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We provide a large and spacious sailing catamaran for this activity the majority of the time. If needed, we redirect guests to our 96’ Cruising Yacht, or another licensed yacht as required. Each yacht comes with one or more licensed and certified snorkel boats, licensed captains, and marine biologists or certified guides.
Ground transportation is included, plus wetsuits, snorkel gear, snorkel vests, towels, private bathrooms, private fresh-water showers, and reef-friendly sunscreen. Life jackets are always available.
An onboard chef prepares meals, which are included. We provide an array of beverages, including beer, snacks, and an open bar. There are excellent areas to lie out on board and enjoy your cruise. A trip to the Sea Lion colony of San Rafaelito is also included. For service quality reasons, we self-restrict guest count to below our licensed capacity unless, weather or government regulators cancel a tour that requires we include those guests that were previously delayed. In any event, we do not exceed our licensed capacity.
Season & Regulation
The legal whale shark season is October 1st through April 30th. Semarnat, the environmental agency of Mexico, and Conanp, the National Park Service, restrict the number of swimmers in the water with a single whale shark to five at one time, plus a certified guide. The whale shark feeding area became a national park in 2019. It is tightly regulated. Time in the whale shark park is limited to three hours early morning, or two hours later in the day. Licensed snorkel boats are allowed one entry per day.
Baja Charters has successfully operated the PREMIER whale shark encounter for eleven years with a 100% track record for locating whale sharks, PROVIDING the port was open and government regulators did not prevent access to the whale shark feeding zone.
Whale Shark Activity
Swimming with whale sharks is one of life’s great outdoor experiences. However, four federal agencies have overlapping jurisdiction regarding whale shark activity. Without notice, any one of them can close or interrupt this outstanding snorkel experience. The impact of fluctuating federal requirements may affect park entry, and whether guests are allowed to swim with a whale shark. If this happens, and it did twice without notice last season, we provide each affected guest with a whale shark certificate to go out at a future date when the park is reopened, AND we depart the dock as normal, and visit two or three remote beaches, bays, and coves where we snorkel with tropical fish over corals, explore beaches, and put out kayaks, etc. Also included is a visit to the sea lion colony of San Rafaelito, along with an onboard chef, meals, beer and other beverages, an open bar, private bathrooms and showers, towels, snorkel equipment, a separate snorkel boat with guide, and reef-friendly sunscreen. Wel provide our best efforts to deliver a high-quality experience.
Children under seven are NOT allowed in a snorkel boat or with a whale shark. Strong swimming ability is normally NOT required. However, only guests that are reasonably fit and healthy, with good balance, should enter the water with a whale shark. If you are not strong enough to manage your weight getting into and out of the water on a stainless-steel snorkel boat ladder, it is best to stay in the boat and simply watch the whale sharks up close. This activity is NOT suitable for guests with heart problems, pregnant women over four months along, or guests with mobility issues.
The greater Cabo area was the first tourist destination in the world to be fully certified as a Health Secure Destination. Baja Charters complies with all the sanitary and security standards and regulations to operate safely.
Conanp restrictions on access to the whale shark feeding zone no longer permit us to allocate space to photographers on shared tours. We encourage you to bring your own camera and take all the photos you wish. Subject to safety restrictions and availability, crew members may assist you.
Winds and waves in the Cabo area are not a good indication of winds and waves in La Paz. The sea around the whale shark area is usually swimmable. We are careful to examine forecasts daily, but wave heights and wind forecasts can be wrong. We must reschedule the Whale Shark encounter two to three times each month for winds and wave action. Temperature and overcast do not restrict this activity. We provide wetsuits and shorties in adult sizes. We have some children’s sizes. On board, we have private bathrooms with hot water showers and fresh clean towels.
Cancellations and Rescheduling
You may cancel your private charter or shared tour 30 days or more prior to your activity date and reschedule anytime within a 3-year period.
If maintenance issues, or anything within the normal control of Baja Charters, prevents you from enjoying your booked cruise date, we will provide you with an alternative date that works within your travel plans, or refund your money completely. Baja Charters is NOT responsible for the Port Captain closing the Port, government edict, or changes in bureaucratic regulations without adequate notice. However, in these situations, we will provide an alternative date that works within guest travel plans, or issue an assignable, three-year cash certificate that may be used the same as cash for the same or any future activities aboard Baja Cat, Marylee, Lucky One, or Pacifica.