Whale Shark diving in Belize
After the first dive seeing nothing but the navy blue abyss below, I'd almost given up hope that I'd ever encounter a whale shark. In my head I was already planning my next trip to Mexico in search of the elusive fish.
It wasn't until our second dive that I suddenly heard the screams of our guide that he'd spotted something. Turning around I saw an enormous spotted creature rise from the depths, bringing with it a bonus pod of bottlenose dolphins. The hours of being tossed around in seriously choppy open water had been worth it. Sorry Mexico, I won't be needing you.
The largest fish in the sea, whale sharks can reach to lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more. Feeding off plankton, they scoop these tiny plants and animals, along with other lingering small fish with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.
In Belize, during the spring time, whale sharks visit an area of the reef called the Gladden Split. This Area, about 30 miles east of Placencia is used by over 20 species of Caribbean fish to release their eggs, including the black or cuber snappers. An ideal meal for the whale shark, the fish spawn is what attracts them.
When to go
Whale shark season runs from May- June. The best time to go is a few days before or after the full moon.
Whale shark dates 2015:
March 5 – March 14 (full moon March 5)
April 4– April 13 (full moon April 4)
May 3 – May 12 (full moon May 4)
June 2 – June 11 (full moon June 2)
Recommended tour operator: Sea Horse Dive Shop- Placencia