Isla Holbox, Mexico for Swimming with Whale Sharks

United States
Never not exploring. Adrenaline junkie.

What an incredible adventure. Isla Holbox is a 30 minute ferry ride from the Mexican mainland. It’s pretty small – not a huge population, not a lot of tourists, and I’m not sure I saw a single car the whole day I was there.

It was the end of July. I was actually staying in Cancun with some friends for a belated birthday party. (She turned 40…go big or go home, right?) One of the girls ran onto this place while looking for things to do that weren’t drinking. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the chance to swim with Whale Sharks. Who WOULDN’T want to do that? They’re harmless, but they’re HUGE. And seasonal. They’re only there from June to September, because that’s apparently when the plankton blossoms are tastiest.

We ferried over to the island in the late morning, I was totally in love the moment we got there. The sand was white, the locals were friendly, and the sharks were ready to mingle. Although we were required to stay seven feet away from them at all times, I was still able to get close enough to marvel at just how incredible these creatures are. Aside from just being unbelievably large, they are also incredibly beautiful due to their graceful nature and unique markings. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. We swam for an hour or so, then went on to lounge on the beach, and delve into one of the island’s many excellent seafood restaurants. Cancun was obviously a ton of fun for a gaggle of young-to-middle-aged women, but I’d have to say that Isla Holbox was the highlight of this trip for me.

Insider Tip

Tourism around the whale sharks is governed by environmental regulations – make sure you have biodegradable sunscreen!

Where I stayed / started

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