Without any doubt, one of the great attractions of visiting the Mexican Caribbean, is to be able to swim in its calm and transparent waters with this magnificent and spectacular animal, the largest fish in the world: the whale shark.

Swimming with the whale shark is something that without a doubt you will always remember the lovers of nature, a unique, exciting and overwhelming experience that you have to live it, without more. I present to you this magnificent animal in a brief infographic.

Swim with the whale shark in the Mexican Caribbean 1

Where is the whale shark activity from?

In the coastal strip of the Mexican Caribbean There are three portsthe main ones from where you leave to do this activity:

In Holbox and Isla Mujeres you find agencies and hotels where they sell the excursion and in Cancun, the same. Riviera Maya, you find agencies that offer the excursion, being the port of departure Puerto Juarez (Cancun). If you want to make the trip from one of the islands, you should go there.

Mexican Caribbean.

What port to choose to see the whale shark?

From Cancún e Isla Mujeres, being very close ports, the excursion is practically the same in travel and time, stopping both to the return of the activity in North beach to take a bath and eat a delicious fish ceviche prepared in the boat.

Whale shark season: mid May to mid September

From Holbox The excursion is somewhat different: the marine route offers us animals such as the manta ray, dolphins, turtles ... and after this spectacular route, it is time to swim with the whale shark, an incredible natural spectacle enjoyment. On the way back, a ceviche is also usually made by entering one of the Holbox lagoons.

What is swimming with the whale shark?

El whale shark it rises to the surface to feed on the large amounts of plankton in the area. Once spotted, the boats approach that point, and following a series of rules to respect the animal as much as possible, you jump into the water in groups of two with a guide who accompanies you, especially at the beginning to give you confidence, since the animal it is harmless but the first sensation throws you off a bit.


But you'll see how easy it is to get close to his body, if you can close to the gills better, and his own movement makes you travel by inertia like a hindrance, something truly overwhelming. You will see that on the different occasions that allow you to jump in and swim with the bug, you gain confidence and the enjoyment is different.

Swimming with the whale shark in Mexico.
Swimming with the whale shark in the Caribbean of Mexico.

Useful things to know for the whale shark:

If you have a wetsuit, take it; Some agencies are reluctant to use it, but try. Swim with a suit or with the vest that they offer you, one of the two is obligatory, it changes a lot to move with more or less freedom in the water, so if you are a good swimmer, remember your wetsuit.

With this company if you wear your wetsuit you can use it, but they rent out suits so you can swim more at ease. The vest does enter the price of the excursion. You can book the tour through the blog safely. They come to look for you at your hotel, comfortable and easy.

Anything else to know about swimming with the whale shark?

For my part, I have not done this tourist activity for years. My whys why I do not swim with the whale shark. At the same time it is difficult for me not to recommend this activity.

Another obvious thing is that all activity in nature depends on many factors that we can not control, so there are days that these animals are barely seen, or we can not bathe as much as we would have liked. But the truth is that in this Caribbean they are usually seen in all exits.

Swimming with the whale shark in Mexico.
Swim with shark.

So you know traveler, do not miss out if you wish, give you this unique adventure in the  Mexican Caribbean. Being able to enjoy this solemn animal in the middle of nature is a luxury of experience, you will surely treasure it among the most memorable memories of your trips.
Happy swim,

Swim with the whale shark in the Mexican Caribbean 2

Swim with whale shark, nature

 WHEN IS THE ACTIVITY REALIZED? The whale shark season is from mid-May to mid-September, 4 months that fluctuate each year.
WHERE DO EXCURSIONS EXIT? The ports from which the excursions depart are in the area of ​​Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox. It is an excursion that is done through an agency.
ACTIVITY PRICE: the price of the excursion is about 150 USD. After swimming, they offer a ceviche lunch on the boat in Isla Mujeres and some in Isla Contoy. You can pay for the excursion as a companion and not swim with the whale shark.
WHERE DO I BUY THE EXCURSION? In most Riviera Maya agencies offer the tour.
Tricks and tips: from Cancun another possibility is to go directly to the Gran Puerto terminal in Puerto Juarez and deal directly with the boatmen price, without intermediaries is cheaper. Collective transport or taxi arrives here.
WHAT TO BRING? Remember to take your aquatic camera, protective cream and clothes for a day of sea and sun. Do not use them before swimming, cover well with the sun.

Good way.

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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