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These Are The Top 3 Places Near Cancun To See Whale Sharks This Summer

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If you love marine life and are heading on vacation to Cancun, then this is your sign to go and visit the whale sharks!

Whale shark swimming in Cancun

If you didn’t know already, whale sharks are known to be one of the most incredible creatures on earth, and with Riviera Maya being one of the most exciting destinations on the planet to spot them – it makes for the perfect getaway!

Fun fact, they are the largest fish in the world and are truly a sight to behold. They are docile in nature and definitely a real highlight and addition to any trip to Riviera Maya – and an ever-growing tourist attraction for travelers visiting Cancun and the surrounding areas.

boat tour to see the whale sharks

They have been known to grow up to around 12 meters long and can even weigh up to 20,000 kilograms. The Riviera Maya is also one of the few places in the world where you can even experience swimming with them.

However don’t worry, these kinds of sharks are filter feeders, so they will only consume plankton and small fish by swimming through the ocean with their mouths open.

Your best time to see them would be between mid-May and mid-September, which is when they come to feed in the area.

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go pro and whale shark

It’s recommended to take a guided tour, to ensure the safety of the whale sharks and also tourists – you will get to learn all about them as the experienced guides take you on an informative journey.

Tours generally range from half day or full day, depending on which operator you go for.

A typical tour would involve being taken out on a boat to where they are feeding; you’ll then grab your snorkels and mask, then head into the water for an unforgettable experience to also discover how big they really are up close!

Whale shark tour

When booking your tour to see the whale sharks, try and find yourself a reputable local company to go with – these guides will then ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe experience.

It’s worth noting that whale sharks are deemed a protected species, so it’s crucial that on these tours, you are to respect their habitat and behavior.

These three hotspots need to be top of your list for whale shark watching this summer:

Isla Mujeres

This small island is located a quick boat ride from Cancun. A hidden gem that most tourists tend to overlook – notorious for its crystal clear waters, sargassum-free beaches, and a plethora of marine life – it is also one of the top-rated destinations for whale shark swimming.

Regular ferry services to the island or boat tours from Cancun will be best for this one!

Aerial view of Isla Mujeres near Cancun

Isla Holbox

The vibrant, exciting island north of Cancun is a tourist destination with a perfect blend of Mexican charm and Caribbean vibes.

Known for its laid-back aura, award-winning beaches, and variety of wildlife – albeit a little further away from Cancun than Isla Mujeres, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Holbox Island beach

Isla Contoy

This island is a protected wildlife reserve off the coast of Cancun, and you can tie in seeing these gentle giants on your day tour to this magical uninhabited island, again just a short boat ride from Cancun.

It also boasts beautiful sugary white sandy beaches and a coral reef bursting with marine life.

Isla convoy

However, if you fancy staying on the mainland, then there is plenty of options down the Riviera Maya coastline to see the whale sharks, such as Playa Del Carmen and Cancun.

All of these islands are easily accessible from Cancun, and you can merge a trip to visit them while also getting to do cool things like swimming with these incredible whale sharks.

So get packing for your next vacation to Cancun, and check out this beautiful species this summer

Oh and don’t forget your underwater camera to get those all-important shots!

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