Why should you swim with whale sharks in Cancun?
Aside from the sun and fun there’s an experience in Cancun you must have, and that is to swim with whale sharks. These gentle giants come to the coasts of Cancun and the Riviera Maya for a few months of the year to feed and mate. Normally these creatures wonder the world’s oceans on their own but for a few months a year they gather in huge numbers.
What should you consider before you swim with whale sharks in Cancun?
The right season
The first thing to consider before you head on and swim with whale sharks in Cancun is the season. Officially the season to swim with the whale sharks in this area is from June to September. The season’s peak is in July, that’s when the most animals are gathered.
The right crew
Every year the local government issues special permits to monitor and control the amount of boats that head to the encounter areas. Make sure the company you choose has the right permit and it’s up to date, that way you’ll know there’s nothing to worry about.
The right gear
If you chose a serious and up-to-date company, then they will probably have the right gear for you to enjoy your time while you swim with whale sharks in Cancun. It is not allowed to dive with them but you can snorkel. Most companies should supply: snorkeling gear, lifejacket and fins. Since you will jump into the water and see them pass by or swim by their side you need to be able to float and swim at a good pace so all of these three elements are fundamental.
What you need to know before swimming with whale sharks in Cancun?
You don’t have to be athletic
No matter your age or physical condition, if you can get on a boat you should be able to swim with the whale sharks. As you will have a lifejacket on being able to swim like a pro is not really needed. A bit of exercise will probably be needed if you want to catch up with the whale shark but you can also just float about and see them pass by.
You’re in no danger of being eaten
The whale shark eats plankton and other micro species, even though their mouths are huge they have the throat the size of a small ball. You are most definitely not in the menu. These are really large creatures, they have an average length of 32 feet (10 meters) so it is best to keep your distance. They are normally very gentle and do not go into a “feeding frenzy” but they can always have a sharp movement so it is best to keep your distance to avoid being hit by their fins.
A great way of saving our sharks is to promote ecotourism, this way fishermen become tour guides and take people to admire these beautiful animals.