Whale Sharks Mexico

whale sharks mexico


The Season in Riviera Maya

The season of the whale sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula begins from mid-May and ends close to the mid of September. However, the greatest concentration of whale sharks that you can find in Riviera Maya is between the months of July and August. It is during the summer season that people from all around the world come to enjoy their vacation in Riviera Maya. And you will be absolutely surprised to know that a huge number of whale sharks come to feed on plankton, in the northern Isla Mujeres and Holbox areas.

About Whale Sharks:

Whale sharks are undoubtedly the largest fish swimming the world’s seas. Growing up to 40 feet or 12 meters in length, they can weigh up to 20 tons! Luckily for most sea-dwellers and snorkelers, whale sharks are not carnivorous. They just love eating their favorite food, which is plankton and they also tend to scoop up tiny sea plants as well. They will occasionally eat very small fish as well – and they do that when they open their gigantic mouths to filter all the plankton and a few fish.

These beautiful and graceful fishes prefer to swim in warm waters, where there are several upwelling of cold, nutritious water where they can come to feed. That is why the island of Isla Mujeres and Holbox are so popular for whale sharking.

Whale sharks are called whale sharks solely because of their massive size, apart from that there are no other similarities and or attributes that the two aquatic giants have in common.

You can easily identify a whale shark, well, duh – it is a 40 feet fish! But apart from that whale sharks have a beautiful grayish to brownish sides and back with several white spots on its upper body with horizontal stripes.

Fun to Swim With Whales Sharks

It is totally possible to go snorkeling with whale sharks. However, it is important that only experienced snorkelers do. Whale sharks may appear threatening to humans because of their size, but in actuality, they are extremely humble and peaceful creatures. Whale sharks are incredibly fast swimmers despite their massive bodies!

 Spotting other Aquatic Life

While heading to swim with whale sharks in the waters of Isla Mujeres and/or Holbox it is quite possible that you will spot various other marine life such as manta and mobula rays and dolphins on your way there.

A Species Endangered

Unfortunately, whale shark numbers have dangerously dwindled for the past couple of years. They are hunted by poachers for their fins mainly in the Philippines. However, there are efforts being made by the World Wildlife Federation to fight against whale shark mutilations.

A Wonderful Experience

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that swimming with whale sharks is a magnificent experience. Taking underwater selfies with such a beautiful giant will leave you with an immortalized memory and you will yearn for more. And with Absolute Adventure at your side, we ensure that you have the best of time while in Riviera Maya!

Swim with Whale Shark Regulation



Mexico Regulation

The season of the whale sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula begins from mid-May and ends close to the mid of September. However, the greatest concentration of whale sharks that you can find in Riviera Maya is between the months of July and August.

Swimming with the largest fish in the ocean world (the largest animal of the world is the blue whale but it is a mammal and not a fish!) could be the most exciting experience without the fear of being eating for one of this majestic fish.

The Whale Shark is a endangered fish due the impacts of fisheries, bycatch losses, and vessel strikes, combined with its long life span and late maturation. For the protection and conservation of the Whale Shark this activity is regulated by the Environment Agency of Mexico (SEMARNAT Acronym in Spanish).

Swimming with whale sharks has been regulated in Mexico since 2007, at first in Baja California (Northern Mexico). Following this initiative, a proper plan of regulation in the Riviera Maya was published on 2015 when they defined the Natural reserve of the whale shark by the SEMARNAT.

The key points of the Whale Shark Regulation are:

  • The timetable for snorkeling with and sighting of whale sharks is from 7 am to 2 pm
  • If less than 5 whale sharks are in the area, it is forbidden to swim with the whale sharks, but you could still see/watch them from the boat.
  • With more than 5 whale sharks, people can go to snorkel by pair with a certified guide. Just 2 people per guide are allowed in the water at the same time.
  • It’s strictly banned to touch or chase any whale sharks.
  • Distance allowed is 15 feet from the whale sharks.
  • Photos are permitted but flash is not allowed.
  • Only biodegradable sunblock is approved.
  • The use of a life jacket, snorkel, mask and fins is mandatory.

Absolute Adventure works closely with captains and crews who are committed to explain, respect and follow the latest Whale Shark Regulation. For the Absolute Adventure team, it is really important to work with people who respect and have the same passion that we have for the ocean.