Have you ever wondered how it would be to dive with sharks – one of the most amazing ocean creatures in the world? A mesmerizing adventure is waiting for you in which your heart does not know if it should stop or beat faster!
We have put together the full guide of all the best places of where you can dive with different types of sharks around the world.
We have done all the research for you, to help you discover the beauty of encountering sharks in their natural habitat. In this article, you learn all about different your favorite sharks and where to dive with them.
It is guaranteed to be one of the most unforgettable experiences in life to swim or dive side by side in the sea with sharks. Undoubtedly, it is high on the list of many outdoor fans, adventurers, nature and sea lovers.
Have we piqued your interest? If so, read ahead or jump to the headline of your favourite shark!
1. Blue Sharks
Blue sharks are a favourite for divers and underwater photographers to dive with due to their beauty and speed. They are also noted to be highly curious and gentle sharks, which makes them even more attractive to dive with.
Before we dive in to where to find the most promising places to dive with blue sharks, let us give you some background information about them.
Conservation of Blue Sharks
Blue Sharks are decreasing in number worldwide as 10 to 20 million sharks are killed per year by humans. This makes the blue shark the most heavily caught fish on earth.
Primarily, the shark’s fins are sought after by shark-fin soup enthusiasts. Decreasing the demand for this soup could already help to contribute conserving this beautiful and gentle shark species. Aside from the fins, blue sharks are not particularly tasty. Hence, the rest of their bodies are mostly used for fish meal production.
Today, the blue shark is marked as near threatened by the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Level of endangerment near threatened
Blue Sharks are incredibly gentle creatures towards humans. Let’s focus on just observing instead of overfishing them.
Blue Shark Quick Facts
- The blue shark, as a large deep-sea shark, eats almost everything it can capture. Unfortunately, indigestible garbage can also be found regularly in its stomach.
- The largest blue shark ever caught was 9 ft/3m long and weighed 256 LBS. It took four experienced fishermen to get this fantastic creature out of the sea close to the coast of England. The fished blue shark was later released back into the sea where he reportedly was able to swim away.
- In 2011 scientists found two-headed female blue shark embryos. They were found inside a pregnant adult female that had been caught in the Gulf of California off the western coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Often, a blue shark dive is experienced as the following: divers hang in the water between 20 and 30 meters and their patience is tested before, if you are lucky, dark shadows arise in the distance coming closer and closer. Suddenly, the silhouettes of the blue sharks turn into detailed pictures just in front of your eye and are in reach but, before you know it, they have turned around.
Where to Dive with Blue Sharks
Here we list the 4 best places on this planet where you can dive with these magnificent and elegant creatures:
1. The Azores, Portugal
One of the most promising spots for encounters with blue sharks can be found within Europe’s “best kept secret”: The Azores. This is an island group that belongs to Portugal and lies in between America and Europe in the Atlantic Ocean.
Besides diving with blue sharks, the Azores are also popular for diving with mako sharks, mobula rays, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, black marlins, and even whales.
Key statistics to diving with blue sharks on the Azores:
|Best Time||Beginning of July to mid-October|
|Water Temperature||21 – 25°C / 70 – 77°F|
|Visibility||Usually 30+ metres|
|Chance to encounter blue sharks||Higher than 90%|
|Qualification||Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent|
Blue Shark Diving is an incredible adventure. Especially for people who are diving with sharks for the first times in their live. Explore the beauty of these amazing creatures and the ocean where they roam wild by contacting these operators:
- Norberto Diver, Faial Island
- Cetacean Watching, Pico Island
- Dive Azores, Faial Island
- Twin Peaks Diving Centre, Pico Island
- Brizaçores, Pico Island
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town has plenty to offer: hiking Table Mountain, exploring the local bars and club scene, visiting wineries, or cage diving with great white sharks.
Yet you could make your trip to Cape Town even more remarkable by experiencing a dive with blue sharks in the open water without a cage.
Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Cape Town:
|Best Season||November – June|
|Water Temperature||16 – 25°C / 60 – 77 °F|
|Visibility||10m – 50m|
|Chance to encounter blue sharks||Higher than 80%|
|Qualification||Open Water or above but snorkelling is possible|
- Pisces Divers, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
- Into the Blue Scuba Dive Centre. Cape Town
- Shark Explorers, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
- Ollava Scuba, Cape Town
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3. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas is one of top destination for shark diving in the world.
Just off the shore, there can be found the arguably highest concentrations of blue sharks and mako sharks. Diving schools offer dive trips 7 days a week all year-round. Besides blue sharks, mako sharks, hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks are also frequent visitors during dives.
Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:
|Best Season||January – May|
|Water Temperature||23 °C / 73 °F|
|Chance to encounter blue sharks||Near 100%|
|Visibility||30 meters – 50 meters|
|Qualification||Open Water or above but snorkelling is possible|
4. Rhode Island, USA
Blue Shark encounters are most likely not the first thing that comes up to one’s mind when thinking about Rhode Island. However, there is an excellent opportunity for adrenaline seeking adventurers and nature lovers to discover another aspect of coast of New England.
Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Rhode Island, USA:
|Chance to encounter blue sharks||Over 90%|
|Water Temperature||13°C/55°F – 24°C/75°F|
|Qualifications||No specific requirements|
Blue shark diving in Rhode Island is only offered by one diving school. The trip lasts the whole day and costs upwards of 450 USD. It can be booked with Rhode Island Shark Diving.
2. Hammerhead Sharks
Diving with hammerhead sharks is one of the ultimate scuba diving experiences. You’ll never forget the first time you come face to face with this bizarre creature. They look like something out of a science fiction movie.
To see one is impressive, to see swarms of them cruising around you is absolutely breath-taking!
These incredible animals can be enjoyed by divers in a number of locations around the world. They are known to gather in larger numbers at certain times of year, increasing the chances of exceptional encounters.
Conservation of Hammerhead Sharks
Unfortunately, many species of Hammerhead Sharks are at a high risk of extinction. Hammerhead fins are considered a delicacy in many countries. Fishermen can sell these fins for very high prices, so many times when a Hammerhead shark is captured, it has its fins removed, then is dumped back into the Ocean. Of course, without fins, the shark is unable to swim and subsequently dies.
Humans are the #1 threat to all species of Hammerhead Sharks.
The Squat-headed, Scalloped Hammerhead and the Great Hammerhead sharks are on the endangered species list. Extreme care should be taken in the preservation and conservation of this sharks and their environment.
Hammerhead Shark Quick Facts
- The extraordinary flattened shape of their heads, known as the cephalofoil, is believed to be linked to enhanced vision and sensory perception.
- They use their crazy-shaped head as a hunting tool; with eyes on either end of their head it means they can see better than most sharks, improving their ability to find prey.
- Believe it or not, the Hammerhead can sport a nice tan! They are one of very few animals who tan from the sun. This happens to the shark because Hammerheads are often cruising in shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time.
Where to Dive with Hammerhead Sharks
Here are the top places where you can dive with Hammerhead sharks:
Hammerhead sharks are one of the most evocative animals in our seas. Their extraordinary shape and movement beguile any diver fortunate enough to share the same patch of ocean.
Hammerheads are not aggressive and aren’t considered dangerous to humans. Although the sheer size and predatory nature of the Great Hammerhead means caution should always be taken when diving with these prehistoric giants.
1. Bimini, Bahamas
Bahamas and the Keys during the summer are good for hammerhead shark diving adventures.
With over 40 shark species, the Bahamas has the greatest biodiversity in the world and one of the largest populations. The Bahamas earn more than 110 million US dollars annually with shark tourism. The government has recognized the value of sharks as a tourist attraction and is making efforts to protect them, but also to market them in an effective advertising manner.
When to go
- Hammerheads are found all year at the Bahamas
- Peak: December to February
2. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Pacific Shark Corridor, also known as “The Hammerhead Triangle”, consists of the Galapagos Islands, Socorro Islands, and Cocos Island.
These three locations are known as the hammerhead triangle and are absolutely the best place to dive with hundreds of hammerhead sharks.
You can only reach these dives on a liveaboard so be prepared to pay quite a bit for the privilege of experiencing the world’s best hammerhead diving places.
When to go
- December to May
3. Cocos Islands, Costa Rica
Isla de Cocos – Cocos Island – is also sometimes referred to as: “Mountain of the sharks”. Almost everyone knows that this tropical island in the Pacific Ocean is a superlative spot for big fish!
When to go
- May to September
4. Layang Layang, Malaysia
With a circumference of 21 km, the atoll is more than three times as large as the reef around Sipadan. Especially in the months from March to May Layang Layang is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world.
During this time large schools of hammerhead sharks come to the drop offs at the eastern tip of the atoll. Sometimes you can see over 100 of these fascinating animals. But orcas, pilot whales, thresher-tail sharks and manta rays are also regularly sighted here.
When to go
- March to May
3. Tiger Sharks
Diving with tiger sharks is one of the most exciting animal encounters we know of. Unlike tigers on land, tiger sharks generally do not see us as prey.
Imagine submerging into the blue, knowing that soon you will encounter one of the most efficient predators on this planet. A predator you are going to meet eye-to-eye with equal respect for each other.
Let us take you on a journey and follow us to the best places on earth to dive with tiger sharks. The following map gives a sneak peek on where diving with Tiger Sharks is possible:
Conservation of Tiger Sharks
The tiger shark is not always the hunter, but often also the hunted. Their fins, the skin and the oil of the liver are considered to be very high quality and achieve high sales prices. The demand and the price for shark fins are still high. In areas, in which tiger sharks are hunted purposefully, their stocks have already strongly decreased. In addition, there are losses from by-catches, sport fishing and population controls, which are designed to reduce shark density in waters used for bathing, surfing and diving.
The success of such measures is controversial, as most shark attacks are provoked by tourists feeding the sharks. In addition, the freed niches are usually directly by migrating sharks occupied again. Pro Wildlife has therefore been campaigning for years against such population controls, for example in Australia. Due to the aforementioned threat from fishing, the tiger shark is classified as potentially endangered by IUCN.
Distribution of Tiger Sharks
The tiger shark occurs worldwide in tropical to restrained coast-regions. It prefers cloudy waters and regions into which rivers flow. However, it is also found near islands and island groups such as Hawaii, Tahiti, Réunion and the Galápagos Islands.
Very little is known about the behaviour of this shark. It is twilight or night-active, swims in the evening and at night up to very flat regions and retreats during the day again into larger depths.
Tiger Shark Quick Facts
- The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is the fourth largest shark in the world after the whale shark, basking shark and great white shark.
- Tiger sharks can live to be 50 years old and give birth to a maximum of 82 young at one time.
- Tiger sharks constantly have to swim, otherwise they sink.
- The tiger shark is the only shark species that hunts sea turtles. Their extremely sharp, serrated teeth with laterally omitting tips allow the tiger shark to bite through bones and even turtle shells effortlessly.
Where to Dive with Tiger Sharks
Diving with tiger sharks is fascinating and generally safe. Their stripes and size attributes them a beauty. Their appearance puts divers on the verge between fear and awe – whichever side you may choose during your tiger shark encounter – we provide you with all information you need.
Here are the 4 best places to dive with Tiger Sharks:
1. Tiger Beach, Bahamas
One of the premier spots for encounters with tiger sharks can be found at Tiger Beach, Bahamas.
Known for its crystal clear waters and calm blue colours, Tiger Beach is a destination popular amongst travelers, photographers and shark lovers. Not only are you able to view tiger sharks, but also you have the chance to see other sharks including Lemon Sharks, Bull Sharks and more.
Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in the Bahamas:
|Best time||November – May|
|Water temperature||24-27 Celcius / 75-80 Farenheit|
|Chance to dive with tiger shark||100%|
|Qualification||At least Open Water Diver or equivalent|
Best Diving Schools on Tiger Beach for Tiger Shark Diving
Multiple diving schools are offering tiger shark dives. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):