December 20, 2023

Whale Sharks in Holbox: A Life-Changing Experience

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Swimming with whale sharks is a breath-taking experience and a must-see for every nature lover and adventurer. These gentle giants migrate to Holbox every year seeking warm waters to feed on plankton and small fish.

Continue reading if you want to learn more about whale shark in Holbox and how to swim with them on this wonderful island.

Why You Should Swim with Whale Shark in Holbox Island

Holbox is a small island located off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and you can reach it from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. It is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life. It’s one of the most beautiful islands in the Mexican Caribbean. Holbox is a must-see spot if you are going to visit the Riviera Maya.

Holbox Island is one of the prime destinations in the Gulf of Mexico to swim with whale sharks. Even though you can see whale sharks in other parts of Mexico, Holbox Island also has a wide array of wildlife, such as flamingos, pelicans, sea turtles, manta rays, stingrays and a variety of colorful fish, that you can spot during your visit. 

The whale shark migration to Holbox is considered one of the largest in the world, with hundreds of whale sharks gathering in the area to feed on plankton and small fish, which makes whale shark sightings more likely in the waters surrounding Holbox than anywhere in the world.

Depending on the Holbox whale shark tour you choose to go on, you could even end up snorkeling in the coral reef of Cabo Catoche, or go kayaking in the mangroves of Holbox Island the same day you swim with whale sharks.

What are the best months to swim with whale sharks in Holbox?

The best time of the year to embark on a boat ride to swim with whale sharks in Holbox is from mid-May to mid-September, since that’s the peak of the whale shark migration season.

If you wish to experience this adventure and many others that this beautiful island has to offer, you can get the Wildlife package at Ser Casasandra Hotel. We have skilled tour guides that will enrich your experience and make sure you are safe at all times.

This package not only includes a whale shark boat tour and snorkeling in Cabo Catoche, it also comprises accommodations for three nights, a bioluminescence tour, tequila tasting, yoga classes in the morning and much more!

Prices for these tours may vary, since you can choose between a shared tour with a group of guests or a private tour just for you and your partner. If you want to know how much they would cost, contact us to get a rate either in Mexican pesos (MXN) or US dollars (USD).

Whale Shark Tours in Holbox - Prices

To swim with the whale shark in Holbox, it is best to hire a private tour with a certified and local guide to access the sighting areas easily and safely. The price of the whale shark tour is around 4,200 Mexican pesos (information updated in 2023), this varies depending on the services you want to include.

At the Ser Casasandra hotel you can hire the swimming tour and whale shark watching tour. We take care of preparing an adventure package and scheduling exclusive experiences so that you can better enjoy nature during your stay in Holbox.

In addition, on these excursions you can enjoy other stops such as the Los Cuevones reef, in front of Cabo Catoche, an ideal place to snorkel, observe sea turtles and manta rays. There is also Punta Mosquitos, where kitesurfing is done and flamingos and other birds are observed. Another option is to visit the mangroves of Santa Paula to swim and taste a delicious fish ceviche.

How To Make The Most Out of your Experience with Whale Shark in Holbox

Here are some tips you should follow to make the most out of this once- in- a- lifetime experience:

  • Choose a renowned tour: When it comes to whale shark tours, it’s important to find one that follows responsible and sustainable practices when it comes to swimming with whale sharks. You’d want to find a tour operator that prioritizes your safety and the well-being of the wildlife.
  • Follow safety instructions: There are several rules set to avoid accidents during these boat tours in order to have the best possible experience. Swimmers should keep a distance of, at least, 10 feet from whale sharks to not disturb them. It’s also recommended to get slowly into the water to not scare them off. Last but not least, always wear your life jacket and snorkeling equipment properly. 
  • Be prepared: Swimming with whale sharks is a physically demanding activity, since you’ll be spending some time under the sun before you get to swim with these majestic creatures. You should bring biodegradable sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a water bottle. You should also take some biodegradable repellent with you to prevent mosquito bites. 
  • Be mindful when taking photos: It’s natural to want to take photos of this wonderful experience, and there’s no issue with that as long as you do it responsibly. Avoid using flash photography, since it can startle the whale sharks and harm their eyes.
  • Enjoy the island: Holbox is a wonderful destination that should be on everyone's bucket list. There’s plenty to do in this island, from enjoying its iconic beaches, Punta Mosquito and Punta Cocos, to enjoying the local cuisine, which includes fresh ceviche and traditional Mexican dishes.

Whale Shark, The World’s Largest Fish

The whale shark is an endangered species that is considered the world’s largest fish because they can grow to over 40 feet long and weigh up to 11 tons. They are true gentle giants of the ocean, their preferred food is plankton and they are completely harmless to humans. Whale sharks can be found in tropical oceans around the world and they are easily recognizable by snorkelers due to the white spots on their skin. 

Whale sharks aren’t just the biggest fish in the world, but their distribution in the oceans is a great indicator of the presence of plankton and how healthy the ecosystem in those waters is.

Less than 10% of whale sharks survive to adulthood, but they have the capacity to live up to 150 years. They tend to migrate thousands of miles at different times of the year to find different feeding grounds, but at a slow swimming speed of 3 miles per hour.

Want to live the full Holbox experience? Book a stay at Ser Casasandra and make your dreams come true!

👋 ¡Hola! Es Orlando, el autor del artículo.
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