In the summer months, mid May to mid September, the Whale Shark is a welcome visitor to the waters around Cancun Mexico and offers a great opportunity to be at one with the environment as you swim and snorkel beside these fantastic sub-sea behemoths .
The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the ocean measuring up to 40 feet in length with the biggest ones weighing in excess of 75,000 lbs. Despite its name and size the Whale Shark is far from a Whale at all, it is a filter feeding shark which eats algae and plankton. In fact, it is the traveling plankton it feeds upon that lures this magnificent underwater giant to the beautiful azul waters of the Yucatan Peninsula .
In the Cancun area of Mexico, Whale Sharks gather close by the shores of Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy and Isla Holbox and afford an excellent day trip diversion for those holidaying in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
The traditional boats that transport you to encounter the Whale Sharks are small craft with capacity for around 10 people plus staff , and the quantity of craft are strictly controlled by licence. Itâs generally an early start (7am) returning early afternoon (2pm). During your trip soft drinks and a light lunch is provided, and many offer an open bar on the return journey.
The whale sharks are usually easily found and once they are sighted clients enter the water two at a time to swim and snorkel alongside them. This ensures that the animals are not scared and also provides maximum time for some fantastic unobstructed underwater photography. Whale Sharks swim at a speed of just 3mph so it is not difficult to stay alongside them. Each session lasts around 10-15 minutes per couple, and during the tour there will be 3 or 4 opportunities for a combined swim time of up to an hour per person. All participants must wear lifejackets and no feeding or touching of the whale sharks is permitted. Non eco-friendly sunscreen is also banned .
Most whale shark tour operators , including those below, also include a further stop to snorkel at a nearby reef to enjoy the colorful and abundant underwater coral and fish that this particular area of the Caribbean is famous for.
CliveTomanski is an expert when it comes to Cancun having lived there for many years. To find out everything about Whale Shark Tours Cancun, visit his website at http://www.whalesharktourscancun.com.
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