A summer vacation in the Mexican Caribbean brings the opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience: an encounter with gentle giants, the whale sharks. Thomas More Travel can arrange an eco trip so you can have your own unforgettable whale shark encounter.
Whale sharks gather to feed on plankton and fish roe in the Mexican Caribbean during the summer months in what scientists have discovered is the largest such gathering in the world. They actually feed in two areas, the zona de afuera or zona azul, an area of deeper, clear water to the east of Isla Mujeres and Contoy and the zona verde, which is off the coast of Holbox and Cabo Catoche in an area of upwellings of colder water where plankton flourishes.
Whale sharks are the ocean’s largest fish and to see them peacefully swimming past your boat with their huge jaws open to filter feed on plankton is amazing. It gets even better when your guide tells you to get ready to enter the water. A few seconds later you’ll be swimming alongside creatures that can grow to sizes of up to 40 feet! The largest whale shark registered to date in the world was 62 feet long.
Keeping a distance at all times, you’ll see the unique markings of white spots and stripes on their blue-grey skins, something that has given them the local nickname pez domino or “domino fish.” No one shark is alike and marine biologists throughout the world have uploaded photos to a whale shark data bank to help identify these ocean-going wanderers. They are now tagging sharks to map their movements during the seasons.
Dolphins will often escort your boat on the way out to the whale shark area and you may see turtles surfacing and huge manta rays leaping from the water. These graceful giants also feed on plankton and fish eggs and seem to gather in the same area as the whale sharks.
Book your whale shark encounter with Thomas More Travel