For the thrill of a lifetime, vacationers can experience the best snorkeling in Holbox, Mexico with the whale sharks. Now, whale sharks are particularly stunning creatures that feed mainly on plankton and the occasional meal of small fish. Holbox is a tropical island situated off the coast of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. The state is considered the Mexican Caribbean.
Isla Holbox is a small island with sandy beaches and palm trees, a wonderful place for romance as well as families who love to explore natural places together. The island and the lagoon between Holbox and the shore of the town of Chiquila is an area for bird watching as well as snorkeling. Whale sharks and other tropical underwater creatures love the warm waters of the lagoon.
Slow swimmers, these creatures have sleek, spotted bodies that are beautiful and graceful in the water. They are strikingly attractive sharks. The average size for adults is just over 30 feet and they weigh about 9 tons but can grow up to 60 feet long. Whale sharks eat by a filter process where they suck water into their mouths and let it out through their gills. A sieve inside the back of their mouths against their gills and their pharynx traps the small plankton, algae, krill and other small creatures. These items of food are swallowed when the water has gone back out through the gills. Whale sharks can stay stationary and feed for long periods of time.
Whale sharks live in mild, warm-temperate waters and tropical areas where the water stays warm. They are seen every spring on the western coast of Australia for spawning near the Ningaloo Reef, an area safe for the young and rich in plankton. The Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and other warm water areas are normal feeding grounds where whale sharks live much of the year, and the lagoon and shallow waters around the island of Holbox is known as one of the whale sharks main habitats.
Between June and September, professional and experienced guides who speak English are available to take snorkelers out to find the whale sharks around the island. Prices for tours are very reasonable, and the experience of swimming beside a thirty-plus foot long shark is amazing. Manta rays and turtles are also seen swimming in the lagoon. Guides know the habits of the sea creatures and help visitors to learn how to respect the feeding and other habits of the different animals they encounter in the water. Read about Cathys blog on How to Get to Holbox & Where to Stay and her adventures, Snorkeling with the Whale Sharks.
Discovery in the Mexican Caribbean, exploring Holbox and the whale shark habitats while snorkeling and nature watching makes a wonderful paradise experience. The lagoon and waters all around the island provide a large tropical playground for snorkelers. Finding the place for an exciting day with large whale sharks as well as beautiful sea birds and fantastic underwater habitats teeming with colorful fish and fascinating sea creatures, nature lovers choose the island getaway of Holbox.
By Cathy Aggelopoulos
Updated October 10, 2014