Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Finally! We are very happy to announce that on June 1st, Whale Shark season is finally opening the doors, in the warm waters of the Mexican Caribbean.

Mexico is considered the best destination worldwide to snorkel with these peaceful giants.

Swimming with Whale Shark is often at the top of every diver`s bucket list and here’s why.
Whale Sharks (Rhincodon Typus) are really amazing creatures. They are the biggest Sharks and the biggest fish in the ocean. The largest Whale shark ever spotted had a length of 12.85 meters and weighted up to 21 t.
They love swimming in the tropical warm waters, that`s why it is easy to spot them in our warm waters. It is very uncommon to find them below  21 °C.
Whale Sharks have very large mouths and are filter feeders, which is a feeding mode that occurs in only other two Sharks, the magamouth Shark and the baskin shark.
They feed almost exclusively on plankton and are really friendly giants.
The species was distinguished in April 1828 after the harpooning of a 4.6 m (15 ft) specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year.
The name "whale shark" refers to the fish's size, being as large as some species of whales, and also to its being a filter feeder like baleen whales.

Whale sharks have a mouth that can be 1.5 m (4.9 ft) wide, containing 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth and 10 filter pads which it uses to filter feed. Unlike many other sharks, whale sharks' mouths are located at the front of the head rather than on the underside of the head. They have five large pairs of gills. The head is wide and flat with two small eyes at the front. Whale sharks are grey with a white belly. Their skin is marked with pale yellow – white spots and stripes which are unique to each individual.
The whale shark is the largest non cetaceans animal in the world.

Regarding their reproduction neither mating nor pupping of whale sharks has been observed.
The capture of a female in July 1996 that was pregnant with 300 pups indicated whale sharks arovoviviparous The eggs remain in the body and the females give birth to live young which are 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 in) long. Evidence indicates the pups are not all born at once, but rather the female retains sperm from one mating and produces a steady stream of pups over a prolonged period. They reach sexual maturity at around 30 years and their lifespan is an estimated 70 to 100 years.

The whale shark inhabits all tropical and warm-temperate seas. The fish is primarily pelagic, living in the open sea but not in the greater depths of the ocean, although it is known to occasionally dive to depths of as much as 1,800 metres (5,900 ft). Seasonal feeding aggregations occur at several coastal sites such as here in Mexico in the waters of Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox in Yucatan.
There is currently no robust estimate of the global whale shark population. The species is considered endangered by the IUCN, the Intenational Union for Conseravtion of Nature
 due to the impacts of fisheries, bycatch losses, and vessel strikes, combined with its long life span and late maturation.

Despite its size, the whale shark does not pose significant danger to humans. Whale sharks are docile fish and sometimes they even allow swimmers to catch a ride. However we do NOT allow to get to touch them as it can disturb the Sharks and their feeding movements.

Don`t miss this unique and amazing opportunity, come and swim with these gentle giants of the sea. Book now for your Whale Shark Encounter  with Phantom Divers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


The Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) and the Mexican Accreditation Entity, A.C. convene the providers of tourism and gastronomic services to participate in a contest to obtain the Tourist Recognition year after year from 2017, which is focused on regulatory compliance, as well as the promotion of quality and professionalization of the provision of services of the industry. Through this call, it seeks to distinguish those who comply with the Official Mexican Standards in tourism, in accordance with the activity they develop while also promoting the quality, development, competitiveness and safety of tourists. Those who comply with the guidelines and promote the quality and professionalization of the services through the applicable methodology and whose actions have a national or international impact will be recognized. The results were announced on March 16, 2018, after the deliberation of a jury made up of specialists in the matter, officials of the Federal Tourism Secretariat, the General Directorate of Standards of the Secretary of Federal Economy, as well as as representatives of the Mexican Accreditation Entity, AC and, where appropriate, by external experts and the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism.

The Tourist Recognition was delivered within the framework of the 43rd Tianguis of Tourism in Mexico on April 16, 2018. This year it was hosted in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and more than 1,500 buyers participated. It had the presence of 935 national and international companies, as well as the presence from 64 countries, including Mexico, which is ranked 6th in the most visited countries worldwide.

And it is a source of pride for us to share that for the second time Phantom Divers has been awarded this Recognition, making us the only Diving Center in the Country, within the list of winners that comply with the Official Rules on Tourism.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Bull Sharks differ from other species of sharks as they produce lots of testosterone, they are faster and more unpredictable than the Caribbean Reef Shark for example. They are smart creatures that can retain information and after the first time of approaching a feeding they remember it so they are able to repeat this action. Juvenile female bull sharks can be distinguished from an adult by their size and behavior. The adult is way bigger and has no fear to get close to our feeders to get a bite, instead the juveniles are more shy and will probably get close only after seeing an adult set the example. When we have many juveniles they most likely won’t get close to the feeders.

Bull sharks can thrive in both salt and fresh water and can travel far up rivers.
According to their mood, these sharks can change their skin tone to be darker than usual. They have special sensing organs, called electroreceptors “the ampullae of Lorenzini”, forming a network of jelly-filled pores, which allow sharks to orient and feel the electromagnetic waves of an injured fish.

Exactly like people, every shark is different and has a unique personality. They react differently according to their mood and they have preferences regarding the feeder. Different sharks interact in different ways towards different feeder.
Every shark has a name, according to their physical characteristics.
Sharks that visit us are 50% new sharks and the other 50% comes regularly every year. We can recognize sharks because we marked them, with the help of the association Saving Our Sharks.

During this season our feeder Ramon Magaña had much interaction with a shark named Ana, a big female. She has been coming for three season already. Her name comes from a transversal cut on  her anal fin.
She likes a lot interacting with Ramon and she is very playful with him. Instead, with David, she becomes more nervous and doesn’t like to interact.
The Shark´s behavior  can change according to these factors: their mood, the stress of the feeder, if there current or not, how many people are in the area..

Last season we met a very big female, probably 3 mt with a black spot  on the right side, underneath the dorsal fin and we called her Marilyn.

A shark that visits us every year is ROOSTER. She has a malformation from birth in the tip of the fin, that makes her look like a rooster.

This shark most likely was injured from a propeller and has many cuts on a pectoral fin. It looks like she has three finger, that’s why we called her DEDOS, in Spanish fingers. In one occasion this shark came before the season, she stayed during the season, and after the season, till August.

This female adult comes every season and has a specific mark on her right side gills. She has a malformation from birth as the gills are joined together.

To learn more about these amazing creatures you can also take the PADI Shark Observer Certification. So next season, be on the lookout for these girls and try to identify them.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Dear fellow divers, 

As you may already know, many people are still very scared of Sharks, thanks to some famous movies that contributed to their bad reputation. The truth is that they should be more scared of humans, than humans of them. Each year more than 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, and in many countries shark finning is still very common. Shark finning refers to the terrible practice of removing a shark´s fin while the shark is still alive, then the shark is discarded in the ocean again. Unable to swim they are condemned to die slowly of suffocation or eaten by other predators.
For these reasons, nowadays it´s becoming more and more difficult to see a shark while diving.

This is a cruel and wasteful practice that happens daily around the world being a terrible threat to the health of the ocean and the entire marine ecosystem, which is made up of very intricate food webs. Sharks are at the top of these webs; as apex predator they help by removing weak and sick fish as well as keeping the balance with competitors, helping to ensure species diversity.
They are considered to be the “keystone” species, which means that removing them will cause the entire structure´s downfall.

In Playa del Carmen, Phantom Divers collaborates with the association Saving our Sharks (SOS), with the main goal to know and protect our sharks, in order to keep our ocean as healthy as possible and raise awareness for these extremely important creatures. 

The main focus are the lords of the ocean that visit our waters every year and keep attracting tourists and divers from all over the world to the Mayan Riviera: the legendary Bull Sharks. For every dive you book with these magnificent creatures, you are given an orange bracelet representing your support and donation to SOS. So we would like to thank all the people that joined us this awesome season and see you back in November. 

Dive Fun - Dive Safe - Dive Phantom