Rules and Restrictions – Protect Yourself and the Whale Sharks You’ll Encounter

The creation of the Whale Shark tourism industry in this area of Mexico was carefully designed to be eco-friendly and to provide protection for participants and the Whale Sharks themselves. Prices, season dates and rules are set by the controlling bodies and are strict and heavily enforced. Our tour services are fully licensed and adhere strictly to the rules. Violating the rules not only puts you in danger but also endangers the animals and their ability to sustain their habits.

If you decide to use another provider, be sure to verify that they comply with all rules listed below. The Mexican Army is charged with enforcing rules and can detain non-compliant boats who do not comply with the rules. We want everyone to have a fun, exciting and ultimately safe tour no matter which provider they choose.


Beware of anyone offering you a price below the legal standard or who claims they will allow you to violate the rules below. No one wants to waste a day of their vacation or hard earned money with a spoiled trip.

Support your local tour operators by booking directly with them rather than with large tour operators!

Important Rules

  • All guests must wear life vests. Wet suits are no longer considered acceptable flotation devices.
  • Guests are not allowed to dive below the surface to be closer to the animals (hence the life vest rule).
  • Guests who arrive drunk, visibly hung over or smelling of alcohol will not be permitted to board and will be given no refund. This is for the protection of yourself, the animals and other passengers. We also request that you not drink the day prior to your tour to avoid any issues.
  • No single-use plastic is allowed to be brought on board 
  • No sunblock is allowed to be used. Biodegradable sunblocks are not permitted. Biodegradable sunscreens, although not made with petroleum-based oils, still contain natural oils that leave a film on the surface where the whale sharks feed and can be contaminated. Please bring hats, shirts, towels, etc to help stay out of the sun.