Swim With Whale Sharks In Cancun

Events, Things to Do — By Susan Vincil on July 12, 2010 at 3:18 am
When most people hear the word “shark”, they think of the star of  the movie “Jaws” and would not willingly swim anywhere near the man-eater.  Not all sharks are man-eaters, however, and, in Mexico, you have a unique opportunity to swim with whale sharks, the largest living fish species.  These gigantic fish mainly eat plankton and microscopic plants & animals and have no desire to take a bite out of a human.  In fact, they are quite gentle, slow-moving, and pose no real danger to humans.  Divers and snorkelers can swim with whale sharks without risk, other than possibly being hit by the whale shark’s very large, powerful tail fin.  Whale sharks, also known as “Pez Dama” or “Domino”, are easily recognized by the distinctive pattern of pale yellow spots and stripes on their back.  Each fish has a slightly different pattern of dots & stripes, which allow researchers to identify individual whale sharks by photographs, rather than by marking each one, in some fashion.

Whale Sharks can be found in several places around the globe, including off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico (a small island paradise, located approximately 6 miles off the coast of Cancun).  Each year, approximately 1,400 whale sharks migrate to the warm waters near Cancun.  During that time, tours to Swim with Whale Sharks are offered.  The tours give people a chance to swim with whale sharks in the open sea…not in some restricted area. Seeing whale sharks in their natural environment, just a few feet away, is a truly magnificent & unforgettable experience.  This year, whale shark season is June 1st-August 31st.

Isla Mujeres will host the 3rd Annual Whale Shark Festival from July 16th to July 18th, 2010.  The festivities will include conferences on whale sharks, as well as performances by folkloric dancers, local cuisine, and artwork by local artisans will be displayed.  The objective of the festival is to showcase the beauty of Isla Mujeres, while raising awareness of the need to preserve the area’s marine eco-system.  A portion of the festival’s proceeds will be donated to several not-for-profit environmental organizations.

Tags: cancun, isla mujeres, swim with whale sharks, whale shark festival, whale sharks


  • Laura Moore says:

    Awsome job Susan….I would love to do something like this, people do not understand the importance of sharks and what they do for the environment. I hope this bring some awareness to people around the world. Good Luck!


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