San Diego is a beautiful city in America that is known for its mild climate all year round. It is also well known for being a coastal city of the Pacific Ocean, as well as being right next to the Mexican border.
Due to being a coastal location, and having plenty of marine life in the vicinity, there are tons of opportunities for water-related activities in San Diego, including shark diving.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at a few different organizations that offer the best shark diving experiences in San Diego. Let’s get started.
The San Diego Scuba Guide offers a wide range of snorkeling and guided SCUBA diving tours around the area in San Diego.
The tours are held by NAUI-certified guides and divers, who are easily able to cater to both total beginners and experienced divers.
These guides are also well versed in marine biology and will fully educate visitors about the marine life in San Diego.
As well as horn sharks, leopard sharks, and seven-gill sharks, there are all sorts of other marine life that you might spot, such as lobsters, stingrays, kelp fish, moray eels, bat rays, California Sea Lions, and giant black sea bass.
The team conducts these tours daily, taking guests to the La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve. This ecological reserve is the oldest marine reserve within the State of California, having been protected since 1929.
The tour guides will also fill you in on information about the reserve, too. As well as La Jolla Shores Canyon, there are other areas explored such as HMCS Yukon, Coronado Islands, wreck alley, and various other diving sites in San Diego.
San Diego Scuba Guide offers daily guided SCUBA diving tours to La Jolla- which includes both the sea caverns and the kelp forest- as well as snorkeling tours to the La Jolla caves.
The company also offers the chance to earn a scuba certification via the completion of a comprehensive scuba course, which is a great opportunity for those looking to get more involved in scuba diving in general.
They also offer refresher courses, and you have the option to schedule a private course or join in on a small group class.
They also offer the opportunity to only pay for the rental equipment once if you choose to dive twice within 24 hours.
In order to take part in a guided SCUBA tour, you will need to provide proof of a valid certification card. San Diego Scuba Guide accepts a wide range of certifications, including the following:
This doesn’t mean that you can’t give scuba diving a try if you aren’t certified, as the company also offers a Scuba Adventure that is specifically for non-divers.
- Offers both guided SCUBA diving and snorkeling
- Wide range of sea life in the area
- 24-hour deal on rental equipment
- The chance to obtain a scuba diving certification
- NAUI Certified Divers and Guides
- Certain diving experiences can only be undertaken by certified divers.
La Jolla Dive is a bit different in that it is a full-service scuba diving shop, meaning that not only does the organization act as a store, but they also offer scuba tours and classes alongside gear rentals and air fills.
Located around two blocks away from the La Jolla marine reserve, the La Jolla Dive is a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) facility- with instructors that have had more than three decades of experience- that acts as the closest dive shop to the water.
The guided scuba dive tours take guests deep into the rich kelp forests and rocky reefs of the La Jolla Cove or the drop-offs of La Jolla Canyon.
Sharks are just one of the sea critters that can be found in the La Jolla area, all of which can be encountered during the dive.
The guides are all experts with plenty of experience as well as keen photographers, giving you the option to have photos of your diving adventure should you want them.
There are also opportunities for nighttime dives if you are feeling particularly adventurous! Boat dives also happen around the local Islands of Baja, Mexico, thanks to San Diego’s proximity to the Mexican border.
La Jolla Dive also offers classes and the chance to get certified, should you want to get more involved. The shop offers both small group classes and private classes that teach open water beginners up to dive masters.
The course can be completed within the space of a few days, though times and dates are incredibly flexible. The courses take place on the beautiful beach of the La Jolla protected State Marine Reserve.
- A versatile shop that offers scuba diving, gear rentals, classes, night dives, and air fills
- The possibility of becoming a certified scuba diver
- Boat divers near the Islands of Baja, Mexico
- PADI certified facility
- Very close to the water
- A bit more expensive than some other options
A business that has run locally in San Diego since 1968, Scuba San Diego offers a huge range of diving experiences where you can come face to face with sharks.
The tours that are offered by Scuba San Diego are led by some of the most highly experienced guides from Southern California, whilst the experiences that are involved include the traditional snorkeling and scuba diving as well as night kayaking too.
The company offers a Scuba Adventure, which is perfect for non-divers, as well as an excellent introduction to diving as a whole.
You can opt to sign up for the Scuba Certification Class should you so choose to, which is a comprehensive certification program offered by Scuba San Diego.
Scuba San Diego is one of the most versatile options in San Diego when it comes to diving, snorkeling, and possible shark viewings! The activities that are offered include the following:
- Scuba Adventure
- Scuba Refresher
- Guided Scuba Excursion
- Private Guided Scuba Excursion
- Guided Night Dives
- San Diego Boat Dives
- Private Snorkel Tours
During these excursions, you have the chance to come across Tope sharks all year round or Seven Gill sharks in April.
- Wide range of excursions
- Diving certification possibilities
- Expert divers at hand
- The extra inclusion of night kayaking
- The chances to see sharks become slimmer with less diving experience
If it is sharks that you specifically want to see whilst diving, the Blue Shark Expedition could be the perfect choice for you when it comes to diving in San Diego.
This experience is around beginner to intermediate level, so although no direct scuba diving experience is required, it is advised that guests have a good level of physical fitness and are at least familiar with snorkeling.
This is a cage-less experience that will involve swimming with beautiful blue sharks within their natural environment.
That might sound a little scary, but you can be sure that the encounter is completely safe and undertaken professionally thanks to the shark expert guides that will be accompanying you.
This sustainable shark diving encounter is available all year round, with the boat departing most weekends from Mission Bay in San Diego.
Guests will board the Zodiac 21’ Rob Boat HOA-KAI- a unique, four-passenger vessel- and will be taken out to sea by an experienced boat captain.
The dive is a whole day’s worth of fun, lasting for around 8 hours. There is also the possibility of a public charter or a private one (with up to four guests).
There are a few things to remember if this is an expedition that you are interested in:
- If you suffer from seasickness or motion sickness, bring along some medication for it or take some before you board the boat to ensure that you are comfortable and free from any nausea!
- The day will be spent under the sun, so make sure to bring sunglasses, headgear, and some reef-safe sunscreen.
- Bring a towel and a warm set of clothes to change into as you are going to be pretty wet most of the day, and you might catch a chill when you exit the water otherwise.
- The experience includes some water and light refreshments in the form of meals and healthy snacks. It does not include snorkeling equipment though, such as a wetsuit, a mask, or fins. However, for an additional fee, Netzero will provide the snorkeling equipment for you.
- The ultimate diving experience with sharks in San Diego
- A full day’s worth of diving
- Sustainable and natural shark observation
- All year round experience
- Professional guides
- Not suitable for complete beginners
- Cageless shark diving might be too intimidating for some
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for shark diving in San Diego. If you are feeling brave enough, you are sure to find an experience that will suit your personal preferences.