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Im going to fly into Cancun and then working my way to Utila on a backpacking trip. The flight dates are set Feb 6 - Apr 3. I have $1000 saved for the diving aspect of the trip, which at 60/day works out to 17 days diving. I would really like to experience a whaleshark on this trip. Any suggestions on how to maximize my chances? Would it be worth diving in Placencia around Feb 28 full moon or would it be better to head on to Utila, since it is still early in the season? Of course I have to hit Coz for a couple days too, but this is going to be early-mid feb.
Not sure if you have checked out the prices for diving in Placentia, it can be really expensive to dive with the whale sharks there but if you can afford it then yes go to Placentia you can contact Splash Dive Center.
If it is to much than I would just head to Utila you will have a good chance if you can stay for a little while and it is a lot better on your budget. contact Utila Dive Center.
Go to Utila. You're too early for Belize. Plus as mentioned above, single whaleshark trips from Placencia are $165-170 per trip.
SPLASH DIVE CENTER 2010 WHALE SHARK SEASON DATES
March 28th - April 8th
April 26th - May 6th
May 25th - June 5th
June 24th - July 4th
The trade-off with Utila is they don't dive - only snorkeling is allowed. It's still really good though. We saw 6 in 2 days the last week of March. The "season" runs Feb-May in Utila. Deep Blue Resort does Whaleshark Research. Every year they invite experts for research studies. Four weeks during the season they determine (I don't know how) as optimum. Steve Fox from Deep Blue just posted that they've seen whalesharks year round this year. Here are this years 4 weeks:
2010 Whale Shark research weeks
Sat 13th March to Sat 20th March
Sat 20th March to Sat 27th March
Sat 10th April to Sat 17th April
Sat 17th April to Sat 24th April
It might be worth it to try to get on someone's boat from town one of those weeks. All the whalesharks are found in deep water - we found ours after doing morning dives. I think there's also some whaleshark only boats that leave from town. We took the ferry over from La Ceiba, just about everybody aboard was a local, a diver or a backpacker.
Last edited by diversteve; January 31st, 2010 at 09:03 PM.
Just curious... Besides a local, hiker, or diver, who else would you expect on that ferry? That's like going to a college sporting event and proclaiming everyone there is a student, fan, or employee... Duh! Lol