CALL: 855.987.4275 or 619.887.4275
Great White Shark Cage Diving
When you think of ultimate white shark encounters, Mexico’s Isla Guadalupe has established itself as the world’s top white shark cage diving destination. Not too long ago, this pristine white shark site was relatively unknown. Today white shark fans from around the planet come to meet the shark conservation and media stars of this newly minted Bio-Sphere Reserve. Through the tireless efforts of CICIMAR and the Marine Conservation Science Institute at Isla Guadalupe, we have come to learn so much about these amazing creatures; from “Bruce”, one of a handful of sharks we have seen every year since we started cage diving in 2001 to the 18-foot “Lucy”, with her mangled caudal fin and her well-known cage diver curiosity, to the massive 20-foot Deep Blue, who wows even our most well-seasoned researchers.
This is what it’s like to dive with Great White Sharks.
The Best Great white Shark Diving on the Planet
Many divers make the mistake of thinking that cage diving is boring or not “real diving”. The reality is that this is highly addictive diving – many divers who were initially skeptical now return once or twice a year. Some of those clients have now made 20+ trips!
What makes Guadalupe so special is the large population of white sharks in season – 380 individuals identified and still counting – the topaz blue water, typical visibility so clear that from the back of the boat you can see sharks approaching from out beyond the anchor chain, and a beautiful anchorage virtually always calm and sheltered from the ocean swell.
Sample Itinerary · 5 Nights / 6 Days
Day 1 – Welcome! Bienvenidos!
We encourage you to spend an extra day or two before your trip enjoying San Diego and the lovely resort town of Ensenada. We especially recommend Balboa Park in San Diago and the Guadalupe Valley wine tour arranged through the Hotel Coral. If you prefer, take advantage of the hotel’s kayaks, bikes, indoor and outdoor pools, gym or spoil yourself with a massage and spa treatment.
Check-out is open from 3pm onwards at the waterfront Marina Bar and Grill. Please be sure to check-in by 8pm. Boarding is available at 9:30pm. Our Captain and divemasters will guide you down to the boat where the rest of our crew will be waiting to greet you with big smiles and trays of champagne. Though we have the only large, steel, stabilized dive boats in this part of the pacific and you can expect the best ride possible, it’s always a good idea to bring anti-seasickness meds.
Day 2 – Destination: Guadalupe Island
Today we will be travelling and relaxing at sea. We will hold an orientation and safety drill. It is for your safety and we will make it lots of fun. Shark 101 will be in the afternoon, then you can try out a shark cage on the back deck! Cocktail hour is at 7pm, although our guests often enjoy some cocktails well before that!
Guadalupe Island should appear over the horizon in the early evening, and we will have a calm night in the protected anchorage to get a restful sleep before the next morning’s excitement of diving with our sharky friends.
Days 3-5 – Let the Sharking Begin!
We dive! Wake up early in the morning to the smell of brewed coffee and sizzling bacon. Breakfast is served and the cages are opened and ready for you and your fellow shark divers. Before you awaken, you will be scheduled on a specific dive team. Make note of your dive rotation times and who is in your dive group. It’s time to suit up and see some great white sharks. Once your foot hits the water and you enter into the cages…you have become an official Shark Diver.
Day 6 – Return to Ensenada
Sadly, your time onboard will come to a close when we arrive back at the Hotel Coral in Ensenada around 2pm. Before you disembark, we will ensure you get a copy of the trip highlights DVD that our crew has put together. We hope that you might spend another day or two in Ensenada. Our luxury courtesy bus will be waiting to transport everyone else back to either the Tijuana Airport, San Diego Airport, or the Four Points Sheraton hotel via the Tecate border crossing. The crossing time by Tecate might be a bit longer than the San Ysidro crossing but offers the tremendous benefit of being able to cross in the bus with no need to disembark and drag suitcases and bags across by hand the way we did in the old days. We sincerely and deeply hope that you enjoyed your white shark adventure with us and that we see you again very soon.
Departure from Ensenada, Mexico
FROM $2,895 PER PERSON
Passenger safety in Mexico
At Shark Diver, we have gone to extraordinary lengths to address our guests’ safety concerns about traveling in Mexico. Safety is our top priority both on land and at sea. Our “Great White Shark Express”, has been transporting our guest without a single incident for well over a decade.
Our shark divers meet in San Diego, together and return to San Diego, together.
When it comes to west coast great white shark diving, knowing what to look for in a vessel and shark crew makes all the difference. After pioneering cage-diving operations with Great White Sharks at Mexico’s Isla Guadalupe, Shark Diver’s crew is the most experienced in the business. Nobody has spent as much time observing these magnificent Great White Sharks as our CEO, Martin Graf. Best of all, you do not need to be dive certified to cage dive at our location. Our experienced dive masters and instructors, or even Martin himself, will take you into the cages and make sure that you are safe and comfortable.
Shark diving vessel details
The vessels in the Shark Diver fleet feature a range of accommodations from shared, air conditioned staterooms, to our King suite, all with ensuite bathrooms. All our vessels have a dedicated air system for shark cage operations and offer the largest shark cages available along with every other diving amenity you and or your group will need. Shark Diver has full time experienced great white shark crews, . These guys know sharks. Our stabilized vessels are excellent long range dive platforms for those seeking laid back live-aboard comfort and style while cage diving with great white sharks in Mexico. Our vessels are primarily designed to cater to adventure seeking individual divers, selected dive groups from all over the world, and professional filmmakers.
Galley/salon areas are spacious with ample room for our guests. All vessels are complete with TV, VCR/DVD, hot tub and optional Wi-Fi. and are an excellent place to wind down after a day of incredible shark diving or while en route to Isla Guadalupe
We know you have a choice when deciding to experience white sharks at Isla Guadalupe. Your vacation time is important to us. If there is anything we can do to make your experience with us, better – from a birthday celebration on board, to a wedding proposal at sea, let us know and we’ll make it happen for you!
Meals aboard Shark Diver vessels are key to any successful dive expedition. Individual divers and group leaders will be happy to note that we take great pride in catering to every diver’s food needs. The galleys on board are fully equipped for any style of cooking; providing divers with a wide range of cuisine. Our chefs can prepare anything from traditional meals to made-to-order dishes. Our crews cut no corners in efforts to present a truly memorable dining experience. Dietary restrictions are not a problem and our on-board chefs look forward to accommodating your needs.
All non-alcoholic beverages as well as 2 bottles of Mexican beer or 2 glasses of house wine per day are available at no extra cost.
Cage diving design
Shark Diver has reviewed our vessels’ shark cage designs and have provided you the best cage construction out there. The cages also feature 4’L x 15″H openings to allow for great bar-less shots taken on larger cameras. The cages are equipped with floatation pods designed for ocean use. The pods are located on each end of every cage.
The cage diving at Guadalupe is bar none the greatest on the planet, with up to 100 feet + of visibility. The water temperature ranges from 67 to 76 degrees making this the ultimate great white shark destination for everyone, especially for the discriminating underwater photographer, or the novice.
You will enjoy hours of cagediving time utilizing our state of the art cages. The 4 diver cages are built to maximize your safety and comfort. Our cages feature excellent viewing and photography characteristics, providing you with total freedom of movement and 360 degree panoramic visibility.
You will appreciate the use of dedicated surface supplied air, allowing you to be comfortable and secure during your shark dives. All our air systems are internal and we never use off the shelf air compressors. Our professional and courteous crew will make sure your adventure is a safe and rewarding experience.
Our shark diving crews looking forward to assisting you, the professional or semi-professional, with all your underwater photographic needs. As a prime example of stunning underwater shark shots taken from Isla Guadalupe please spend some time with renowned underwater photographer Phil Colla located at www.oceanlight.com.
Join us and discover yours!
Conservation shark diving
CSD is an acknowledgment of shark diving operators who give back to the environment. Initiatives that help conserve local and regional shark populations, like the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative or local and regional funds that directly support area research teams such as the Isla Guadalupe Conservation Fund, are just two examples of this commitment.
Conservation Shark Diving is a way of directly impacting the animals we work with in a positive manner exhibiting site stewardship and conservation industry leadership. Our clients are, after all, the sharks.
Shark Diver is proud to support Conservation Shark Diving. Your decision to book with Shark Diver allows us to continue to manage and direct conservation efforts that have a real and lasting impact on sharks all over the world. We are proud to have started the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative which has already garnered support from PADI, The Humane Society, the island nation of Fiji and even Slash from Guns n’ Roses. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Stewart Gow and Mike Neumann 80% of Fiji’s marinas are now Shark Free, a stunning achievement.
Shark Diver is also proud to be supporting the ongoing Great White Shark Photo ID database at Guadalupe Island, by donating a portion of our proceeds to the Marine Conservation Science Institute.
Help support sharks by supporting commercial shark diving operations that are making a real difference.
Frequently asked questions
Even the most hard core shark fans have a few questions and our team have collected the most frequently asked from our divers. If your question about your next shark diving adventure isn’t answered below, don’t hesitate to call us at 619.887.4275 or toll free 855.987.4275 or email us, informed shark divers are better shark divers.
Will I see sharks?
In 20 years of diving and up to 25,000 dives each season at Guadalupe, there have only been a handful of times that we haven’t experienced really good sharking. This white shark population is getting healthier and healthier and continues to grow with more than 380 individual sharks now identified in the bay that we dive in.
Is shark cage diving in Guadalupe Island safe?
Yes! For your safety, all shark cage diving is done using a hookah system – otherwise known as surface supplied air – and our custom designed cages. These cages are designed to provide maximum protection for you and for our sharks. It is vitally important that the sharks are never affected or injured during their interaction with us.
How many dives do I get?
3 dives a day in the submersible cages (certified divers only). Virtually unlimited diving in the surface cages.
Do the sharks ever attack the cage?
As a general rule no, they do not. We do not entice sharks into cages nor do we seek hard shark interactions. As some operations have unfortunately discovered sharks can be unforgiving if you do not adhere to strict shark diving protocols. We do, and it’s our foremost consideration when you dive with us. Expect very close passes within 12 inches at times.
How big are the sharks?
Isla Guadalupe Great Whites are primarily transitional sub adults, 12 – 16 feet in length and are sleek, fast, and beautiful. We also encounter makos on very rare and very special occasions. Later in the season we encounter much larger sharks upwards to 19 feet. We call this “The Time of the Titans.” Late season sharks also come with a better chance of poor weather on site so you need to take that into consideration when making your shark diving choice with us. Typically we see an abundance of juvenile males from the beginning of August to late September when the numbers increase. Then in October and November the larger females come around, yet the numbers are known to start to taper. Tzitzimitl, a 30-yerar-old 19-footer, was the largest recorded on our dives. She appeared in mid to late September in 2016.
What is the visibility and water temperature?
Visibility is almost always 100-120 feet, sometimes 150 feet. Water temperature ranges from 22°C / 72°F in July and August to 20°C / 68°F in November.
What is included in the trip?
Accommodation, all meals (continental breakfast, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert), non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, daily room service, towels, in-water divemastering, end of trip DVD and onboard facilities such as the hot tub and lounge.
Are great white sharks endangered
Yes, the white shark was listed as an endangered species in Canada in 2006, and is estimated to have declined in population close to 80% in North America over the past 14 years. Guadalupe Island was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by the Mexican government in 2005, and since has since an increase in white shark population. We can attribute this to protection efforts from conservationists and the ecotourism industry increasing education and changing attitudes towards this important predator. One living shark is much more valuable over time that one dead shark. Read More