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Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Eugene, Oregon...
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Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

I know the season just started, but was wondering about your experience going on a whale shark tour in 2018 or 2017. Specifically:

1. How long of a boat ride?

2. How choppy/calm was the water?

3. Sea-sickness?

4. Tour operator?

I am trying to decide on Isla or Holbox for whale sharking. I have been to both islands and am only interested in whale sharking advice. I have also cross posted in Holbox forum.

Thanks.

Edited: 10:10 pm, June 09, 2018
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Holbox Island
Holbox Island
Quintana Roo, Mexico
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Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

We had a great whale shark tour last week with on Isla Mujeres tours. We saw about 20 whale sharks, our captain was very nice and did not rush us at all. We were the last boat to leave the area and come back. The last whale shark we saw was stationary and vertical for about 20 minutes eating plankton. We were able to snorkel all around it while it ate. It was a very cool experience. The trip out to the sharks took about one hour. They fed us breakfast before we left, sandwiches while we were out there and then on the way back served us civiche and guacamole with soft drinks and beer. This tour company has a huge boat. They could easily fit 20 people but the max you are allowed to take is 10 so we had plenty of room to spread out. They were recommended to us by a local and I would highly recommend them.

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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

The details (how far out they are, etc.) will shift slightly depending on conditions. The ride with the same operator could be an hour this week, ninety minutes next week. The whale sharks move around a bit and there are other conditions that affect the ride.

But I second the recommendation for On Isla Mujeres. They have a larger, more comfortable boat than most, with an on-board head, and their crew is great.

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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Eugene, Oregon...
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127 posts
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3. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

Thank you for the information.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

Did you pre-book with On Isla Mujeres or just did it when you arrived?

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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

We pre booked but you can do either. The only issue is once they have 10 people booked for the day the boat is full. The cost was $125 US per person.

San Diego...
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6. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

Thanks! The only day available is next Friday, which is our last day on the island :(

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

We are here now and have talked to a number of people who have said great things about their excursion. One said they saw about 20 whale sharks. Another said some people on their boat got very sea-sick. My husband went deep sea fishing yesterday and someone he was with got very sea-sick.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

I also saw a recent report of 20 or so, with one bottling (feeding in the upright position).

London, United...
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9. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

Hi, my wife and I went on one of these trips on our first trip to Mexico (soon to return)

As a lifelong shark enthusiast I was stoked to do this trip, as was my wife but we were left a little disappointed (despite always looking for the positives) the trip really wasn’t what it was made out to be.

After a solid 1hr or longer in a smaller boat into the gulf (choppy waters versus a loco boat driver hell-bent on driving his boat as if it was a powerboat!) my wife got sea sickness, it is what it is as far as that goes though – they have no control of this

It was the actual whale shark element I was shocked and saddened by because by the time you reach where they surface (if at all) you are met by 20+ other boats were the same intention in the same spot, when we were there the mother sharks and calves kept diving back down deep (basically swimming scared!) and off you go with all boats in the same direction (kinda of felt like shark chasing exp. rather than a sightseeing tour as we saw none and the sharks simply dove deeper and deeper out of sight for no doubt fear of the chase!

I would think long and hard before doing this, as an enthusiast/animal lover my gut instinct once our their we were out there that this wasn’t how I would want to be apart of it all.

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Have a 2018 Whale Shark Trip Report?

Who you go with can make a big difference. Our first trip was in one of the smaller boats, but since we've gone out several times with On Isla Mujeres--their larger boat is much more comfortable and seasickness is less likely. The also employ a strategy of leaving a bit later than the other boats, specifically so that the others are already set up by the time they arrive, allowing them to stay well away from all the other boats.

The numbers will vary, of course, but our worst day was something like 20 whale sharks and on our best we literally could not count them--and believe me, we tried.

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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
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