<p>Don’t spend this year’s Shark Week on your couch, here's how (and where) you can get up close and personal with the real thing<br></p>
Swimming with Sharks: Palau’s Blue Corner
One of the world’s best shark diving spots is Palau, a tiny chain of islands more than 500 miles east of the Philippines. The country’s cobalt waters teem with life, especially the spectacular reefs of Blue Corner, where the steep coral shelf provides strong, unpredictable currents that overpower smaller fish, creating a veritable buffet for sharks. Dive down to the ideal depth of around 40 feet, hook a secure line to the reef and wait. Soon whitetip and grey reef sharks will approach to feast on the bounty of fish surrounding you. Palau Now! is one of several resources for finding the right shark adventure for you.
Shark Fishing: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws made us question our position atop the food chain. It turns out we overreacted a little. The movie fomented anti–great white shark hysteria and a subsequent slaughter that left the sea beasts nearly nonexistent in Cape Cod. But almost 40 years later, the sharks are back. While it’s illegal to catch great whites, they’ve been known to make an appearance during fishing expeditions for mako, thresher and blue sharks.You don’t have to be a master angler to get in on this action; MBG Ultimate Fishing Adventures can customize a trip for even the greenest amateur. Its “Deep Sea Week End Combo” gets you a six-person trip including bait and tackle, nine hours of fishing and a catch guarantee, meaning that if you strike out and catch nothing, you get another full-day trip for half the price. But with a 95 percent success rate, it’s unlikely you’ll walk away empty-handed.
Shark Watching: Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
Who said there’s no reason to go to the Golden Nugget hotel and casino? Its 200,000-gallon aquarium features a 30-foot transparent tube waterslide that zips you directly through a tank filled with five different shark species: sand, tiger, nurse, blacktip reef and zebra. Want to learn more about the sharks? The casino’s staff marine biologists will give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the tank for $30.
Shark Cage Diving: Cape Town, South Africa
Here’s where you go to come nose-to-snout with a great white. Several charter tours in South Africa offer the opportunity to be tossed in a steel cage and submerged in chum-filled, shark-infested waters. Starting at around $150, the company Shark Cage Diving begins your day with a continental breakfast and information session before boarding the boat. The package includes diving gear and a money-back guarantee if you don’t see any sharks. At 10 a.m. you’ll head five miles off the coast, drop anchor, then fill the water with bloody bait to attract as many giant man-eaters as possible. Once the sharks arrive for their feeding frenzy, you drop into the water for 20 minutes for the ultimate experience of cheating a bloody end with only a lattice of steel protecting you from their fury.