Whale sharks are one of the most fascinating creatures in our oceans. Experiencing one of these docile giants up close with one of this year’s whale shark tours in Playa Del Carmen is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. From June to September is whale shark season in the Yucatán, as these gentle giants come to feed on the algae blooms in the area’s warm tropical waters.
The whale shark, so-called because of its great size and feeding habits, is the largest known fish still swimming in the oceans of the world. Whale sharks are slow moving filter-feeding fish that feed much like baleen whales, by drawing water into their mouths and filtering out the tiny plankton on which they survive.
Whale sharks are the largest non-mammalian vertebrate, with reports of fish more than 46 feet long, weighing over 60 tons. These huge sharks, called carpet sharks because of their intricate, carpet-like color patterns, may be huge, but they are completely harmless to humans. The warm waters of the Yucatán are the perfect habitat for these warm water loving creatures.
Whale sharks can be found plying the clear, warm waters along the Yucatán in many exotic locations, including the world snorkeling destination of Isla Mujeres just 8 miles from Cancun with its stunning coral reefs and Isla Holbox in the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, across the Yalahau Lagoon, just north of the Yucatán in Quintana Roo, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
The Yucatán is famous for whale shark tours. Wherever you go, be sure there is a whale shark tour available not far from where you’re standing! A whale shark tour in Playa Del Carmen, Isla Holbox or Isla Mujeres is sure to be the highlight of any trip. Snorkeling with these huge and gentle creatures as they slowly cruise the warm surface of these tropical waters is an experience no one can forget!