Whale sharks are returning to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, where they swarm the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean from May through September. Guests can swim with the whale sharks, the world's largest fish, starting June 1, 2016 which is the beginning of whale shark season in Isla Mujeres, a scenic locale known for some of the largest aggregations of whale sharks.
Ecotourism and travel company Ceviche Tours is booking boats and private tours now on a first-come, first-served basis. Excursions are available beginning June 1 and run through September 15.
Guests of Ceviche Tours can submit photos taken during their whale shark excursions to the International Whale Shark Registry at http://www.whaleshark.org. The Registry will track the whale shark, and when it is encountered again they will send updates about the whale shark's location and where it has traveled. In this way guests become 'Citizen Scientists' helping to preserve the marine ecosystem.
Swim with Whale Sharks
Every year bonito and tuna spawn in the water off Isla Mujeres, a region directly in the migratory path of the whale sharks. Large groups of whale sharks - which grow to the size of a school bus -- swarm the area in eager anticipation of the spawn, to feast on this bounty of the sea. Groups of whale sharks, from pairs to dozens to more than 100, are seen during the season.
Isla Mujeres is the closest land to the whale shark aggregation. It boasts more than 70 hotels and has activities for the entire family, making it an ideal place to stay for swimming with the whale sharks. This tight-knit community of fishermen and their families is home to the Mexican Navy, who ensures the safety of the area.
Pre-booking tours is a must. Government regulations for whale shark excursions have drastically reduced the number of boats permitted in the water. As a result, capacity for whale shark tours throughout Quintana Roo, Mexico will be severely limited.
Private tours ensure the most time in the water with the whale sharks and offer the best experience. They are ideal for family groups or professionals looking to photograph the whale sharks.
"Ceviche Tours supports all efforts to protect and preserve the whale sharks," said John Vater, co-founder of Ceviche Tours. "We are committed to our mission to preserve the marine ecosystem through ecotourism and educational efforts. All our tours comply with government regulations."
Fully licensed divers and guides lead all Ceviche Tours whale shark excursions. Snorkel equipment is included with every tour (guests can also use their own gear). Whale shark excursions start at $145 per person, private tours start at $900. Full-day private island snorkel and in-shore fishing trips start at $600.
Ceviche Tours offers ground transportation from the Cancun Airport to the Island. Tours to visit the Mayan pyramids and the Yucatan are also available.
Travel arrangements can be made through the Ceviche Tours website http://www.CevicheTours.com or call +1.631.470.6315 (US) or 998.241.3345 (MX).