While most divers tend to look for dive sites with beautiful and colorful coral reefs, others are looking for a real rush.
Nothing in the ocean can compare to diving with bull sharks. Bull sharks are considered to be one of the most dangerous sharks in the world, though attacks are extremely rare. They are called bull sharks because they have blunt snouts and the habit of attacking the prey by butting it with their heads (just like bulls). These sharks are really unique because they can thrive in both salt water and fresh water, and can travel far up rivers! There is even a famous fact that bull sharks have been spotted along the Mississippi River in the United States.
But usually the bulls live near high-population areas like tropical shorelines, so it is no wonder that bull sharks choose the waters off Playa del Carmen on the eastern coast of Mexico as their breeding grounds. The bulls of Playa del Carmen are drawn there because of the fresh-water cenotes that pump out into the sea along the coast. The constant flow of fresh water leaving the cenotes certainly draws them into the area, as well as the abundance of fish.
Playa del Carmen is also known for its large turtle population, which is another food source for bull sharks. They come here every year in the period from late November to March, and it is a special time when you have a great opportunity to see one of the world’s most incredible predators in their natural habitat.
There has never been any accident with divers on the whole Riviera Maya while diving with bull sharks. If you follow all the recommendations of your instructor, you can rest assured that the experience will be safe and fun. However, note that this type of diving is not for everyone, and not only because of fear.
- First of all, this type of diving is for advanced divers who have logged more than 40 dives, who love the adrenaline rush.
- You must not have any problems with equalizing techniques (if you dive without equalizing your ears, you can experience pain, middle-ear damage, and possibly barotrauma).
- You must have good air consumption (our air consumption is affected by depth — the deeper you dive, the more air you consume).
- You can choose in a dive center that has a diving program with bull sharks, or a bull shark discovering program. In the first case, diving is static and you have to stay in your assigned place and just watch while an instructor (feeder) is feeding sharks with frozen fish. In the second case, you dive in the area of sharks and have a chance to observe them in their natural environment without feeding them.
- Before diving, you will be told about the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” during the dive. For example, you have to listen carefully and follow the dive plan, have proper equipment (full wetsuit, no bright colors). It is very important to follow the dive plan for your safety and the group’s safety!
- Bull sharks are not shy and do make passes close by the divers, so it is very important that you stay in your assigned place.
- The depth is around 24m/80ft. The bottom is flat, sandy, and reefless, and there is also a good opportunity for underwater photographers because the visibility at the site is 18-24m/60-80ft and it’s very easy to get a nice, clear shot of sharks. Some dive centers also offer photos from the dive as an additional service.
- The dive lasts about 45 minutes.
You can book diving with bull sharks in the following dive centers in Playa del Carmen:
— Beachouse Dive Hostel (Cozumel’s best local dive shop)
For more adventures in Playa del Carmen → Exotic Mayan Tours
You can find all of these dive centers on Divebooker.com and book diving in advance.
Bull sharks are very social, and diving with them has been known to draw up to 15 sharks at a time. Diving with these magnificent creatures is sure to open your eyes to their real majesty, so don’t be afraid and have a real experience of a lifetime! Are you ready? Then see you in Mexico!