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Every April, whale sharks return to the warm Caribbean waters off the Belize coast. Whale sharks reach up to 60 feet in length and can weigh up to 20 tons.

When can you see whale sharks in Belize? They are most easily seen from April through June, although there are sightings throughout the summer.

During the full moon, whale sharks congregate in the southern Belize reef system, near Gladden Spit, to feed on the spawn (eggs) of red snapper and other fish species.

These giant members of the shark family are docile and harmless, despite their formidable size. Because whale sharks often swim less than 20 feet from the surface, divers and snorkelers can easily see them.

Belize observes responsible wildlife-watching ethics and limits the number of people viewing the sharks at one time. The best way to view whale sharks is on packages and excursions offered by hotels and local tour operators.

The Manta Resort, a UN World Heritage Site and Belizean National Park on Glover's Atoll, offers whale shark tours and easy access to whale shark feeding grounds.

On Placencia Peninsula, Calico Jacks Village offers five- to ten-day whale shark packages. The Inn at Robert's Grove, on the southern coastal area of Placencia, has an eight-day dive package.