whale shark at Holbox Island

Swim with the whale shark at Holbox Island

What can be said about the Holbox Island? Simply that it is the ideal place to relax and live in close contact with nature where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea.

Holbox is located on the north coast of Yucatan the island extends for about 40 kilometers and is one of the few islands in the area not yet affected by mass tourism.

There are no paved roads, you walk on foot or with golf carts. The sunset is not to be missed, prepare a bottle of wine and sip it on one of the numerous deserted beaches and enjoy this unique and rare view.

Non forget the anti-repellent though against mosquitoes because they could be a big problem and disturb this incredible view and potentially romantic moment.

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Holbox Island – Rising star of Mexico

Until a few years ago, Holbox was a fishing island and now tourism is growing thanks to the possibility of swim with the whale shark an activity for which it has become probably the most famous destination in all of Central America.

underwater photography of black fish

What are the best months to swim with the whale shark?

The whale shark can be seen from June to September when he is preparing to swim to South Africa.

Obviously the meeting is never guaranteed, but in general if you travel to the island in the months indicated the chances are always quite high. It all depends on the luck of the day and how long you sail to look for it!

Yes, because you have to look for it and in this undertaking you can be sure that you will encounter it giant manta rays, turtles e dolphins.

Swim with whale sharks at Holbox Island – Tour costs and duration

Il tours typically last just under 8 hourswe leave in the morning at 8 and return around 2 in the afternoon.

The cost of the tour if booked directly on the island varies between $80 and $100 and includes: lunch, we ate cevice and tacos, swim with the whale shark, snorkeling equipment and local guide.

I did it even though the opinions on this experience were very conflicting and the cost was not exactly low, but when in doubt I decided to do it.

However, I couldn’t miss the chance to swim alongside a fish with a shark’s body but which eats like a whale (that’s why it’s called a whale shark) and above all considered the largest in the world.

What we encountered was more or less 12 meters long and keeping up with him while swimming was a titanic undertaking, in fact it seems that he swims slowly but instead he goes very fast.

Once he throws himself into the water you have to start swimming as hard as you can without ever stopping, but generally it is difficult to stay next to him for more than a minute.

Here is the first reason why people are disappointed, the actual swim with the shark lasts less than a minute.

The shark is not a trained dolphin that wants to play with us, it simply swims and it doesn’t matter how fast we are.

The second reason for disappointment for some is that once you spot the shark with us there will be many other boats and therefore you will queue to swim with it, but generally we always dive in as a couple.

I was very happy and I really liked the experience.

The idea of ​​finding myself next to such a large animal and seeing it coming towards me making a face to face that scared me for a moment made this tour one of the most exciting I’ve done.

To swim with the shark if you don’t want to stay overnight in Holbox you can also get there from Cancun and from Riviera Maya (minimum 6 people). The cost in this case is 220 USD per person. But if you don’t want to stay on the island and are only interested in snorkeling with the whale shark then it’s worth taking the tour directly from there: Swim with the whale shark from Cancun or Playa del Carmen

The cost includes transportation by air-conditioned minivan from the hotel, private boat to Holbox, packed lunch, coffee break, swim with the whale shark, snorkeling equipment, local guide, 3-course lunch at a local restaurant.

What to bring on the boat

Sun cream, extra t-shirt, camera (preferably waterproof), extra money for drinks and souvenirs, swimsuit and pills against seasickness

Where to sleep in Isola Holbox

Holbox offers numerous hotels and guesthouses, being a little-frequented and low-mass island the costs are not very low but you are guaranteed to live totally surrounded by nature.
I slept at Hostel and Cabins Round trip a delightful hostel but also with private cabanas a short distance from the sea.

However, what is not lacking on the island are hotels and also gamping. Among the many solutions I mention The Blue Door Beachfront, Bedrooms of the Sea and the Frequency a beautiful glamping site, and theBoutique Hotel Villa Caracol.

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