Whale sharks visit the coast of Holbox Island, in Quintana Roo, from May to October every year to feed and mate. This time of year is perfect to rent a boat to take you close to these enormous animals, where you can then swim with them. The whale shark is the biggest fish in the world, measuring up to 60 feet long. They are grey or dark blue in color, featuring circular markings and horizontal or vertical white or yellow lines on their backs and bellies. The sharks normally swim near the surface of the water.
When you get to Holbox you'll find numerous tour providers who organize excursions to go and see the sharks. These trips leave at about seven in the morning to take advantage of the wind that will speed up your journey to where they are. Thanks to the animals' non-threatening nature, you can either admire these incredible specimens on board the boat, or take a dive into the water and swim close to them, with nothing to fear. The whale sharks tend to ignore you and just continue feeding as they carry on their way.
The excursion lasts about five hours in total. Swimming with whale sharks really is an unforgettable experienced not to be missed, and with luck you might even get to see giant manta rays and playful dolphins as well!
Whale Sharks off the Coast of Quintana Roo
- Janine Dávila Madrid