Are There Sharks in Puerto Vallarta?

Sharks and Puerto Vallarta

sharks and Puerto Vallarta

Tourists ask, “Are there sharks in Puerto Vallarta” for different reasons: some want the experience of swimming with the sharks, and others don’t want to step foot in the ocean, thanks to the mastery of Mr. Spielberg.

Due to the fact, Puerto Vallarta beaches are contained with a bay; it is considered extremely safe for swimming, and, for several decades, shark attacks have remained mostly unheard of. However, that does not mean you can’t seek out these infamous swimmers if you want to go beyond the bay and snorkel near reefs and within deeper areas of water.

What types of sharks live in Puerto Vallarta?

Nurse Sharks

Nurse Sharks in Puerto Vallarta

Nurse sharks are the most common type of shark in the area. Considering the nickname of this species is the “couch potato of the shark world,” you can probably guess you have nothing to fear from this undersea creature who vacuums up its food – rather than ferociously tearing at it with human-head sized teeth, as Spielberg’s movies so eloquently depicted.

While these sharks do reach up to 10 feet in length, they can still be hard to spot because they spend most of their time staying perfectly still in the sand within relatively shallow water. But, just because these guys are not aggressive, that does not mean you should bother them – especially while they are asleep. If they get stepped on or disturbed, they may react defensively and can harm unsuspecting swimmers.

Whitetip Sharks

Whitetip sharks in Puerto Vallarta

You can recognize these swimmers from – you guessed it – a white tip on the tip of dorsal, pectoral, and tail fins. It’s very unlikely you will see a whitetip shark unless you go searching for them. They rarely come within the bay surrounding Puerto Vallarta because they far prefer the much deeper and cooler waters further out.

Whitetip sharks are more dangerous than their nurse counterparts and have a bad reputation for taking advantage of plane and shipwreck victims. However, even though they can be opportunistic and aggressive, it is uncommon you will find yourself snorkeling next to them.

How can I see sharks during my trip to Puerto Vallarta?

Scuba Dive in Los Anegados with Vallarta Adventures

We can’t make any promises that you will see those familiar fins, but at Vallarta Adventures, we create the opportunity for you to Scuba Dive in Los Anegados, where you engage in open water shark diving. During this excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to dive at two different locations where you may encounter nurse sharks and – on the odd occasion – whitetips. This particular Vallarta Adventures tour is tailored to more experienced divers, and each person attending is required to have various levels of diving certifications to ensure they will be comfortable with the deep, rapidly moving waters.

Don’t worry, though; whether you are diving, snorkeling, or simply going for a swim on any one of our adventures, your safety is Vallarta Adventures’ number one concern. We will always provide top-notch gear and guides that will keep you afloat – and far from danger – wherever your desire for adventure takes you. 

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