It is the summer season again when the whale sharks come to the Cancun area. Twenty First Century humans have few opportunities to get really close to nature. So snorkeling with whale sharks in the open waters of the Caribbean is a rare opportunity. You do need to plan ahead, because the Riviera Maya Grand Luxxe and Grand Mayan fill up quickly these days, even in the summer. You can see our Ready to Book weeks at rm.mayanrental.com We have only a few left by the time summer starts.
The word “shark” tends to trigger an overwhelming, yet completely unfounded, fear. These gentle giants are plankton feeders and every year, they glide into the sea near Cancun and Holbox to feed, coming by the droves. The best time to see them is during July and August, when there are special tours you can do. Boats can take you out to their feeding grounds and drop you off in the midst of massive majesty, as you snorkel with these incredible creatures. Their massive size is intimidating as they slowly whip past you with a deceivingly quick flick of their tails. In the water, their size is even more staggering as you realize that no matter how big, strong or quick you are on land, these animals can cruise past you quite easily.
There are several things you should take into consideration before going swimming with whale sharks. If you decide to put on sunscreen or sun block, make sure it is biodegradable. There have been studies that state that the chemicals in these products may be destroying the coral and affect the skin of dolphins, when people go swimming with them so there is probably an adverse affect on all sea creatures. Remember to keep calm. These animals are very large and can be intimidating, especially once you are in the water with them so breathe normally. Panicking will only make things worse and you may hurt yourself or someone else. As with all things in the sea, you should not touch anything. Whale sharks are plankton eaters and do not eat anything bigger than that. So you have not a worry in the world of being eaten. These animals are very sensitive and can see you but be very careful that you stay well away from their tails.
This is, quite frankly, a once in a lifetime experience so if you are down in Cancun during the summer, this is an activity that you should not miss out on. If you are looking for something that is unique and can be lived in a limited number of places, consider whale shark diving of the shores of Isla Mujeres and Holbox. If you are an animal lover and are concerned with conservation, this will definitely strengthen your relationship with the sea.
There are lots of companies doing tours, here is an example of a whale shark tour, but we will be going ourselves soon and will have specific recommendations.
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