Swimming with Whale Sharks: Nature’s Gentle Giant

Did you know that the waters off the coast of Cancun have the largest concentration of whale sharks, – the largest fish in the world? Imagine being in the water with a shark that is up to 50 feet long, weighs about 20 tons, and has 300 rows of teeth in its five-feet-wide mouth. Sound terrifying? Before hightailing it back to dry land you should know we’re talking about the whale shark, the largest fish in the sea that is definitely not interested in eating you.

In fact, these gentle giants dine on small fish and plankton, the smallest organism in the ocean. They’re slow, and harmless to humans, which is why they’ve become quite popular swimming partners for tourists around the world. However, unlike dolphins it’s rare to see whale sharks congregate in large groups except in the summer near Cancun, where you may find hundreds swimming together.

There’s no shortage of companies offering whale shark tours. These tours typically cost $125, which may include snorkel gear, life jackets, lunch, snacks, and refreshments. Most tours depart from the ferry dock near downtown Isla Mujeres around 8 a.m., and you’ll need to make reservations in advance since space is usually limited.

Whale Shark Tour Companies:

Searious Diving

Keen M International

Ceviche Tours

Aqua Adventures Eco Divers

Isla Mujeres Trips

Where to Stay:

Club Regina Cancun: a beach resort located in Mexico’s premier vacation destination, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupte Lagoon. The location brings ancient and contemporary Cancun to your vacation experience. This destination offers seaside views of naturally turquoise waters; perfect for water skiing, diving and snorkeling.

More about Whale Shark conservation:

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