Island Holbox Whale Shark Adventure

Every summer the waters around Holbox Island Mexico are teaming with giant hungry feeding sharks. So why are so many people getting into the water with these ravenous beasts? No special cages or protection are used yet thousands of people flock from around the world to take their chances swimming with sharks! While many people may think the idea is crazy, swimming with Whale Sharks is actually very safe and a once in a lifetime experience.

Whale Shark season is from mid May to mid September off the Coast of Holbox Island near Cancun Mexico. The largest fish in the world reaches lengths of over 40 feet (13 meters) with a weight in excess of 21 tons. Whale Sharks return to the waters around Holbox year after year due to the unique environment and timing of available food which occurs each spring and continues through most of the summer.

The Whale Shark is a filter feeding fish with a primary diet of plankton and other microscopic plants and animals and has been observed on occasion feeding on very small schooling fish. The conditions around Isla Holbox are ideal during the summer months as it is uniquely situated near the merger points of the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. This joining of three oceans creates a rich seasonal explosion of life.

The Whale Shark poses no threat to humans on a snorkel or diving expedition; in reality it is a wonderful opportunity to change the false perception that sharks are man eaters. The Whale Sharks around the Island of Holbox actually seem to enjoy and welcome the human interaction and are quite gentle and slow moving. The experience of swimming with these magnificent fish is awe inspiring.

Isla Holbox provides the ideal and closest land location in the world to experience an encounter with these very large majestic and peaceful creatures with access only 20-60 minutes from the island by boat. Tours and expeditions from this Mexican island location have been featured by National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, Shark Diver Magazine and many others.

The typical Whale Shark swimming experience requires only a snorkel, fins and mask though most tour operators also require and provide a life vest. After a briefing on guidelines and safety you’ll take an early morning boat ride from Holbox Island to the feeding areas of the Whale Sharks where they lazily graze on plankton near the surface. You are then escorted in small groups or pairs with your biologist guide into the water where you swim along side one of natures oldest and largest creatures, it truly is a Jurassic experience!

The calm and slow swimming pace of the Whale Shark makes access to these great fish easy for most people, kids as young as 5 years of age and as old as 90 have swam with the Whale Sharks. The direct interaction with these incredible animals is a once in a lifetime experience. Getting to the sharks is an adventure in itself with schools of dolphin common and a variety of tropical birds including; Flamingos, Pelicans, Cranes and a wealth of others indigenous to the area.

If you are interested in this amazing experience there are a number of wonderful hotels on the island, from luxury boutique hotels to cabanas on the beach, a night or two at least on Holbox is worth the trip. Isla Holbox is a friendly fishing village hosting a population of around 1500 permanent residents, mostly fishermen, hoteliers and tour operators. Golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation on this sleepy Tropical Island and natural playground.