Looking for Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico


Utter disappointment. That was how I felt when I found out that I wouldn’t be able to go to Djibouti to swim with whale sharks.

An item on my bucket list for a long time was to go diving with sharks. But since I can’t swim (really) and I’m terrified of sharks (not to mention of the ocean in general), I thought snorkeling with whale sharks (which don’t really count as one of the scary sharks since whale sharks eat planktons) is the next best thing.

by Jayegirl99

“You can always go to Mexico if you want to swim with whale sharks”, a friend said when I told her about Djibouti.

No way! Really?

The Yucatan Peninsula where we’re heading offers so much more than the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. There’s the food, the beach, the arts, and apparently there are a bunch of famous Mayan ruins there as well. The more I read about the Yucatan peninsula the more I realise that it sounds like a really cool place to visit.

But can I be really, really honest with you guys? If we come back from our Mexico trip having done nothing but snorkeling with the biggest fish in the world – I’d be completely, utterly, happy.

I want it to happen to bad I’m afraid if I think too much about it, I’ll end up jinxing it altogether. Maybe I should be talking in whispers (or whatever the writing equivalent of a whisper)

“We’re going to Mexico to snorkel with whale sharks”.

So tomorrow, we’ll be on a plane heading to Yucatan, Mexico. Do you think we’ll get to see some big fish?
Eeeek! Let’s hope so.

If not, I guess I’ll just have console myself by Plan B that consists of me stuffing my face silly with Mexican food, and go snorkeling in the world’s second largest barrier reef system. Or maybe I’ll go down to Oaxaca to swim with some glow-in-the-dark planktons.

You have to agree, I want Plan A to happen, but Plan B doesn’t sound so bad after all.

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15 Replies to “Looking for Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico”

  1. Nice blog, I live in Cancun and believe me guys swimming next to a whale shark is just breathtaking, is one of the most incredible experiences I ever lived. Visit Isla Mujeres Bay or Holbox if you want to swim with whale sharks. Cheers

  2. Wow that looks awesome! I feel the same way about sharks and the ocean as well but I'd deff swim with the whale sharks. We will be moving to Mexico soon and blogging about our experiences/adventures, and this will have to be one! Best of luck with the rest of your trip!!

  3. I live in Cancun (which does NOT suck by the way!) and have done the whale shark encounter the last three years. Spectacular experience! Generally there are more sharks in July, but I know that there is a small pod here now, pretty much guaranteed sighting. I 100% recommend taking seasickness precautions, I've been on the boats with very experienced divers/boaters and they still get sick. Take a Dramamine the night before and one in the morning, drink ginger tea and eat a banana before you go. You are on open sea for a long time with no horizon in sight in a small boat, I have yet to do this trip without seeing someone hanging over the edge of the boat.

    Visit Isla Contoy, the ruins at Uxmal, Coba or Ek Balam (though if you haven't seen Chichen Itza, it's kind of a must for its importance). See some cenotes (I like Cristalino) and snorkel in Akumal (ALWAYS sea turtles off the main beach and the nearby Yal Ku lagoon is gorgeous).

    Have a great trip!

  4. I know people see whale sharks off Little Corn Island (aka my fav island on the planet thus far) and off Koh Tao which is another favorite. I like the realness of your plan B because at the end of the day, you're still in paradise eating authentic Mexican.

    Heard good things about that part of Mexico, have yet to even visit the country.

  5. I'm in Mexico right now in Baja California Sur which also has whale sharks although this is not the time of year on the West Coast – I heard you need to go to Merida for the whale sharks in the Yucatan.

    And I completely agree with the Valladolid suggestion. Cancun sucks but it's so close to Valladolid which is amazing.

  6. The idea of swimming with whale sharks absolutely terrifies me – one, can't swim..two, they're just too big.

    BUT if you have the chance to visit Valladolid – between Cancun and Chichen Itza – you must! It's the sweetest little colonial town that everyone falls in love with. We spent three days there and I still want to go back.

  7. Fingers crossed that it works out. I've dived with whale sharks a few times and its one of the highlights of my life – it's incredible!

  8. I believe Whale Shark sightings are nearly guaranteed around Isla Holbox & Isla Mujeres in June & July. I fact we'll be on Isla Mujeres for a few days in July just for the Whale Sharks!

  9. I think it's always good to have a back-up plan, especially when you can have one where Plan B sounds just as good as Plan A! I had no idea that whale sharks were vegetarians; thought they were called that because of their size, not their diet! I really hope it all works out for you because I am sure that would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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