There are plenty of activities that you can enjoy on your next getaway to Costa Mujeres, but undoubtedly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience on this idyllic beach is swimming with whale sharks.
Costa Mujeres has a blessed space in the Mexican Caribbean not only because of its beauty and because it is a sargassum-free beach, but also because it is one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks during the summer.
Most of the year, whale sharks spend their lives at depths of 250 m/800 ft but during the mid-June to mid-September season, they come to the surface close to Costa Mujeres as a result of the hot weather and warm water temperatures.
Hundreds of whale sharks gather in the waters surrounding Costa Mujeres during this season, giving tourists the chance to get up close and swim with them in what is a breathtaking activity for anyone.
This magnificent creature averages about 8 meters in length but can grow as long as 12 meters and can weigh as much as 15 tons, thus being considered the largest fish in the ocean.
But don’t be frightened by its vast size or the word shark in its name; they are harmless to humans. The teeth of a whale shark are too little. For them, eating requires a lot of work, so they usually stick to shrimp and algae.
In fact, it is an animal that is venerated by cultures all over the world for its unparalleled beauty and gentleness.
All whale shark tour operators charge about the same price range, between $130 and $200, depending on the tour duration, number of minors and adults, number of guides, etc.
The price for private tours can be up to $1,000.
The tours are generally in small groups of 6 to 8 people, with an approximate duration of 3 to 4 hours for the entire experience.
Almost all of the tour operators offer:
Whale sharks are so popular in the Mexican Caribbean that Isla Mujeres, another beautiful beach 30 minutes away, hosts (each year) the whale shark festival.
The main goal of the festival is to recognize the value of environmental preservation. There you will learn more about the nature of the whale shark and its importance, and if you want, you can even purchase a tour to be able to swim with them.
One of the main activities during the festival celebrated each July is diving with whale sharks, but you can also participate in traditional dances, sample regional cuisine, discover the island's artisan crafts, visit a sea turtle farm, and snorkel on one of the largest reefs.
So, if you are in Costa Mujeres during this season, it is a great idea to stop by and deep dive into the greatness of these creatures.
Yes. The guides can assist you, and you have a life vest. But let your tour operator know in advance.
No. In order to prevent stress on the fish and to avoid obstructing its normal swimming behavior, it’s not recommended to touch whale sharks during a tour.
During the mid-June to mid-September season, they come to the surface close to Costa Mujeres as a result of the hot weather and warm water temperatures.
Despite being some of the largest animals on earth and initially appearing to be frightening, whale sharks are highly acclimated to being around people. Slow-moving filter-feeders, these gentle giants frequently swim near the boats when they become curious. These contacts allow for one of the most personal and distinctive wildlife encounters in the world while being quite safe.