Travelers are embarking on more daring adventures these days, and a shark diving adventure ranks high on the list. Sharks are both scary and fascinating, and it’s not surprising that shark diving intrigues millions of people around the world.
For many, the opportunity to see these fearsome creatures in their natural environment is hugely appealing. After all, we’re led to believe that sharks are dangerous, and we’re all going to be feasted on as soon as we enter shark-infested waters a la the movie Jaws.
That isn’t true, though, and shark diving isn’t as dangerous as many people think it is. Finding a good tour operator for shark diving is key to both safety and a great experience. And, you’ll want to practice remaining calm around these magnificent creatures that come in all sizes.
If you love sharks but want to enjoy them from land, you can get a taste of shark life through Robert Irwin’s documentaries (he’s the son of Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin) or playing shark games.
If you’re ready to jump in the water, here are some go-to shark diving destinations. Check them out and plan your next adventure vacation.
Cancun isn’t just for beach-loving vacationers, although it is perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Shark lovers flock to Cancun because it has the largest population of whale sharks in the world. Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet, ranging up to 45 feet in length and up to 41,000 pounds. This is one big fish!
You can both swim with the sharks or do a cage dive, viewing them in their natural habitat. Search for a highly recommended and reputable tour company to plan your experience.
Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to hammerhead sharks, called that because of the distinctive shape of their heads. They are a large shark, averaging 13 feet and 500 pounds, but are not known to be overly aggressive toward humans. While they should be treated with respect and caution, they are not a threat to divers, and no fatal hammerhead attacks have been reported.
It’s a tad tricky to get to Costa Rica’s Cocos Island, a relatively uninhabited island (only park rangers live on the island) off the coast of Costa Rica. Visitors are allowed only on a tour, which usually includes transfers from the country’s capital city of San Jose to Puntarenas, then a boat trip to the island.
Despite the logistics, and the expensive price, once you experience the underwater home of hammerhead sharks, we think you’ll say it was worth it.
The location of Bajo Alcyone is a particular favorite with shark diving companies in the are as this protected location is home to thousands of these instantly recognizable beasts from the sea. Cocos Island has several other excellent sites for shark divers.
That’s a great hammerhead shark in the photo up top.
New South Wales, Australia
Given Australia’s association with sharks and the large populations spotted there, it’s a go-to destination for many shark diving enthusiasts.
New South Wales, in particular, is filled with sharks and a range of other wonderful creatures from the sea, including turtles.
It’s the wobbegong sharks that people tend to want to see, though. The bottom-dwelling shark spend much of their time resting on the sea floor, giving rise to their nickname as the carpet shark. They reach a maximum length of about ten and a half feet, and weigh around 30-40 pounds.
Although woobegong sharks are not typically aggressive, they have very sharp teeth, so you won’t want to try to touch them or provoke them.
Nassau is packed full of reef sharks. The crystal clear waters in a glorious Caribbean environment, make it a popular destination with shark lovers. The area is packed full of reef sharks thanks to a collection of feeding sites that attract them.
Reef sharks can be up 8-feet in length and generally weight 30-75 pounds. They are low-light predators, most active during dawn and dusk. Any swimming or shark diving should be avoided during this time as they are most aggressive when feeding.
Are you hooked on shark diving yet?
Other popular shark diving destinations includes Malapascua (Philippines), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Jardines de la Reina (Cuba), Oahu (Hawaii), Gansbaai (South Africa), Rangiroa (French Polynesia), and North Queensland (Australia).
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Anthony has found travel provides a healthy balance to his day job as a criminal defense attorney. Living on the periphery of blogging for years, he’s now decided to flex his creative muscles with a little writing and photography of his own. Anthony’s favorite travel destinations are the Caribbean, Italy, and Ireland.