Swimming alongside the largest fish in the sea is one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences. Lucky, then, that there are a handful of destinations around the world where in-season sightings of whale sharks are almost guaranteed and one of them is down by Cancun!
A 25-minute boat ride from the mainland, Quintana Roo’s sleepy northernmost island is the complete opposite of wild and crazy Cancun, just 150kms to the south. The little island of Isla Holbox is home to one of the largest collections of whale sharks in the world.
The whale sharks arrive to feed and mate from June to September with July and August being peak season. Some tour companies will offer speedboat pick-up from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but relaxed Holbox is a great alternative to the main tourist centres (and closer to the sharks).
Lodging ranges from cheap hostels like the Tribu Hostel to mid-range guesthouses like the Holbox Apartments and Suites. Understand these properties are 2 star at best and do not compare with the all-inclusive resort options we offer in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.
Otherwise stay in Cancun or one of the properties in the Mayan Riviera and one day take a trip to Isla Holbox to snorkel (yes you can snorkel and experience these gentle giants) with the whale sharks. Government restrictions prevent anyone from diving with the Whale Sharks, only snorkeling is allowed.
There are many tour companies in both Cancun and the Mayan Riviera who offer Whale Shark tours and will pick you up and return you to your hotel.
Once you find the Whale Sharks, then two by two with your guide you will be allowed to enter the water and observe and snorkel with these massive fish. Holbox whale shark trips depart early in the morning generally between 7:30 and 8 am, and last between 4 to 6 hours depending on the location of the great fish.
Space is limited. Reservations are a must. Max on the boat is typically 10 to 12 clients plus captain and guide. For the tour we recommend bringing binoculars if you have them to observe the bird life. If you prefer, feel free to bring your own snorkel, mask and fins for your comfort.
Remember to keep a respectful distance from the gentle giants, resisting the urge to touch them or to use flash photography.
This is an all-day tour but well worth the time and money for an experience you will never forget!
For resort options InterlineTravel.com offers you a wide selection of all-inclusive resorts in both Cancun and the Mayan Rivera. From large properties for the whole family to intimate adults only properties and all price ranges. Check our online resort booking engine for rates and availability or call our office to book – 800 766-2911. Either way there are NO BOOKING FEES!