See Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

North America

Not too far from Isla Holbox, off the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, lies Isla Mujeres (“Women’s Island”). The story goes that Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, made this her sacred home. Female priestesses inhabited the island until explorer Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba rocked up in 1517, after which the island turned to fishing and whale shark hunting. However, with the turn of the millennium, the tides changed and the island chose sustainable whale shark watching activities as its thing instead.

Holbox may offer sightings of whale sharks feeding on plankton and krill, but the clear waters around Mujeres offer snorkeling with whale sharks and manta rays whilst they gorge on bonito eggs. Note that there is only snorkeling here, no diving.

Summer months provide the highest numbers of whale sharks, with July and August being best. Although the island is popular for snorkeling activities, regulations are in place to prevent over-tourism and there are so many of the creatures here during this time that you’ll likely have a whale shark friend all to yourself.

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