaran adventure from La Paz to swim close to the whale sharks’ natural home in the Sea of Cortez. You can first take in the stunning ocean views as the professional guide hunts for whale sharks.

Every individual on the boat will get to encounter the whale in a special way. It feels like a surreal experience having to get near these gentle giants when you’re in the water!

On the boat and in the water, knowledgeable guides ensure everyone’s safety. As you learn about whale sharks from them, you won’t get bored either. Most importantly, they treat the animals with care and respect while giving their guests a satisfactory experience.

3.     https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Whale-Shark-Adventure/d22173-114252P2

The boat trip to the location of the whale sharks on this expedition takes just 30 minutes. The minimal time spent on the trip corresponds to more time swimming with whale sharks!

It features an exclusive snorkeling excursion with calm whale sharks—just you, the guides, and these enormously lovely creatures. The little ones, in particular, find swimming with them an immensely fantastic and enjoyable activity.

The one factor their former clients value above all else, other than the amazing experience of swimming with the largest fish in the world, is their crew, who are bilingual, entertaining, knowledgeable, and experienced.

4.     https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Swim-and-Snorkel-with-Whale-Shark-Sea-Lions-and-Paddle-Boarding-Private-Tour/d22173-169734P25

Beautiful scenery and a wide variety of wildlife may be found in Baja California. See the best that the region has to offer by setting off on a private sightseeing trip from La Paz.

All the information you require regarding whale sharks in La Paz will be provided by the tour guides. Following that, they will take a brief boat ride to the locations where these spectacular creatures may be found, where you will get the opportunity to go snorkeling with whale sharks and other amazing marine creatures!

They will transport you to San Rafaelito Reef, where you may plunge into the water once again to interact with some amiable sea lions after swimming with the gentle giants.

After a quick boat journey, you will arrive at Balandra, one of Mexico’s best beaches, where you can enjoy paddleboarding, delectable ceviche, and your preferred beverage while dipping your toes in the stunning sandy beach’s azure ocean.

5.     https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Swim-with-Sea-Lions-and-Whale-Sharks-in-La-Paz-Baja/d22173-106732P1

You’ll travel by boat for 60 minutes, departing from La Paz in the morning, to reach the Los Islotes sea lion colony. Prepare yourself and jump into the water as soon as you arrive to snorkel with sea lion puppies. The guests’ flippers and fingers are frequently nibbled by the lively and mischievous puppies.

This rocky outcrop is also home to stunning shallow coral reefs teeming with fish and steep cliffs inhabited by seabirds like Frigate birds and Blue-footed Boobies.

You’ll then proceed to one of the island’s many stunning beaches to have lunch and relax afterward. Next, you’ll head over to the Whale Shark viewing location to take a swim with these fascinating gentle giants.

You can admire a panoramic view of the lovely Bay of La Paz on the skiff trips to and from these different activities, as well as learn more about its interesting coexistence of desert and marine ecosystems!

6.     https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Swim-with-Gentle-Giant-Whale-Sharks-in-La-Paz/d22173-106732P2

Due to the small group sizes on this 3-hour tour, you can unwind away from the throng and explore Baja’s natural surroundings while being accompanied by knowledgeable naturalist instructors.

The guides are enthusiastic and devoted to giving you a great deal of experience. With this excursion, you can skip the trouble of making travel arrangements and simply reserve the experience of a lifetime: going whale shark swimming.

Bring the whole family along for this fantastic adventure as you relax and re-establish a connection with the natural world!

7.     https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Snorkel-Tour-with-Whale-Shark-in-La-Paz/d22173-358516P5

One of the best experiences you’ll have here in La Paz is indeed the 3- to 4-hour whale shark snorkeling trip! For a time, you may grab a drink at Buzos Restaurant if you show up too early to the meeting place.

You will spend heaps of time underwater to observe these magnificent creatures, and the guide and captain will make every effort to make sure of it. Also, if you’re fortunate, you might catch a glimpse of humpback whales breaching.

You must be prepared to put on your fins and jump into the water as soon as they locate the whale shark. Just let them know if you’re not a good swimmer or are afraid, and they’ll keep an eye out for you.

8.     https://www.viator.com/tours/Los-Cabos/La-Paz-Whale-Shark-Snorkeling-Tour-and-Lunch-From-Los-Cabos/d627-3714CABWHALE

On this full-day environmental excursion from Los Cabos, immerse yourself in the glistening Sea of Cortez. It takes a lot of patience and is 10 hours long, but it will be worthwhile!

As you journey to the beautiful sanctuary of La Paz, spend some time admiring the spectacular desert vistas, then set sail for the ocean to observe these lovely creatures!

Afterwards, gorge on authentic Mexican tacos on a stunning beachside promenade while swimming and splashing close to the home of these whale sharks.

Last but not least, you will experience this spectacular seasonal tour, which is only available from November to March, along with comfortable round-trip transportation from your lodging and includes a visit to the renowned Hotel California.

9.   https://www.viator.com/tours/La-Paz/Swim-with-Whale-Sharks-All-Inclusive-Tour-from-Los-Cabos/d22173-37221P3

Have a fantastic all-inclusive tour on a roomy sailing catamaran and go snorkeling with the charming gentle giants!

A marine biologist usually serves as the snorkel leader on this whale shark expedition, which includes a cruise lasting around 4.5 to 5 hours, delicious meals served by an experienced chef, and knowledgeable staff.

Additionally, they offer everything you might possibly need, including snacks, bottled water, margaritas, beers, sodas, an open bar, private restrooms, hot showers, freshly laundered towels, and even reef-friendly sunscreen.

This is the adventure you should take to make the most of your time in Cabo! You won’t regret doing so!

10.  https://www.viator.com/tours/Los-Cabos/Shark-Whale/d627-220229P1

While on vacation in Los Cabos, you can take a day trip to La Paz and swim with whale sharks as part of this 5-hour excursion.

You will be given a little time to tour La Paz’s Malecon district and snap pictures at neighboring Todos Santos after snorkeling alongside some of the biggest fish in the world.

Also, don’t forget to drink the complimentary mineral water and other beverages that are provided to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the tour!

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