Whale sharks are some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring creatures you could encounter in the deep blue sea. We are very lucky with frequent sightings of whale sharks in the Bay Islands. Their migratory path passes by us, offering regular opportunities to see these magnificent creatures up close. If you want to see whale sharks while visiting the Bay Islands, here are a few things to keep in mind.
When to See Whale Sharks in the Bay Islands
Because we are not an aquarium, there is no way to 100% guarantee a whale shark sighting at any point in the year. However, we can say that there is a greater chance to see them near Utila or Roatan in March-April or August-September. Throughout the year, we have intermittent whale sharks sightings around the Bay Islands.
Where to See Whale Sharks in the Bay Islands
There is a reason Utila is known as the Whale Shark Capital of the World! With sightings every single month of the year, Utila stands out as the most reliable location for year-round whale shark sightings. Of course, that does not mean sightings are guaranteed. You still need a bit of luck to see one during your vacation.
Those of us who live here have the advantage of time. Only a one-week vacation means your time is more limited. So, of course, the solution to that problem is just to come back more frequently for vacations!
How to See Whale Sharks in the Bay Islands
First things first: seeing and potentially swimming with whale sharks is a privilege. There are certain guidelines you must adhere to should you be lucky enough to encounter one of these graceful giants.
- When you encounter a whale shark, you should only enter the water with snorkeling gear - no scuba gear. As whale sharks feed at the surface, scuba gear is unnecessary and cumbersome. Enter the water as quietly as possible so as not to startle the whale shark. As excited as you may be, remain calm and you'll enjoy your experience that much more!
- Please try to stay at least 3 meters away from the whale shark. Remember that you are visiting their space and they are entitled to eat in peace.
- Boats should keep a minimum of 10 meters away. If you are on a dive shop boat, they will know this standard. If you are out on your own boat, respect the whale shark and keep your distance.
- For your own safety, always be aware of other marine life in the area. Whale sharks feed on plankton, which also attracts other fish, which can attract larger predators.
- Always listen to your boat captain's instructions. Wait until your boat captain instructs you to enter the water, and respect the boat captain's insights and advice for approaching a potential whale shark encounter.
- Do not ever touch or ride a whale shark. (This applies to all wildlife.)
Seeing a whale shark is an incredible experience that you will always remember. Be sure it's a good memory by respecting wildlife and maintaining your composure underwater. We hope you get to enjoy seeing one of the magnificent creatures while visiting the Bay Islands of Honduras!
Don't forget to use #go2Roatan in all your social media posts! If you're lucky enough to swim with a whale shark, remember to keep a respectful distance when you're taking photos and videos.