Shark diving and big animal adventures


big animal and wildlife adventures


Whale Shark Encounters in Mexico
Tiger Beach tiger shark diving
Great hammerhead shark diving
Great white shark diving
giant manta dive at Isla Socorro
oceanic whitetip shark diving
killer whale orca encounter
Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
Whale shark and manta encounter
Salmon shark diving in Alaska
sardine run diving
Beluga Whale Diving
humpback whale diving
sailfish diving
adventure expedition diving schedule
Big Fish Expeditions T Shirts




Whale shark diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico



 Free diving (snorkeling) with whale sharks.


 Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
Accommodation:  Oceanfront Hotel, Isla Mujeres.

Experience Level:

 Snorkeling experience only.

2017 Dates:

 August 6-11 FULL

 August 11-16 FULL

2017 Price:

 $1995 per person double occ (add $500 for a single room).

2017 Leaders:

 Andy Murch & Laura Mccoll.

2018 Dates:

 August 11-16 8 SPOTS AVAILABLE

2018 Price:

 $1995 per person double occ (add $600 for a single room).

2018 Leaders:

 Andy Murch & Laura Mccoll.


WHAT'S INCLUDED: Your trip includes 5 nights accommodation in a beach front hotel, all room taxes, continental breakfast, pack lunch and refreshments while at sea, four days of whale shark snorkeling and transfers from Cancun Airport.

NOT INCLUDED: Personal snorkeling equipment rental, flights, dinners, gratuities.






Whale sharks swimming

Spend some quality time with the biggest fish in the sea!

Join us for the adventure of a lifetime



World Class opportunities to dive with Whale Sharks

In July and August, hundreds of whale sharks migrate to the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and form the largest whale shark aggregation ever recorded.

Isla Mujeres is the perfect staging point for trips to the whale shark feeding grounds because it is easily accessible, close to the sharks and surrounded by warm blue water that make whale shark encounters that much more enjoyable and your images that much more spectacular!


big whale shark swimming

World Class Manta Encounters

In 2013 and 2016, as well as hundreds of whale sharks, our guests were treated to encounters with thousands of mantas that arrived to gorge themselves on the fish eggs. The mantas stayed for the whole season and we hope that this will happen again in future years. The opportunity to watch scores of mantas circling the whale sharks was amazing!

If the massive school of mantas are not there, you may still see a few mixed in with the whale sharks. If you are a diver and want to add a few manta dives at Manta Valley as part of your whale shark package, please follow this link: Manta Valley Option


manta rays diving


Encounters with other Pelagics

Because Isla Mujeres is a pit stop for many other large pelagic species (as well as enormous whale sharks) it is sometimes possible to jump in with schooling mobula rays and golden cownose rays. Occasionally we even see sailfish. This is a destination that really delivers!


sailfish diving.        Cownose Rays diving in Isla Mujeres        Manta encounter

Leave Your Dive Gear at Home.

Because the whale sharks spend much of their time feeding at the surface, there is no need for us to use scuba which creates too much drag to keep up with the sharks. This encounter requires nothing more than a mask, snorkel and fins so anyone (regardless of their experience level) can participate.


Diver with a whale shark and a manta


Why come with Big Fish Expeditions?

We consistently provide our guests with longer, better and more intimate encounters with the whale sharks.

There are many operators that offer whale shark diving once you get to the island. But, if you head out on a regular trip you'll get three jumps with the sharks that may only last a few minutes and then you'll be heading back to shore. If you'd rather spend hours out in the whale shark grounds and then sail directly back to your beachfront hotel then join us for the whale shark encounter of a lifetime!



  • We take a maximum of eight guests on our boat so you will be comfortable and feel uncrowded.

  • You will board at the beach directly in front of the hotel so there is no time wasted with transfers to a crowded public dock each day.

  • You will arrive at the whale shark grounds hours before most of the other boats.

  • If you don't want to bring your own gear, we provide short wetsuits for all guests. Other companies force their guests to wear clumsy life jackets while on the boat and in the water!

  • We provide lunch snacks and unlimited drinks to keep you hydrated and fed so that you can concentrate on the amazing encounters.

  • We stay out with the sharks for as long as everyone wants - generally long after the other boats have returned to shore.

  • We provide shuttles to bring you to your hotel on Isla Mujeres from Cancun Airport - a lengthy process that would otherwise involve you haggling for taxis, finding the right ferry to get you to the island and then more taxis once you get to Isla Mujeres. Let us take all the work out your trip so that you can concentrate on having an amazing adventure with the sharks!

Diver with a whale shark








Join me for the trip of a lifetime!



A diver swimming with a whale shark



While the other boats are still fueling up, our boat will be waiting just off shore for us to finish breakfast and then take us immediately in search of whale sharks. Once we find the sharks we will stay with them so if you're looking for a quick swim with a whale shark and then time on the beach, this probably isn't the trip for you because we are consistently the last boat in the 'afuera' - the outer ocean where the whale sharks feed.

By mid-morning more boats usually arrive from Cancun to see the whale sharks. By noon they start trickling back to port. Just the hard core boats remain but even these don't last much longer.

We will make the most of the encounters in the early morning before any other boats show up. Then we usually stay near the edge of the aggregation of sharks where there are fewer boats. By 11:30ish after all that swimming everyone starts getting hungry so we break for a quick lunch of sandwiches, chips and fruit. Then, once the boats have thinned out, we head back into the middle of the action and stay there for as long as everyone wants or for as long as we can find sharks.

We won't force you to keep snorkelling with massive whale sharks but if you have the energy, we're happy to stay out all day. That is the Big Fish difference.


Snorkeller wth a whale shark


Feedback from our whale shark expedition guests:


In the deep blue sea and whale sharks everywhere - it was a snorkel adventure of a life time, totally thrilling! Andy's strategy for getting us quality time with these amazing fish was the essence of our success. The trip was just plain wonderful. Great photos, amazing videos, and new friends. Thanks again Andy!

Best Fishes, Flo, Washington State, USA


I had an amazing time on your expedition and have to say it was one of the best vacations I've taken! Being in the water so close to the whale sharks (and with so many of them) has definitely been one of the coolest things I've been able to experience! Thanks so much for organizing!

Kate Ague Kneeland, New York, USA.


This was the first of 3 bookings I've made with Andy and and it certainly turned out to be a safe bet, so I keenly look forward to the next two. I've only had one brief encounter with Whale sharks before and so I was a little concerned as to whether we would find any on the 4 day trip or indeed how long the encounters would be. Well I need not have worried, Day one consisted of whales sharks for 6 hours and if I had gone home after that day I would have been content with the trip, however day 2 (albeit a little slower) and day 3 were also good days but day 4 surpassed even day 1 and the sea was awash with whale sharks, so many that you didn't know which way to turn. I have hundreds of pictures as well as video footage which I'm still trying to go through.
In terms of what the trip promised, it certainly surpassed my expectations. Andy organised the trip well, he is a very likable and laid back individual who is obviously very passionate about what he does and very knowledgeable about the subject. The hotel was located in a prime spot on the beach requiring just a short paddle from the breakfast area to the awaiting boat. Would I go again? yes I certainly would, however I have other places and subjects to experience first so whale sharks will have to wait for a while. Would I recommend this trip? yes definitely and have done so to my friends already! Andy you're going to need a bigger boat!! :)
Manish Patel USA/UK


"I know I speak for myself and everyone in my group when I say that everything about the whale shark trip was absolutely amazing! Great shark diving, great people, great service. Andy and Laura are friendly, passionate about what they do, and work hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. It was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to take more Big Fish trips in the future!!"

Chuelo Arias, Missouri, USA


"...planes, busses, ferries, taxis, dive boats, through every aspect of our trip, Andy and Laura were there making sure things went smoothly. It made the trip much more enjoyable, as their experience from many previous trips made our trip flawless, even laid back! . We are going back next year, that says it all"..

Nicki Miller, USA

"When it comes to Big Fish trips, your Whale Shark adventure was second to none. Christine and I had a blast. Thank you for all your preparations".

Kathy Cope, Arizona


"I have been on many Dive trips over the year's, and the attention to detail on our Big Fish Expedition was noteworthy. The knowledge that Andy shared about the animals, and photographing them far exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to go back next year!"

Steve Miller


"I had the pleasure of returning to Isla Mujeres with Andy Murch of Big Fish Expeditions for the Whale Shark trip this year. It was one of the most enjoyable expeditions I have been on. I like to photograph big animals underwater and have been with Andy on several other trips. Andy works very hard to make sure you are presented with every possible opportunity to get shots of the targeted species. In this case, the Whale Sharks. Not only did we have the appearance of hundreds of Whale Sharks this year, but also many Mantas. When you were waiting for a Whale Shark to swim by, and those waits weren't long, you could swim with the aerobatic Mantas as they looped and whirled around and under the Whale Sharks.
On this trip as with others I have done with Andy, he and his staff work with local, experienced, providers to get you into the best situation to interact with the animals. In Isla Mujeres, Andy made sure we were first on site in the morning and had the peak time of day to shoot stills and video of the sharks. Unlike other trips I have been on, Andy ensures you maximize your time in the water rather than getting just a few short and very controlled encounters. Also, the accommodations were clean, comfortable and affordable. If you are interested in top notch photographs or the emotional high of being very close to such large animals, then Big Fish Expeditions is the operator to go with."

Dustin Hurbut, Bellingham, WA




Whale sharks in Mexico









Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders

American crocodile diving




Beluga Whale / Polar Bear Trip Report


Andy Murch Trip Leader

Andy Murch


Andy Murch is a fanatical big animal diver.

He has photographed and dived with more sharks than most people on this planet and he's very good at it.

Andy's images and shark stories have appeared in hundreds of books and magazines around the world from titles as varied as Canadian Geographic, Scuba Diving, FHM, Digital Photography,  and the Journal of Zoology.

Andy is the Creator of the ever expanding Shark and Ray Field Guide on


When not running big animal expeditions or on photographic assignments, Andy lives and dives on Vancouver Island, Canada


Follow our shark diving expedition updates on Facebook


Follow our shark picture posts on PinterestFollow our Shark Diving Instagram Posts


Follow our shark diving and big animal posts on Google Plus


Predators in Peril

Andy is also the driving force behind the PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT which shines a spotlight on many endangered species of sharks and rays that are largely overlooked by mainstream conservation groups. Predators In Peril is entirely funded by Big Fish Expeditions.


Find out more here:


Predators in Peril Project