Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the history of planet earth!
They can grow up to 18 meters long. You won’t believe how huge they are until you’re in the water, diving or swimming right next to them.
They’re the BFGs of the ocean – which is exactly why they’re at the top of every scuba diver’s bucket list. Read on to hear about the best places to dive (and swim!) with Whale sharks.
Diving With Whale Sharks in Belize
Cruise over to the Southern Barrier Reef in Belize from April to June during the snapper spawning events to witness Whale sharks in the masses.
Just before and after the full moons during these months, Whale sharks come to feed. The best places to dive with Whale sharks are at Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve (GSSCMR) off the coast of Placencia.
The rules are strict to help the preservation of these magnificent sharks!
Diving With Whale Sharks in the Philippines
The best place to go diving with Whale sharks in the Philippines is in Donsol from February to April. Snorkelers have the best opportunities to swim with them, while scuba divers can cruise around the dive sites Manta Bowl and Ticao Island too.
Honda Bay in Palawan is also an epic place to dive with Whale sharks from April to October. Between dives, the boats keep their eyes peeled for Whale sharks on the surface.
Tubbataha Reef is also known for congregating Whale sharks and liveaboards go there just to see them!
Diving With Whale Sharks in Honduras
There are Whale sharks around Utila’s waters all year round! They call it the Whale shark capital of the Caribbean.
The best time to dive is March to April or August to September when the Whale sharks are there in higher numbers.
You can explore on a Caribbean liveaboard or through a dive shop – most sharks are usually spotted at the surface between scuba diving. The best dive site to see Whale sharks is Utila Open Water.
Diving With Whale Sharks in The Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most famous places to go scuba diving. And they’re home to the congregations of the largest Whale sharks.
Three ocean currents operate around the islands, bringing Whale shark snacks, and therefore Whale sharks, to scuba-diveable depths!
Take a liveaboard to Darwin and Wolf Islands for the best chances of an encounter. The best time of year to visit is from June to December during their dry season.
Diving With Whale Sharks in Indonesia
Cenderawasih Bay in the Northern Province of West Papua is Indo’s best place to dive and swim with Whale sharks.
Fishing platforms called ‘bagans’ attract the Whale sharks who come and suck the fishing nets!
The area also attracts Dugongs and Dolphins and there are epic muck diving sites nearby too.
Visit Indonesia to dive with Whale sharks from May to September.
Diving With Whale Sharks in the Maldives
South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is one of the world’s most spectacular places to jump in the water with Whale sharks – snorkelers only though.
Scuba divers can share the action down at Sun Island too! Liveaboards visit various parts of the Maldives to align with the Whale shark seasons.
The Central Atolls are best from October – April, and Hanifaru Bay rocks during July – October. The Deep South season runs from January to March.
On the western side, they roam around from May to December. The Whale Shark Network Maldives app shows current Whale shark sightings – download it while you’re in town!
Diving With Whale Sharks in Thailand
The Similan Islands in Thailand are the best place to scuba dive with Whale sharks from February to April.
There are also massive Manta rays! While it’s pretty touristy, the ocean life is incredible here, and some Thai liveaboards give you a great opportunity to explore the more remote islands.
Swimming With Whale Sharks in Australia
Australia’s Coral Coast is world-famous for swimming with Whale sharks. Every year, Whale sharks congregate in the masses from the end of February until sometimes as late as October.
The Whale sharks gather to feed on the plankton and krill attracted to the coral spawnings after the full moons in March and April every year.
There are strict rules in place by the Department of Parks and Wildlife ensuring the conservation of this amazing species.
While scuba diving isn’t permitted, the snorkeling experience is incomparable to other parts of the world! Plus, the operators work with planes that are spotting the big spotty fish for your best chances of an intimate encounter.
Visit the Ningaloo Reef from Exmouth for the best experiences with Whale sharks.
Swimming With Whale Sharks in Mexico
There are a few Whale shark hotspots in Mexico. Head to the Yucatan Peninsula from June to November to see the biggest aggregations of Whale sharks in the world.
For your best chance to swim with the big spotty fish on the Baja Peninsula, tootle over during winter through to early spring. Only snorkeling is allowed here, but it’s pretty epic!
Get ready to go scuba diving with Whale sharks!
Get that bucket list at the ready and a pen to tick it off with when you go diving with Whale sharks around the world.
Where will you headfirst?
Tell us in the comments!