1. Isla Holbox, Mexico.
Known for its sandy beaches and Caribbean style buildings, Isla Holbox is the best get away island of the Caribbean and one of the top destinations for diving with whale sharks.
- Best time to go: July – August.
- Places to stay: Lodging ranges from cheap hostels (Tribu Hostel) or mid-range guesthouses (Holbox Apartments and Suites).
- Things to do: Watch sunset, relax at the beach, Visit the flamingos, kayak at Mangroves, visit the ecological reserve.
2. Utila, Honduras
One of the world’s cheapest destinations to get your dive wish fulfilled, is at the Caribbean backpacker hub of the island of Utila.
- Best time to go: March – April
- Places to stay: Limited to dive hostels (Utila Lodge)
- Things to do: Kayaking, horse-back riding, cave exploration.
A dream come true for snorkelers and divers, Ningaloo Reef is one of the ocean paradises on Earth. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to over 500 species of fishes.
- Best time to go: March – July
- Places to stay: Most of the tours depart from the hotels. (Ningaloo Reef Resort)
- Things to do: Scenic drive, visit national Parks and Canyons, whale diving.
4. Gladden Spit, Belize
Famous for Scuba diving activities and the giant whale sharks, Gladden Spit in Belize is the rarest out of all, in Placencia.
- Best time to go: April – May
- Places to stay: Handful of affordable cabana-style accommodation. (The Placencia Hotel and Residence)
- Things to do: Wildlife sanctuaries, temple sites, fishing, delicious Belizean Cuisines.
Philippines popular destination where the whale sharks were first discovered in 1998, is now a hub for whale shark tourism across the country.
- Best time to go: February – April
- Places to stay: Handful of places to stay (Dancalan Beach Resort)
- Things to do: Watch fireflies, Island tours, Spas
6. Tofo Beach, Mozambique
Sheltered water, white sand and easy access with fine diving makes Tofo the legendary destination in the whole of the African continent.
- Best time to go: October – March
- Places to stay: backpacker lodges (Casa Barry Lodge)
- Things to do: Scuba diving, boat trips, quad biking at sand dunes, find hidden enclaves.
Being the earliest of the whale shark records, Seychelles is the ultimatum where these beasts are well-protected.
i. Best time to go: August – November
ii. Places to stay: Four Seasons Seychelles
iii. Things to do: Casino, fishing, disco, horse riding.
It may be small in size, but has other ways through which it has grown. With the Samui vibe and a laid back nature, Koh Tao is famous for its cheap diving.
- Best time to go: All round the year, especially April – June
- Places to stay: Dive lodges (Big Blue)
- Things to do: Quad biking, indulge in seafood, snorkeling, shooting range.
Being the most favorite of the Indian Ocean, South Ari Atoll has the whale sharks as its year-round residents.
i. Best time to go: All round the year.
ii. Places to stay: island resorts and guesthouses (Maldives Whale Shark Inn Guest House)
iii. Things to do: Spa and yoga, cultural experiences, diving.
Not often visited, yet the most impressive stop for indulging in swimming with the whale sharks. Created by the Ghoubbet volcano, this bay gives its visitors a moment worth forever.
- Best time to go: November – January
- Places to stay: There is no accommodation near to the bay. So base yourself in the Djibouti city. (Atlantic Hotel)
- Things to do: Explore the cities and villages, wildlife and bird watching and culinary tours.