Whale Shark | Galapatours
Whale Shark

Whale Shark

Gentle giant of the oceans

Information about Whale Shark

The Whale Shark is the largest living fish in the ocean and can grow up to an astounding 50ft (16m) long! The species can be found in tropical and temperate waters all around the globe. As the Whale Shark is only one of three filter-feeding sharks in the ocean, its diet consists mainly of plankton, crustaceans, krill, and sometimes tiny fish. In Galápagos, Whale Sharks can be found consistently in the far north around Darwin Island and occasionally further south around the main islands.

This majestic giant arrives around June and July. They migrate during this time to coincide with the arrival and uplift of the Humboldt Current in the waters around Galápagos. This current travels from the south and moves northwards. It brings cold nutritious waters which flow along the South American shores. Scientists believe the Whale Shark navigates by following magnetic fields on the ocean floor.

One aspect of their behaviour that is still not fully understood is why they choose Galápagos at this time of year. Scientists currently think it may be associated with their breeding cycles, but very little is still understood about how these massive creatures reproduce. One thing that is known is that female Whale Sharks can host more than 300 eggs!

The Whale Shark has a “vulnerable and endangered” conservation status, mainly due to illegal fishing, bycatch and ship collisions. As a result, the trade of Whale Shark meat or products is prohibited. This is declared in a section of the list in Appendix II of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora - known as CITES.

In Galápagos, Darwin Island’s dive sites offer a truly unique experience. A diving cruise to Galápagos gives you a unique chance to encounter these beautiful, gentle giants close up. Swimming in the Galápagos among these wonderful creatures is the highlight of a Galápagos diving cruise adventure.

Interesting facts about Whale Shark

The white spots on their back are unique to each individual, like a fingerprint

98% of Whale Shark sightings are of pregnant females

Whale Sharks find their way to Galápagos by following geo-magnetic "pathways" in the ocean

Pictures of Whale Shark

Whale Shark
Whale Shark
Whale Shark

Highlights where the Whale Shark can be seen

Darwin's Arch

Darwin's Arch

Not just one of the best dive sites in the Galápagos, for many Darwin is considered to have some of the best diving in the world.

Located just off the southeast tip of Darwin Island, the islet of Darwin's Arch is a fantastic marine wonderland. The main attractions are the whale sharks and hammerhead sharks that often gather here. But there are many other species you can find - green turtles, majestic manta rays, dolphins, large schools of fish, and other species of sharks are all frequent encounters.

You will usually enjoy two dives here, one before breakfast and one after lunch before sailing back towards Wolf Island for dinner. If you have any particular species that you are keen to see on your dive, contact one of our Galápagos experts today and we can advise on the best dive itinerary to suit your requirements.

Main Darwin Island

Main Darwin Island

Darwin Island (originally named Culpepper Island) was renamed in honor of the famous naturalist. It is considered by many to be one of the best underwater habitats anywhere on earth.

Darwin is the most northerly island in the Galápagos, and is over 100 miles northwest of Isabela. Together with its neighbour Wolf Island, it is the most remote part of the archipelago.

Renowned for the large schools of hammerhead sharks that gather here (for reasons scientists still don't fully understand), Darwin and Wolf are tips of huge long-extinct undersea volcanoes that grew up over half a mile from the seafloor below.

You will enjoy spectacular diving here, and among the species you are likely to encounter are hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, rays, green turtles, and a myriad of tropical reef fish. If you have any particular species that you are keen to see on your dive, contact one of our Galápagos experts today and we can advise on the best dive itinerary to suit your requirements.

The Landslide Dive Site

The Landslide Dive Site

El Derrumbe is particularly well known as THE dive in Galápagos to see Hammerheads and Galápagos Sharks. Whale sharks have alse been encountered here, as well as a huge range of fish, rays, turtles, marine mammals and many more iconic Galápagos creatures.

Shark Bay

Shark Bay

Shark Bay at Wolf Island is an underwater visitor point well known as being among THE best dive sites in Galápagos to see Hammerheads and Galápagos Sharks. Whale sharks have alse been encountered here, as well as a huge range of fish, rays, turtles, marine mammals and many more iconic Galápagos creatures.

Our trips to spot the Whale Shark

Price
Minimum Price

USD 1100

Maximum Price

USD 23000

Duration (days)
Minimum Days

3

Maximum Days

19