Ultimate Whale Sharks Swimming

Whale Shark Expeditions and Sea of Cortez Highlights

Why sign up for an ultimate whale shark adventure
into the Sea of Cortez?

  • Whale sharks.  Not just lots of them but these sharks are usually curious and interested in us. And best of all, we usually have the National park and biosphere to ourselves with almost nobody else around.
  • Our guests tell us that these trips feel like a National Geographic expedition deep into the Sea of Cortez.  Every day is a new adventure.
  • The Sea of Cortez is usually calm this time of year.  Making it easy for our ocean going boats to give you a nice easy smooth week at sea.
  • This adventure is truly a “best of” ultimate exploring Las Animas, Loreto, the very special seldom visited Isla San Pedro Mártir and Bahia de Los Angeles.
  • You can expect not just whale sharks but super playful California sea lions, large pods of dolphins, swirling tornadoes of fish,  fingers crossed on hammerhead sharks and turtles and our spotter airplane will be scouting for orcas and great whales.

Imagine being the only boat around snorkelling with loads of whale sharks in a hidden bay deep in the Sea of Cortez on an ultimate liveaboard holiday 

Who doesn’t want to swim with whale sharks, especially when there are loads of them to see in a deserted bay and national park deep into the Sea of Cortez? Bahia de Los Angeles is a very special place, visited by up to 220 friendly and curious whale sharks each season. Unlike other places, the minimal boat traffic here makes these whale sharks remarkably interactive with humans.

This adventure not only offers incredible whale shark encounters but also some of the best diving in the Sea of Cortez, supported by our spotter airplane. Witness a large seasonal gathering of whale sharks in this remote bay. Between May and October, 80 to 220 whale sharks have been identified, making this summer gathering legendary in Baja, Mexico. Beyond whale sharks, keep an eye out for other big animals such as orcas, pilot whales, sperm whales, and finback whales. The adventure also includes an excursion on a real desert island with the largest population of blue-footed boobies in the world as well as more sea lions, black coral and much more.

Join us on a superb 8 or 10-day ultimate whale shark summer adventure, best accessed by our liveaboard expedition ship.

See what our guests have said about Whale shark expeditions and  Sea of Cortez!

Testimonial Whales sharks bahia de los angeles

August 2023

“That is really a National Geographic experience and you have to do it to full appreciate the awe that comes with gliding beside those gentle Giants.”

Happy guest at bahia de los angeles

August 2023

“It’s been a great day! Lots more whales sharks than I can keep track of. Fun day! really calm, really relaxed and you got to come do this with Nautilus!

Testimonial bahia de los angeles Whales sharks

August 2023

“That was phenomenal! I saw maybe a whale shark … Too many to count… They were so close!

What Makes Us Different


Safety First

The cornerstones of everything we do: safety, excellence in guest experience, happy staff, and happy crew.


Guest Excellence

Excellence in guest experience is all about you. Our focus is to ensure that you as our guest are safe and able to enjoy your vacation to the highest level.


Animal encounters

We provide the best opportunities for encounters, which are always conducted with the utmost respect and only on the animals’ own terms. It’s entirely their choice to swim over and check us out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The Sea of Cortez is mostly calm this time of year. We will be traversing a lot of areas with regional variations in water temperature and wind. We will likely see water temps ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. It can be very hot during the day, but this is not a problem with air conditioning on board. Comfort on board is ensured, with lots of water activities and shore activities generally scheduled for the first thing in the morning or late in the day when the temperatures are cooler. One of the coolest things about these trips is that, unlike open ocean expeditions, the waters are quite smooth, and there may be very little or no movement on the boat for days at a time.

The whale sharks aggregate in the estuary at the south end of Bahia de Los Angeles, which is a protected reserve in a CONANP national park. Interaction with the whale sharks is by snorkelling only; no diving is allowed. Visibility is typically 30 to 40 feet in the area where the whale sharks gather. Depending on the group’s interest, there will either be a morning session with the whale sharks or two opportunities, morning and afternoon, to get in the water with the animals. We work together with the local dive operator, using his pangas and captains for the actual whale shark interaction. We always reserve our trips with him ahead of time, but this is a small place in the middle of nowhere, and Ricardo and his team are not always available when booked. We always get our guests in the water, but there are sometimes delays.

Our spotter airplane will be on patrol at least two days a week during your trip and in constant contact with the ship’s captain as they search out animals of interest. Your pilot and observer on “Scout” are our secret weapon in locating f inback and sperm whales, solitary whale sharks off by themselves, orcas if they are in the area, mega pods of dolphins, and much more. Please note that f lights are always subject to weather and mechanical limitations.

Approximately 15 dives plus 1 day swimming with whale sharks and hopefully additional snorkelling with cetaceans. A 5mm wetsuit is recommended at the start of the season in July, while a 3mm wetsuit will likely be fine from August onwards. Our SeeCreatures ocean activities centres are located in Cabo San Lucas and La paz are there to support whatever you need from discounted pre-trip adventures including day trips to Cabo Pulmo and Gorda Banks to photography workshops to wetsuit, gear and go-pro rentals. On our Sea of Cortez adventures there’s usually the opportunity for several night dives noting that the half day or day that we spend with the whale sharks is a snorkelling opportunity rather than scuba diving. There is no minimum experience level required for this trip, but all divers need to have buoyancy control and other skills required for open water certification. We will have dive guides in the water on all dives to assist our guests.

A trip like this is heaven for swimmers. Beautiful warm water, lots to see, and lots of adventure. You’ll be traversing deep into the Sea of Cortez, exploring little-visited areas that very few people get to see. There has never been a swimming safari offered like this in Baja. To participate in a swimming safari based on one of our Liveaboards, you do need to be a competent swimmer. But don’t worry about fitness. You can swim as much or as little as you like, and you’ll get stronger every day. We offer an 8 to 1 maximum swimmer-tocoach ratio, with a private coach available by prior arrangement. Support skiffs will be nearby. Whether you swim very little or, for hardcore summers, you might swim up to 10 km a day, the choice is yours.

Self-reliant paddlers and paddleborders are welcome to head off on their own, subject to safety restrictions. Please let us know your experience and kayak preference well before departure. We have both single and two-person kayaks available. We have very high-end Seaward ocean touring kayaks that are very fast, but a little bit tipsy, and to delegate to be hauled up on rock beaches or alternatively, we have some high-quality plastic touring kayaks that are a bit more stable and much tougher. We can arrange a guide for a minimum group size of six or a custom guide can be requested by prior arrangement.

Safety, excellence in guest experience, and the happiness of our guests are the cornerstones of our operations. Nothing is more important than your safety. At Nautilus and Baja Expeditions, we are proud to be the only operation in the world with ISM certification and external annual audit of our safety management system. This is the same certification that the largest cruise ships on the oceans hold. We strictly adhere to written processes, procedures, and protocols, and our captain and crew are trained into both initially, and with annual recurrent training. Every activity starts with a briefing on a whiteboard on board. All drivers must be equipped with an SMB and dive alert, which we provide as needed. Any guest participating in water activities must be equipped with a Nautilus Lifeline, emergency radio, and GPS device. We carry AEDs and extensive medical kits with a contract medical officer available to receive our sophisticated satellite communication system.