This year was characterized by the number and quality of giant manta ray sightings we enjoyed. Our guests were very happy to be able to get in the water with groups of them on several occasions. Our boat captains have become quite good at finding mantas while on our way to the whale shark aggregation.
We enjoyed great weather on most of the days. One of the days we returned at the end of the day in a storm, but we have always been lucky to avoid any tropical storms by visiting in July. The whale sharks were at peak numbers and very concentrated around food sources which lay on the surface.
The guests had many chances to get in the water each day with the whale sharks enjoying clear water and calm seas. The whale sharks were feeding on the surface making it easy to snorkel and to make great images.
It is special to see a whale shark feed in a vertical position: the locals call it “bottle feeding” . This can last for quite a while with the whale shark pumping its mouth open and closed close to the surface in order to draw in large volumes of water. A majestic spectacle!
In more than 8 years of visits this one stands out as one of the best. I had the company of some great people, Mind blowing wildlife encounters, some good food and drink, and great photography.
I will return again in 2019 with a new group of people to share this must do, awesome experience with.
Get Details about my 2019 Trip
I will also be pairing this trip with American Crocodiles in Chinchorro, Mexico (a few hours S. of Cancun)
Isla Mujeres is a great base for your Whale Shark Adventure
After a day out on the water with the Whale Sharks and Mantas, it is great to relax and dry out with a walk around through the streets of Isla Mujeres. Lined with fun shops and great restaurants, it is safe and full of the festive feeling of Mexico.
Great Places to Eat
After many years of leading Sailfish and Whale Shark trips to Isla Mujeres, I have found some really great restaurants both formal and hole in the wall. I think I can say I have never had a bad meal here and in fact had many great ones and all at a great or reasonable value.
Here is a few of my favorites:
Olivia (Mediterranean and Vegetarian)
Count the Whale Shark Murals
In the last few years, murals of whale sharks, sailfish, and mantas have sprouted up all over town. It is a great street photography outing to find and photograph the best all over town.
Unique Shopping – Bazaar and High End
The colorful shops are full of handmade Mexican items ideal for souvenirs and gifts to take home.
For a day off, there are beaches perfect for swimming and sunning: there might even be a hammock with your name on it. Picture a pool with a view of the beach. A ride to the south of the island takes you to a park and ruins. Numerous dive shops will give you opportunities for diving around the island. The Underwater Statue Museum is a unique experience.
Most come for the unequalled marine wildlife encounters, but Isla Mujeres is a holiday destination by itself.