Last updated: 01:45 PM ET, Thu June 30 2016

6 Places Where You Can Swim With Sharks

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | June 30, 2016

6 Places Where You Can Swim With Sharks

Photo courtesy Thinkstock 

It’s ‘Shark Week’ on the Discovery Channel, so many people have these majestic sea creatures on the brain. Have you ever wanted to see one up close? Seeing a shark in real life is a thrill – especially in the wild – but diving with one isn’t for everyone. However, if you are feeling particularly brave, here are some destinations where you can get up close and personal with one of man’s archenemies.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica
This national park in Costa Rica is about 342 miles off the shore of Costa Rica. It’s hard to reach and very remote — no one lives there — and also home to populations of hammerhead sharks, rays and dolphins that occupy the deep waters off of the island’s coast. What was once a place only accessible by experienced divers has now been opened up by the addition of submersible technology.

READ MORE: Celebrate Shark Week Up Close at These Hotels 

Tiger Beach, Bahamas
You don’t have to dive deep to see sharks here. Surrounded by lemon, hammerhead reef tip and tiger sharks, divers are just 20 feet deep on a sandy bottom. It is one of the most popular places to photograph sharks, likely because of its accessibility, and many of the sharks are recognizable from photographs and have been given names over time. 

Guadalupe, Mexico
More like a full-on great white shark expedition, the five- or six-day live-aboard experiences offered by Great White Adventures are not for the faint of heart. Isle Guadalupe has one of the largest populations of great whites in the world and Great White Adventures offers a fleet of vessels and experiences from which to choose, from full dives to surface dives. 

Beqa Lagoon, Fiji
Beqa Lagoon is famous for its soft coral and for its abundance of sharks. There are eight different species in the lagoon: tawny nurses, sicklefin lemons, grey reefs, blacktip reefs, whitetip reefs, silvertips, bull sharks – and occasionally, a tiger shark. It has been called one of the best places to dive with sharks in the world, but that’s not all you will see. There are also giant grouper, maori wrasse, rainbow runners, giant trevally, eagle rays and more. 


PHOTO: Underwater in Beqa Lagoon, Fiji. (Photo via Flickr,click for video)

Gansbaai, South Africa
This is where shark cage diving all began and is one of the wildest oceans in the world. Shark activity is huge here because of the abundance of prey such as fur seals that can support the population. You can watch them swim by from the safety of a boat or get right into the water with them – and afterward, head into the bush to take in the Big Five to really round out your wildlife experience.

READ MORE: Check Out Southwest's New Shark Week Plane

Fish Rock Cave, Australia
If swimming next to the grey nurse shark is something that you are looking to experience, there’s probably no better place to get close to one than Fish Rock Cave. They are found in the area in large numbers for most of the year and as a bonus, you can also find schools of fish, Queensland grouper, sea turtles, rare black coral gardens and more. 


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