Whale shark season!
ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD
The mexican conservation authorities decided to drastically limit the number of authorized whale shark boats after heavy congestion in past years resulted in injuries to the whale sharks. For this reason, availability is restricted. The new rules and regulations launched in Quintana Roo in 2019, for example, limit the number of divers to 80,000 visitors over the season.
It is therefore strongly recommended to reserve a tour before coming to Mexico. Try to avoid peak hours, visiting either before everybody arrives or when everybody starts to leave to maximize your time with the whale sharks.
Every year, the Isla Mujeres Department of Tourism runs its Whale Stark Festival. The event showcases the achievements, traditions, and environmental splendor of Isla Mujeres and attracts more than 5,000 people. The family-friendly fest encourages swimming with the whale sharks and educating visitors on the need to preserve the area’s marine ecosystem.
THE RULES TO SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS
It’s important to remember that only two people at a time per guide may enter the water to swim with a whale shark. In a typical group tour of 10 people, a person can expect to swim in the water two or three times, only several minutes each time. If travelers are interested in spending more swimming time with these amazing creatures, we recommend a private guide or a complete private whale shark excursion.
Other important rules to remember include no jet skis, no diving, no touching the whale sharks, no camera flashes, use biodegradable sunblock, and always keep at least three feet away from the whale shark’s body and at least 10 feet from its tail.