The best spots to swim with sharks for adrenaline seekers

By Stef Zisovska
Publish Date:
Whale Shark and Freediver - Author: Feefiona123 - CC BY-SA 4.0
Whale Shark and Freediver - Author: Feefiona123 - CC BY-SA 4.0

Swimming with sharks is probably the scariest thing you can do on your vacation. But the fact is, there are people who would rather swim with a shark than have a cocktail on the beach. The heart-pounding activity is popular among daredevils all around the world, and even non-divers like doing it. The experience of being close to one of the world’s most infamous animals is truly unique. You have no idea where you are, what’s going on or if you’re going to end up between the powerful jaws of the shark. The thing is that these predators have a bad but misguided reputation, and it’s not likely they are going to kill you. Here are some of the best places to swim with sharks for non-diving adventurers.


Shark Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Nurse shark
Nurse shark

Shark Ray Alley is next to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 10 minutes from the island of Ambergris Caye, one of the best shark destinations near a shore. You can swim and see nurse sharks all around you. The guide of the group feeds the sharks, so they are not aggressive at all. The depth of the water varies from 8 to 30 feet. If you decide not to get wet and get scared at the last moment, you can watch the sharks’ activities from the speedboat.

Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

The biggest shark in the world is the whale shark and is approximately the size of a bus. Fortunately, these sharks are vegetarians, so it’s completely safe to swim next to them. There are organized tours from Cancun that will take you to the Isla Mujeres for a unique experience.


These gentle giants are terrifyingly big but harmless. There is a greater chance that you will scare them than they scare you. They are huge but friendly creatures of the Caribbean.

Crystal Lagoons of Bora Bora, Tahiti

Lemon Shark – Author: Albert Kok – CC BY-SA 3.0
Lemon Shark – Author: Albert Kok – CC BY-SA 3.0

Bora Bora is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When you arrive there, you are obliged to go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. What you’re often not told is that what you’re going to see are black-tip sharks, fed by the guides. You can also see the bigger lemon sharks swimming below if you go snorkeling a bit further off the coral reef. If you’re not ready for the thrill, you can just sit and have a drink in peace.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are rich with sea life. Here you can find anything from giant sea turtles, blue-footed boobies, humpback whales, coral reefs, hammer and reef sharks. Plenty of tourists that visit the islands go for an organized tour to see the reef sharks. What’s good about these excursions is that you’ll get to swim with a guide who is a local naturalist that knows the ocean as well as anyone else.

The guide dives into a cave where the shark lives and pushes her out so the visitors can see it. The 5-feet long reef shark looks scary, but it won’t harm you. The best time to snorkel is in the morning because that’s when the shark eats and won’t be interested in you. When they are not hungry, you are completely safe to swim around.

Carribean reef shark – Author: Albert Kok – CC BY-SA 4.0
Carribean reef shark – Author: Albert Kok – CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are looking for something more than a beach vacation then this is the perfect plan for you. Getting close to the world’s most dangerous animal (at least that’s what we’re taught) is an incredible moment that you’ll never forget. It will inspire you to do greater things in life and help you to shake off the fear of the unknown. Good luck!

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