Swimming with Whale Sharks – Isla Mujeres

July 13-17, 2019

Whale Shark, Isla Mujeres, Mexico


DAY 1 (Sat, July 13): Arrival to Isla Mujeres ~ Upon arrival at Cancun International Airport, you’ll be met for your private transfer to Gran Puerto Ferry Terminal for your 20-minute ferry ride to Isla Mujeres. The rest of the day is yours to explore the island.

Accommodations: Ixchel Beach Hotel (standard room)

Meals: None

Yucatan Peninsula’s Whale Sharks~ From May to September, the Whale Shark Biosphere Reserve off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula becomes a feeding ground for large congregations of whale sharks.  This is currently the world’s largest aggregation of whale sharks in the world and more than 400 sharks have been recorded in the reserve on a single day.  The reserve is about an hour by boat from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The large number of sharks found here during the peak of the season makes Isla Mujeres our favorite place to embark on a whale shark adventure.

Swimming with whale shark

Whale Sharks ~ The gigantic, polka-dotted whale shark (Rhincodon typus), called “domino” by locals, is the largest living fish on the planet. One of only three filter-feeding sharks, the whale shark feeds on minute organisms including krill, fish eggs, crab larvae, and jellyfish. They are able to open their mouth wide to optimize feeding. They can also feed via suction while vertical in the water. Even though the whale shark has a sizable mouth, it shows no evidence of large, sharp teeth characteristic of most shark species.

Day 2 (Sun, July 14) – Isla Mujeres ~ Early this morning, we’ll embark on our first whale shark adventure with private boat and our expert local guide. Twenty-five miles off the coast, in deep blue waters abundant with plankton, whale sharks have come together in large numbers for their annual aggregation.  Everyone will have multiple opportunities to swim with these gentle giants as they glide close to the surface, mouth wide open like a vacuum, filtering food from the water.  Manta rays may also be in the swimming area.

Accommodations: Ixchel Beach Hotel

Meals: Lunch

Day 3 (Mon, July 15) – Isla Mujeres ~ Today is yours to enjoy all that Isla has to offer. Optional activities include snorkeling at the nearby National park and the Underwater Sculpture Museum, exploring the island by golf cart or bicycle, visiting the turtle nursery, relaxing by the pool or at the beach, etc.  Your R2R trip host will be there to help you arrange tours and to make suggestions on the best way to spend your day.

Accommodations: Ixchel Beach Hotel

Meals: None

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Day 4 (Tues, July 16) – Isla Mujeres                                                                                                                              

No two days on the water are alike so today brings another day with whale sharks. This evening, we’ll share big fish tales of the adventure as a group over sunset cocktails and a farewell dinner.

Accommodations: Ixchel Beach Hotel

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 (Wed, July 17)– Departure
Transfer back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Meals: None

Price: $1095* per person based on double occupancy.  Single supplement – $225*.

Triple and quad occupancy pricing available upon request.

Price includes accommodations at beachfront hotel, private ground transfers between CUN Airport and Gran Puerto Ferry Terminal, two guided whale shark tours with private boat and expert local guide, marine park entrance for whale shark excursions, R2R guide/trip host (Sheridan Samano), meals as listed, and snorkel gear during whale shark tours. A donation to support whale shark conservation will be made on behalf of all participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, passport fees, ferry tickets to/from Isla Mujeres (approx. $11 per person), optional extensions, wetsuit rental, gratuities, taxis, and travel insurance.

*Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice until booked and deposit received. A 3% discount will be applied to payments by check. Upgraded rooms at Ixchel may be available (additional fee will apply).

Group size: the maximum number of participants allowed on a boat during a whale shark excursion is 10.