was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Snorkeling with the whale sharks

I’m here in Holbox, an island just north of Cancun, Mexico. In the past 5 years it has become a prime destination to view the largest fish in the world, the incredible whale shark.  Growing to 40 feet, these gentle giants are amazing beautiful blue-grey with white polka-dots covering its entire upper surface that look like they were dabbed on by a talented artist.  These placid plankton feeders arrive every summer to feed offshore on a migration that researchers are still trying to unravel.

Thanks to the efforts of shark conservationists (and the large number of sharks available for viewing), the rules for whale shark eco-tourists are strict and appear to be relatively well enforced.  The animals gracefully feed at or near the surface in the rich soupy-green waters, and the rules allow only two tourists to snorkel (no scuba) around a single whale shark at any given time, (but no closer than 6 feet) with no touching of the animals allowed.

Yet the island itself seems like it is being transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a major tourist destination with construction everywhere.  (Note, this is my first visit to Holbox, so this is mere speculation, but based on my observations from other places).  Watch for more observations as I continue to explore.