Whale Shark Tours in Isla Mujeres
The Whale Shark season in Isla Mujeres spans from June to September. During these months, whale sharks migrate in large numbers to feed on the plankton that is plentiful in the warm waters. Isla Mujeres is at the for front of eco-tourism when it comes to Whale Shark Tours. These large fish are protected in the waters off of Isla Mujeres and their presence drives tourists from around around the world to admire these majestic beings.
Eco-tourism is an important part of the Isla Mujeres economy. Although many tourists come every year to snorkel with the Whale Sharks (scuba diving is no longer allowed with the whale sharks) there are regulations involved. Each tour operator must abide by these rules, as they are in place to ensure the protection of the species. Boat tours are limited to how many people can be there, as well there is a limit to how many people can enter the water at each time. It is also strictly forbidden to touch the Whale Sharks during your swim time as this may disrupt the delicate bacterial balance that is present on the whale sharks skin. You are required to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from the Whale Sharks at all times. The normal procedure allows one person at a time to enter the water, along with the guide. There is a set amount of time to swim, and everyone on the boat will be giving opportunities.
During the peak of whale shark season, it is possible to see up to 100 whale sharks. There is no place in the world that provides such a large concentration of these animals in one environment. It is because of this that whale sharks are considered very special to Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres Whale Shark Festival
The island of Isla Mujeres holds an annual whale shark festival, normally coinciding with the peak of the whale shark season at the end of July. The festival is meant to be a showcase of the islands food, art and culture, along with being a chance to promote these gentle giants. The Whale Shark Festival in Isla Mujeres was started in conjunction with the Department of Tourism for Isla Mujeres along with Ceviche Tours (a local eco-tourism company on the island).
As well as being a chance to showcase the best of Isla Mujeres, it is also a chance to make aware of the importance of eco-tourism and how it provides an opportunity to promote the need for creating a sustainable environment for all aquatic life. The Whale Shark festival is a great event for the entire family!
More about Whale Sharks:
Whale Sharks also known as Rhincodon typus are filter feeding fish from the shark family. These large beasts can grow up tp 40ft long and weigh up to 45,000lbs. Although their size is impressive, whale sharks pose no real risk to humans. Whale sharks mainly feed on plankton and small schools of fish. It is for this reason that they come to the Mesoamerican reef every year to feed on the abundant source of food that thrives in the warm waters off of Isla Mujeres. In 2011 there was a record 400 whale sharks spotted off the coast of Isla Mujeres! It is because of the eco-tourism of whale shark tours that tourists can be educated about these wonderful creatures and ensure that they thrive for the next generations.
Whale Shark Season spans from June 1 – September 15
For more information or to book your whale shark excursion: