Photograph hundreds of whale sharks and giant mantas in the warm blue water off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula as they feed and gather in the largest aggregation in the world. Photographer Gregory Sweeney is your escort for this photography tour on our private 36ft charter that leaves daily from the docks of Isla Mujeres. We leave early and stay later for a full days snorkeling with whale sharks. This gives you for maximum time in the water photographing and enjoying this incredible encounter with more intimate encounters than possible with single day large group charters. The whale sharks feed at the surface making the photo opportunities spectacular and easy. Only snorkeling gear is required. As we are in blue water, visits by other pelagic species such as sailfish and manta rays are possible. This is a NON SCUBA and suitable for those who are comfortable with a snorkel in open water.
$2,350 (USD) pp Shared (add $450 for single room)
Price $2,650Read Trip Reports Book Now
A typical day begins when we depart at 7am sharp. It only takes a few minutes to walk to the wharf or we use the golfcart to carry our stuff. If the whale sharks are aggregating in a consistent location, we are hopefully in the water by 8am. Chances are there will be many whale sharks in the area and you can have many encounters in one place in a short time frame.
We comply with the current government mandated rules for the wildlife encounters and boat operations. These rules can change without notice.
The water is very warm but consider sun protective clothing while in the water. Be prepared to do alot of swimming and bring mask, fins, and snorkel. Bring plenty of sun lotion with high SP. Long fins or closed heel fins are recommended: full foot fins are the easiest to take on and off.
This trip is designed for photographers and those that love marine life. We make every effort to share the best encounters during this trip, but we are dealing with nature and there are no guarantees of animal encounters and no guarantees (or refunds) in regards to the weather. We have encountered whale sharks on each day of our trips for all the years we have offered this trip, but it is possible to not be able to locate the animals or they may stay deep for a day. We have encountered manta rays frequently in the last years at least once during the trips, but they are not guaranteed.
We will have full days to spend swimming with the whale sharks with unlimited session in the water
We get close to the whale shark who are unfazed by our presence in the water while they feed at the surface
We work with the best and most experienced captains who have many years experience finding the whale sharks and are experts about whale sharks
Oue boats are comfortable for our small groups and have toilets, shade, snacks, and crew to help us in and out of the water
Each morning we do dives to hunt lionfish. There is a duo purpose in this – to help eliminate the invasive lionfish population and to get food to attract the crocs.
Fun, safe, and distictive Isla Mujeres is our home base. It is a town from another time with shops, restaurants, artists, beaches, and music
Guests can explore the park and the southern end of Isla Mujeres
The diving at Xcalak before and after your expedition to Chinchorro is reef diving at its best. A favourite dive is to the daytime resting place for dozens of tarpon. The reefs are full of colorful sponges, soft corals, fish, and we even saw manatees.
Our hotel is on the beach, a short walk to shops and food, and has a pool, bar, and amenities such as AC, drinking water, and WiFi
Because our guests are keen about marine wildlife, we spend the extra time to find the giant manta rays. Guests have donated photos to the Manta Trust or thir tracking database.
The whale shark aggregation is the largest and most predictable in the world. We will have multiple whale sharks around our boat while we snorkel
We educate our guests about the agreed protocols for whale shark encounters
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Our photo safaris are for photographers and non photographers who want to get up close to large marine life. All of our trips are to destinations proven to be reliable for great encounters. Gregory Sweeney is on hand to help guests with camera gear and techniques before and during the trips. We have been hosting underwater trips for over 15 years.