This is the place to find your favorite critter encounters!
Peak months are listed, but lead-in and trailing months surrounding peaks are usually also good.
- Humpback Whales in the Dominican Republic (through late March)
- Whale sharks in the Andaman Sea, Thailand (through April)
- Eagle Ray migration in Cozumel, Mexico
- Whale sharks in Australia
- Whale sharks in Galápagos
- Whale sharks in Koh Ta0, Thailand
- Whales in the Socorros, Mexico
- Whale sharks in Utila, Bay Islands
- Manta Rays in the Flower Gardens (Texas)
- Humpback Whales in Tonga (through November)
Cocos Island: Famous for sure encounters with large schools of Hammerheads.
Galápagos: Another reliable spot to find hammerheads all year round in large numbers is this beautiful island group in the middle of the Pacific.
Layang Layang: Not well known, this small island in the China Sea offers great hammerhead diving and a very exotic destination!
Hawaii: As dusks fades, huge mantas gather off the Ko Surf Hotel to feed on plankton, setting the stage for a world-class night dive for passengers on the Kona Agressor II.
Yap: Divers can enjoy manta rays encounters here throughout the year. The water is likely to be clearest on incoming tides, which is also when most of the mantas show up.
South Africa: If cage diving with Sharks is your thing, you will find it in South Africa for sure!
Southern Australia: Down Under has some pretty good shark cage diving as well.
Southern California: Cage diving is offered in San Diego
Sharks (no cage)
Bahamas: Stella Maris resort on Long Island, Bahamas, pioneered shark feedings with scuba divers. Its example has since been followed by many other resorts in the world.
French Polynesia: When you think of French Polynesia you think of fish but not just any fish but sharks. One of the best places in French Polynesia if not the World to swim with schools of sharks is Manihi.
Cayman Islands: Perhaps the Cayman Islands’ most famous attraction, Stingray City and the nearby shallows known as Sandbar provide the only natural opportunity in the world to swim with more than two dozen “tame” Atlantic Southern Stingrays which seem to enjoy the company of humans.
Seal & Sea Lions
California: Go dive the Channel Islands in California and you might be lucky, a seal or some sea lions might just come to play!
Galápagos: Friendly seals in the enchanting water of the Galápagos, who have not learned to be afraid of human being, yet….
Hawaii: Turtle House off the shore of the island of Maui offers guaranteed encounters with the green sea turtles. Tropical Divers on Maui can take you there.
Around the World: Dolphin Quest has “swim with the dolphins” programs in Hawaii, Bermuda and Tahiti!
Bahamas: Combine diving in the Bahamas with a dolphin encounter with Dreamteam. For natural encounters try the western edge of the Little Bahama Bank, north of West End on Grand Bahama.
Red Sea: Swim with the dolphin in Nuweba, an hour North Dahab in the Red Sea. Or visit Dolphin House Reef beyond the ancient harbour of El Quesir in southern Egyptat Nakari Village
Brazil: Discover the dolphins in Fernando de Noronha’s National park which serves as a breeding area for spinner dolphins.
- Around the World: Throughout the world there are four types of manatees that are known.
- Amazonian Manatee: Trichechus inunguis. Lives in the hunted waters of the Amazon in South America.
- West African Manatee: Trichechus senegalensis. Lives on the west coast of Africa.
- A very similar animal to the West Indian is the West Indian Manatee: Trichechus manatus. Lives in the southeastern United States. Of the same species is the Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirosis) which lives in and around the coastal waterways of Central America.
- Dugong: Dugong dugong. Lives in the Indo-Pacific region of the world.
Florida: Manatees do not live in oceans and large seas. They love to stay in warm rivers and streams in Florida. They can live in fresh, brackish, or salt waters. These areas of Florida are the perfect shelters from the extreme cold, and provide them with safe breeding and raising grounds.