Whale Shark Diving in Belize

Experienced and first-time scuba divers come from every corner of the planet to Belize. Home to the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the crystal clear waters and abundant marine life make Belize a true paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers.

But even in a country rich with fantastic diving and snorkeling spots, few experiences can compare with interacting with whale sharks. The largest non-mammalian species in the world’s oceans, whale sharks can measure up to 40 feet long (12 meters) and weigh as much as a school bus. Despite their enormous size, whale sharks do not pose much risk to humans because whale sharks have no teeth. Much like baleen whales, whale sharks use a complex system of filters to strain fish spawn and microscopic plankton from the water.

Whale sharks only come to Belize once a year. These gentle giants, which feed exclusively on the ocean’s tiniest organisms, circumnavigate the planet on an annual basis. Whale sharks arrive in the waters near Gladden Spit on the eastern end of the Belize Barrier Reef in springtime, giving scuba divers and snorkelers a unique opportunity to see them in the wild.


Normally, whale sharks cruise at a depth that is inaccessible to human divers and snorkelers. But during key phases of the moon in the springtime, whale sharks emerge to the surface in order to gorge on vast quantities of plankton and fish eggs.

In order to protect and preserve the whale sharks, only officially licensed tour operators are allowed to enter the waters where whale sharks gather. Furthermore, the government of Belize strictly limits the number of boats that can enter the whale shark feeding grounds as well as how much time divers and snorkelers can interact with them.

If you’d like to scuba dive or snorkel with whale sharks, book your tour today with Barefoot Rentals and Services. Barefoot also organizes diving and snorkeling tours to other popular spots on the Belize Barrier Reef, including the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye. Barefoot Rentals and Services also organizes expeditions to top attractions on the mainland, including ancient Maya sites and wildlife sanctuaries.

Barefoot also rents vehicles to visitors who want to explore Belize at their own pace and has a large fleet of late-model cars, SUVs, dirt bikes, and golf carts for rent, giving visitors the freedom to explore the natural beauty of the Belize mainland.

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