The gentle giants are here and if you are in Cancun this month or in early September there’s still time for you to have your own unforgettable face-to-face encounter with the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish.
Whale sharks gather to feed on plankton and fish roe in the Mexican Caribbean during the summer months and scientists have discovered that it 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.
To see whale sharks skimming the surface of the water with their huge jaws open to filter feed on plankton is an amazing experience and it gets even better as you enter the water with a guide to swim with them. You’ll see their distinctive domino markings of spots and stripes – no one shark is alike – and the remora fish that cling to them. 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.
Whale shark rules
Sun products are not permitted in the whale shark feeding areas so wear a t-shirt when in the water. Follow the orders of your eco guide at all times. Only two people per boat plus a guide are allowed in the water at one time. No flash photography. Swim alongside the whale sharks at a distance of five meters and do not touch them.
Book your whale shark eco trip
Whale shark trips are available until mid-September and are a must if you are a nature lover. Book your trip with Thomas More Travel.
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