Guadalupe Island – Mexico
Operator: Horizon Charters
Sharks: Great White Sharks
One of the four places in the world to dive with great white sharks, Isla Guadalupe was made famous by the MV Horizon back in 2000 and highly recommended by every shark expert on the planet. You can dive with these huge sharks using open-top cages for viewing up close. The remote island with crystal clear water is located 210 miles off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California, and is only accessible by liveaboard due to its location. It has an enormous concentration of Great White Sharks, and Scuba certification is not required for this experience.
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos says, “At Guadalupe Island, the study of the effects of ecotourism is a priority for the local authorities in supporting the conservation of this species.”
Sharks: Hammerhead, White Tip Reef Sharks, Tiger Sharks
One of the most challenging and hard to access dives, this location has one of the highest collections of marine species in Hawaii. This is truly a destination for experienced divers only and is primarily a drift dive with strong currents through the Pailolo Channel. Located on the far eastern side of Molokai near Mokuhooniki Rock the 110 deep spot feet actually feels like its raining fish as you descend along the lava pinnacle.
Other locations in Hawaii also offer accessible entry-level shark tours for non-divers (in a cage), or you can swim with the sharks with snorkels as I did on the North Shore of Oahu.
Tiger Beach – Bahamas
Operator: Neal Watsons Bimini Scuba Center
Sharks: Tiger and Hammerhead
Only two destinations offer dedicated tiger-shark dives, South Africa and the Bahamas. Bimini at Tiger Beach, off West End, Grand Bahama, is the perfect destination for the Great Hammerhead Safari.
As a cage-free adventure, you’ll wait in groups on the sandy bottom as the sharks’ circle for several minutes in crystal clear and warm water. Diving at Tiger beach requires scuba certification, but there is also a Bullrun Shark Cage option for other visitors.
Neal Watson, who runs Bimini Scuba Center, and is the most preferred outfitter among experts, says, “There’s a lot we can do to save the sharks. Finding out where your seafood comes from, avoiding longline fisheries, and using your tourism dollars to visit locations and operations that help protect sharks.”