Whale Shark Season Begins in Quintana Roo

Season open until September, plan a day trip to see these amazing creatures …

Whale Shark Season Begins in Quintana Roo
Photo courtesy of Pelagic Visions – Blue H2o Cozumel

Whale Shark migration season officially started on May 15th in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula.  Whale Sharks, (or Rhincodon typus as they are known in Latin), typically arrive at the areas near Holbox and Isla Mujeres from May – September every year to feed off the plankton-rich waters.  These beautiful creatures are considered an endangered migratory species, and are thusly protected by strict regulations that allow low-impact tourism only.  While visitors can watch and swim with the fish, it’s an extremely regulated and protected activity.

Representatives from area tourism agencies are estimating that up to 400 whale sharks will visit the Yucatan Peninsula, and 200 of these will be around Contoy and Holbox Islands.  Generally speaking,  whale sharks are plankton feeders which can be found near the surface of the water during the morning hours.  They are also known to eat krill, and mirco-algae.
Isla Mujeres will host their 9th annual Whale Stark Festival July 22 – 29th, showcasing the achievements, traditions, and environmental splendor of Isla Mujeres and attracts over 5,000 people. The family-friendly fest encourages swimming with the whale sharks and educating visitors on the need to preserve the area’s marine ecosystem. A part of the proceeds from the festival will go to Amigos de Isla Contoy, a non-profit working to advance education on sustainable marine conservation and ecotourism in the region. For more information visit     www.whalesharkfest.com.

Although Cozumel is not fortunate enough to host these wondrous animals, who can reach 14M/46 FT in length, the island is close enough to make a day trip to Isla Mujeres, Isla Controy or Holbox.  Whale Shark season runs until September.  Even if you’re only on the island for a few days during this time of year, consider making the once-in-a-lifetime journey.


Comienza la temporada de tiburón ballena en Quintana Roo

La temporada dura hasta Septiembre; planee la excursión de un día para ver a estas sorprendentes criaturas…

La temporada de migración de tiburón ballena para Quintana Roo y Yucatán oficialmente comenzó en Mayo 15. Por lo general, todos los

Whale Shark Season Begins in Quintana Roo. Photo Courtesy of 2Ds Diving & Tours

años de Mayo a Septiembre llegan los tiburones ballena (o Rhincodon typus por su nombre en latín) a las zonas cercanas a Holbox e Isla Mujeres para alimentarse en aguas ricas en plancton. Estas bellas criaturas están consideradas como especie migratoria en peligro de extinción, por lo tanto se encuentran protegidas por estrictas normas que sólo permiten el turismo de bajo impacto. En tanto que los visitantes pueden observar y nadar con los peces, esta es una actividad extremadamente regulada y protegida.


Representantes de las dependencias encargadas del turismo calculan que hasta 400 tiburones ballena visitan la Península de Yucatán y que 200 de éstos estarán en las cercanías de las Islas de Contoy y Holbox.  En general, los tiburones ballena se alimentan de plancton que se encuentra en la superficie del agua durante la mañana. Se sabe que también comen kril y micro algas.


De Julio 22 al 29 Isla Mujeres tendrá su 9º Festival de Tiburón Ballena donde se mostrarán los logros, tradiciones y esplendor medioambiental de Isla Mujeres. Este evento atrae a más de 5,000 personas. El festival, apropiado para la familia, promueve nadar con los tiburones ballena y educar a los visitantes en cuanto a la necesidad de conservar el ecosistema marino de la zona. Una parte de los ingresos del festival se destinarán a Amigos de Isla Contoy, una organización no lucrativa que trabaja en promover la educación sobre la conservación marina sustentable y ecoturismo de la región. Para mayores detalles, visite www.whalesharkfest.com


Aunque Cozumel no tiene la fortuna de recibir a estos maravillosos animales que llegan a alcanzar hasta 14metros/16pies de largo, se encuentra bastante cerca de Isla Mujeres, de Isla Contoy o Holbox para realizar la excursión de un día. La temporada del tiburón ballena dura hasta Septiembre. A pesar de que usted sólo pase unos días en la Isla durante esta época del año, considere realizar esta travesía única en su vida.

Laura Wilkinson

Author at Cozumel 4 You
Laura Wilkinson is the Editor for Cozumel 4 You. An ex-Connecticut Yankee who has called Cozumel home for over 15 years, Laura ran away to the Caribbean years ago, bumped around the islands teaching SCUBA diving, lost some time in Jamaica, and finally stopped in Cozumel for a 2 week vacation that hasn’t ended yet. With a degree in Journalism from a fancy private college she convinced her parents to pay for, Laura writes, edits, and creates the weekly Cozumel 4 You news, promotional articles about the island, and her very own blog, which she finds hilarious. Her long suffering husband, the Fabster, has long since resigned himself to having zero private life, as he’s been involved in her various schemes and plots since his arrival. Proud parents to a variety of rescue dogs and cats, Laura continues to be the bane of her traditional Mexican mother-in-law’s existence, as she muses her way through life in the Mexican Caribbean.

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