Frequently Asked Questions - Need More Information About Your Isla Mujeres Whale Shark Experience
Q. Who is Serious Diving?
A. Serious Diving is owned and operated by Ramon Guerrero Garcia. We specialize in the Whale Shark tours departing here from Isla Mujeres. Ramon is an avid professional diver, skin diver and spear fishermen. He has spent the last 20 years researching the Whale Shark phenomenon here on Isla Mujeres and was the main driver in creating the eco-tourism industry around these animals in the area. He has fought had to ensure that any tourism that takes place is sustainable and works to educate people while protecting the Whale Sharks.
Q. What is the tour cost?
A. The official price set by the official regulating bodies is $125 USD minimum for a tour.
Q. Can we book a private tour?
A. The price to book a private tour is $1250 USD. To reserve a private tour, please go to our reservations page and follow the instructions there to reserve a private tour.
Q. Are children allowed on the tour?
A. Since 2019 the Management Plan created by the Mexican Authorities only allows children 10 years and older on the whale shark tours. This rule was not created by us, but we must enforce it.
Q. When is the Whale Shark Season on Isla Mujeres?
A. The dates we take reservations for the Whale Shark Tour season as set beginning June1, 2019 and the closing date of the season is September15, 2019. Other tour operators may accept tours outside these dates, but only take tours inside official tour dates and when we are confident in our ability to provide a memoriable tour without distressing the whale sharks (not enough present and too many boats).
Q. When is the best time to see Whale Sharks on Isla Mujeres?
A. The arrival and departure of the Whale Sharks vary by season. The greatest numbers are typically seen in July and August. Ramon recommends the best tours are one week before and one week after the full moon of those months. During July and August, the numbers are generally high enough that anytime is a great time.
Q. Can I touch the whale sharks?
A. Under current regulations, snorkelers will NOT be permitted to touch the Whale Sharks. These tours are designed as eco-tours and in order to protect the Whale Sharks and the participants, rules specify that snorkelers do not go within 2 meters (6.6 feet) of the Whale Sharks. For full rules of participation click here for our Rules page. Beware of anyone who claims they will allow you to violate the rules. The Mexican Army is charged with enforcing rules and can detain non-compliant boats who do not in compliance or violating the rules. No one wants to waste a day of their vacation or hard earned money on a spoiled trip.
Q. Do you ever not encounter the Whale Sharks?
A. Unlike most tours in other parts of the world, the density of Whale Sharks in the area nearly guarantees that you'll experience an encounter. Last year at least 99% of our tours encountered Whale Sharks and we expect this year to be no different.
Q. How many sharks can I expect to see in on a tour?
A. On average, the tours last year, encountered between 20 and 50 Whale Sharks during the course of their tours.
Q. Is alcohol permitted on the boats?
A. No. Alcohol is not provided on the boats nor is it allowed. Any guest arriving for the tour under the influence will not be permitted to participate nor given a refund. This includes visibly under the influence, smelling of alcohol or obviously hung over. This is for the good of the client themselves and for the other guests on the tour. I highly recommend not consuming alcohol or drugs on the day before the trip either. Being on the open water can be difficult in normal conditions, the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly increases the risk of having a miserable trip.
Q. Are the sharks dangerous?
A. Whale Sharks are very docile creatures and pose no real threat to humans. For detailed information on the sharks please check out our shark information page.
Q. How do I reserve?
A. From the home page on this site you can enter your tour dates and number of passengers to verify if there is availability for a given day. Once you have found your preferred date you can use this website to book your reservation completely online. There is a $60 USD per person deposit required to hold and confirm a reservation. We use Paypal online services to accept credit cards or other Paypal payments from the website.
Q. How many days in advance do I need to reserve?
A. From this website you can make reservations up to 3 day prior to the tour. If you would like to make a reservation within 3 days of your desired date, we recommend you pass by Adrian's Internet Cafe next to the grociery store in the main square downtown at 8:00 each evening to make plans directly with Ramon or one of his guides.
Q. What do I do when I arrive on Isla?
A. Unless you have made prior arrangements via email before you arrive, the day before your tour, just come by Adrian's Internet Cafe (next to the grociery store in the main square downtown) between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm to pay and confirm your trip and receive times and instructions for the following morning. Simple!
Q. What if I need special help or just want to meet Ramon?
A. If you need special arrangements or would just like to get to know Ramon feel free to either email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the restaurante Muelle 7 (next to the gas station on the main street left of where you got off the ferry). Ramon is typically there during the eventings from 4-7pm, but you may also catch him during the day if he is not out fishing. If you stop and and ask for him they will be able to let you know if he's there or when to stop back. For last minute inquiries or requests please come directly to the restaurant, if Ramon is on the water he may not get your email the same day.
Q. What is included in the tour?
A. For detailed information on the tours please check out our tour page.
Q. Do you provide a vegetarian option aboard the boat?
A. If you let Ramon know when you check in the night before he can be sure to prepare sandwiches with Panela cheese, cucumber, tomoato and lettuce as an alternative. Fruit is always readily available. For groups of 4 or more vegetarians, he can prepare guacamole in place of ceviche. All options require advanced notice.
Q. What if my dates are already full?
A. There are other reputable organizations here on Isla Mujeres that provide tours. Come by Adrian's Internet Cafe (next to Super Express on the main square) when you arrive on Isla and we'll hook you up with another provider we trust.
Q. Under what conditions will my tour be cancelled?
A. Isla Mujeres is located in a tropical zone and the weather can change quickly. The Port Captain whill close the port to small boats in the case of inclemant weather. This decision is outside our control and must be respected. Ramon reserves the right to cancel tours if he feels the weather is not condusive to a safe pleasureable tour. Additionally, he may cancel tours if there are not sufficient Whale Sharks surfacing compared to the number of boats he has observed on previous days. We are very concerned with the experience of the guests but also in not harrassing the Whale Sharks by the presence of too many boats per shark.
Q. What is the cancellation policy?
A. Do to the seasonal nature and limited availability of our tours we can not provide refunds for tours cancelled within 30 days of the tour date. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover youself in the event that you must cancel your trip.
Cancellations received before the 30 day period will be issued a refund for any deposit paid minus a $10 USD per person handling fee.
If your tour is cancelled due to weather and we are unable to accommodate you before the end of your trip we will issue you a refund.
Q. What if I am part of a large group that wants to be together?
A. We cannot 100% guarantee that your entire group will be together unless you make prior arrangements with us via email. Boat assignments are done the morning of the tour and depend on the number of tour participants and boats available. If you are in a large group we highly recommend that you either make arrangements ahead of time or arrive early the morning of the trip and advise a guide of the size of your group. This way your guide can factor that into his planning and do his best to accommodate your group.