The serene waters of the Bay of La Paz, located just a short trip by boat from both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are fortunate to host whale sharks every high season from early winter through late spring. These gentle giants visit the area to feed in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur, which is home to an abundant supply of food for whale sharks.
Facts about Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are the biggest known fish species to swim in the ocean, and can weigh more than 20 tons, reaching lengths anywhere from 18 feet to 32 feet, though sightings have been reported of whale sharks that are longer than 40 feet! Despite their enormous size, these magnificent creatures, which can live for up to 70 years, are slow-moving and docile, making them a popular water attraction in their own right. Swimming alongside whale sharks or spotting them from a boat has become a much-loved activity for animal lovers and adventure seekers from around the globe.
Whale or Shark?
Whale sharks are indeed sharks not whales, named for their resemblance in body size to that of large whales. They are not actually air-breathing mammals; indeed, they are a fish species that is part of the shark family. Their massive proportions may seem intimidating, but whale sharks actually don’t pose a threat to humans.
Up close and personal
Whale sharks are easy to watch while snorkeling or diving because they swim at a slow pace of 3mph or less and seem quite indifferent to having humans in the water around them. Whale sharks favor a diet of plankton, small fish and microscopic plants and they normally swim close to the surface of the ocean as they feed, which allows for close-up encounters. They are one of three shark species that filter-feed, meaning they filter their food through their gills, making them harmless to larger species such as humans.
Swimming with whale sharks
Swimming with these spectacular animals, not surprisingly, is one of the most sought-after activities in the Cabo area which allows anyone brave and daring enough to experience a thrilling encounter that won’t soon be forgotten. You can book a boat excursion that will take you into the sea to search for feeding spots favored by whale sharks, and once you find them, you just need to summon the courage to jump in for a breathtaking experience that will make your vacation memories spectacular!
Although they were at one time plentiful in the oceans around the world, whale sharks are now an endangered species and protected under international and Mexican laws. For this reason, you will find that only the most reputable companies will have a license to take tourist on a tour to swim with whale sharks. LIkewise, you will be asked to only use organic biodegradable sunscreen while swimming alongside them, and regulations permit that only two people per guide can be in the water with the sharks at any one time.
Does that sound like the kind of experience you are waiting for? Join us in Los Cabos.