Isla Mujeres Attractions Things to Do

Whale Shark Season on Isla Mujeres

It’s time to start planning your next stay at Privilege Aluxes during one of the most exciting stretches of the Yucatan calendar: whale-shark season!

Whale sharks are indisputably the mightiest fish in the sea: the biggest exceed 40 feet in length and 20 tons in weight. (That means they’re not just the largest fish on Earth: They’re also bigger than any other vertebrate save the great whales.) Despite these epic proportions, whale sharks are completely harmless to people; like the baleen whales, the species is a filter feeder, sieving tiny plankton out of the water.

First-class Whale Shark Viewing

Isla Mujeres is one of the finest places anywhere on Earth to snorkel and dive with whale sharks. That’s because the giant fish gather off the Yucatan Peninsula’s northeastern coast every summer—roughly May through September—in globally outstanding numbers. They beeline for these waters to munch plentiful fish eggs, shrimp, copepods, and other miniscule morsels. There are a number of areas around the world that support these kinds of seasonal feeding get-togethers, but the Yucatan’s is the largest known: More than 800 whale sharks from all over the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and even well out in the Atlantic make the journey.

And in 2011, scientists documented the biggest single grouping of whale sharks ever recorded off our coast: a whopping 420-odd animals, all thronged together to snack on the eggs of little tunny.

Interestingly, most of the whale sharks snacking in our summer waters (and in the other major feedings sites around the globe) are male. Researchers are still trying to figure out where exactly most of the female whale sharks are during this time of year—and where whale sharks give birth, still one of the great mysteries of the animal.

Swimming With Sharks

Isla Mujeres and nearby Isla Holbox are among the best-known spots in the Yucatan for nabbing up-close looks at the gentle giants. Many companies offer tours for swimming with the sharks—as magical an experience as you can get in the ocean. Besides their sheer size, whale sharks impress with their grace and beauty: With their wedge-shaped heads, powerful tails, and intricate spots, they’re absolutely awe-inspiring creatures.

Our idyllic Caribbean perch here at Privilege Aluxes provides an ideal base camp for a Yucatan whale-shark adventure. Spend the day communing with these majestic fish, then reflect on the experience in the lap of luxury with one of those unbeatable Isla Mujeres sunsets providing the backdrop. Book a stay with us for the summertime action—we can’t wait to host you during shark season!