Swim with whale sharks on Isla Mujeres
The official season to swim with whale sharks begins June 1 and ends September 15.
If you are lucky enough to be on Isla Mujeres during whale shark season, I highly recommend doing a tour to swim with the whale sharks, it is probably one of my most magical experiences on Isla Mujeres. The best time to see the most whale sharks is July & August. Nothing is guaranteed, these are fish in the wild, sometimes the boat ride to where they are could be a ways out, other times not, just depends on where the are feeding. Most tour operators guarantee seeing whale sharks and will give you a refund if you don’t, but it is about 99% chance you will see them! The average cost to swim with the whale sharks is $125.00us per person.
The whale shark festival on Isla Mujeres is in July every year.
This year’s event will be July 20-22 2018
The whale shark is the largest fish in the sea, the world’s largest whale shark reaching over 40 feet long!
Don’t worry, even though swimming towards you with their giant mouth open and you feel like Pinocchio about to be swallowed; the whale shark will slowly and gracefully pass you, they do not want to eat you!
The whale shark is a filter feeding shark, they eat plankton, krill and some small fish.
Swimming with whale shark rules:
- Always go with a licensed operator and guide.
- You can snorkel with whale sharks, no diving.
- You must wear a life vest.
- Do not touch the whale sharks!
- Only 2 snorkelers are allowed to enter the water at a time.
- Enter the water slowly.
- Make sure to stay away from the whale shark’s tail.
- Use coral safe sunscreen or sun protective shirt.
- Not a rule, but a suggestion, if are prone to seasickness, you will want something for this; much of your time will be waiting your turn on the boat as it sits rocking in the water.
- Be sure to ask about cancellation policies n case of bad weather or rough waters.
Be sure to go with reputable company and guide. The guide should brief you on all of the rules before going into the water, rules are in place to protect the whale sharks and to keep you safe, so please follow all the rules!
Some of our recommended whale shark tour operators: