Get ready to check swimming with sharks off your bucket list! When it comes to unique experiences, swimming with leopard sharks in La Jolla ranks high on the list. If you’re seeking an unforgettable experience that combines thrill and natural beauty, then grab your snorkeling gear and prepare for an extraordinary journey.
Each year, thousands of leopard sharks migrate to the shores off the coast of La Jolla Shores, seeking warmer waters to mate and hatch their young. This process creates a perfect opportunity for swimmers and snorkelers to observe these magnificent creatures up close. From early June through the end of September or October, you’ll have the chance to witness the largest numbers of leopard sharks in their natural habitat.
Leopard sharks are easily recognizable with their dark brown saddle-shaped spots on a silvery-gray body, resembling the pattern of a leopard’s spots. While they may initially be wary of human presence, they are generally docile and prefer to keep to themselves. This makes swimming and snorkeling with these gentle creatures a safe experience for adventurous souls.
During peak season, simply head to La Jolla Shores, a 10 mile drive from Villa L’Auberge, and venture into the water to catch a glimpse of the leopard sharks. They often come close to the shore, making it easy to encounter them. For a more immersive experience, consider renting snorkel gear or booking a guided tour that provides insights into the leopard sharks and ensures your safety during the adventure.
Leopard shark quick facts
- Leopard sharks live around 30 years.
- They can be found as far north as Oregon and as far south as Mexico.
- Adult leopard sharks reach lengths of over 6 feet; though they average less than 5 feet in length.
- There are only a handful of reported “attacks” by leopard sharks at all. These attacks could be in the form of the shark just bumping into a human.
- They are some of the most common sharks found along the coast of California.
After an exhilarating day swimming with leopard sharks, unwind at Villa L’Auberge where you can relax amongst the bluffs of Del Mar and catch the sun kissing the horizon as it sets.