Get a Chance to Swim with Whale Sharks in Belize

Swimming with whale sharks is a must-do, bucket-list worthy activity. In fact, being able to swim side by side with the largest fish in the sea can be, to say the least, quite a life-changing experience. These gentle giants tend to like warmer areas and are found in tropical waters, including in Belize.

Fun fact: Whale sharks aren’t whales. They’re sharks!

When and Where to See the World’s Largest Fish

Who wouldn’t like getting a glimpse of the biggest fish in the sea? The months during which whale sharks can be sighted in Belize are from March through June, especially near a full moon. Though, if you’d like to increase your luck, the best months to see them are from April to May. They usually appear 2 days before the full moon and up to 10 days after.

Placencia and Hopkins are the most common areas where these magnificent and completely docile creatures visit. That’s because other, smaller, species of fish aggregate for spawning inside the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve in Belize during these months. Whale Sharks appear to feed on the eggs of these species here. 

Whether snorkeling, diving, or sometimes even in a boat, visitors in Southern Belize can get a chance to see a whale shark. 

The 2023 Full Moon Dates are:

  • March 7th
  • April 6th
  • May 5th
  • June 3rd

Why Swim with Whale Sharks?

Whale Sharks are completely harmless! Just don’t get in their way and stay a few feet away them to be respectful. Let them come close to you, they’re just being curious. You’ll see just how enormous these creatures really are while you’re beside them. They can grow up to 40 feet in length and can weigh up to 20 tons. Their skin has marks of pale yellow spots and stripes, with each individual having a unique pattern. Swimming with these rare creatures is an unforgettable experience that you’ll definitely enjoy.

Featured Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash 

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Editor's Note: This article was first shared on February 28, 2019. It was last modified on March 11, 2023.

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