Whale sharks in Mexico: the Caribbean’s gentle giants
Having an honest contact with nature and experiencing a close encounter with a wild animal will always be memorable and rewarding. Off the coasts of the Northern part of the Yucatan peninsula, you will be able to have one of the best adventures of your life by swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, the Caribbean’s gentle giants.
The whale sharks sear for food in the warm Caribbean waters from June through mid-September. They are to be found off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, where certified tour boats leave from the coasts of Cancun, Holbox, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, they can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 5 tons. Even though they have a mouth that can be 1.5 m (4.9 ft) wide and have 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth, all they eat is microscopic plankton and krill and their throat is the size of a US quarter, representing no harm for humans. They are very docile creatures and can live from 70 to 100 years.
While it’s extremely safe to swim with whale sharks, you must obey certain rules in order to conserve the species, the environment and protect all those involved. Here are some important facts to consider:
- You must use biodegradable sunscreen or non at all, if possible.
- Touching a whale shark is prohibited, you should always maintain at least a 6-foot distance from the head and 12 feet from the tail.
- You must not feed the whale sharks.
- Bringing an under water camera is a must.
- Whale sharks aren’t fast swimmers, they reach speeds no higher than 5 kmph (3.1 miles)
- Be prepared for a choppy ride on the boat since you will be navigating in open waters.
Make sure you follow all the instructions provided by your guide, who will tell you all you need to know to enjoy a fun and safe experience. Most tours include beverages and lunch as well as snorkeling gear and professional guides.
Swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, the Caribbean gentle giants, is an experience of a lifetime, while enjoying being close to these amazing animals, you will also be able to see other species such as colorful fish, dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles. Enjoy the adventure!