Whale Sharks, Cancun's Largest Tourists…

In 2014 over 3 million tourists flocked to Cancun and the Riviera Maya in search of sun, fun and a beautiful vacation. What you may not know, is that some of these tourists were NOT human.

Over 500 of those visitors were the mind-blowingly impressive whale sharks. Read on to learn about these gentle giants and how you can catch a rare sighting and spend some quality time with these magnificent creatures.

 

What is a Whale Shark?

Whale sharks Cancun
As large as a Cancun city bus, they creatures are docile and graceful.

Measuring up to 40 feet in length and weighing as much as 11 tons, these sharks are the largest living fish in the oceans, and they have spotted skins that locals call “dominoes.” The creatures typically feed at the surface on calm sunny days, suctioning great volumes of phytoplankton.

 

Why Do They Come?

Whale sharks Cancun
They come here to eat, swim and mate, just like human tourists….and despite their immense size, they pose no threat to people.

The coast of Quintana Roo, where the Gulf of Mexico converges with the Caribbean Sea, reportedly has the world’s highest concentration of whale sharks. They come to feed and to mate, and as many as 600 come here between May and September (RIGHT NOW) —and particularly during the hottest Summer months when currents sweep  plankton into the shallow waters around the Yucatán Peninsula.

 

How Are They Protected?

Whale sharks Cancun
A whale shark’s spots are as unique as your fingerprints.

They are currently listed as a vulnerable species. Tour operators and guides must adhere to strict regulations for approaching the creatures and to prevent crowding at feeding and mating sites.

 

Is Swimming with Whale Sharks Safe?

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The only thing going into that mouth is lots of little sea critters.

Fortunately, whale sharks are known as Filter Feeders, and their diet is mainly plankton and small species of plants and fish they take in through their massive jaws. Humans are currently not on their menu.

As long as you keep your distance so as not to scare them off, your time with them should be nothing short of life-changing.

 

How Can I See Them and Swim with Them?

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Swimming with dolphins while on vacation is a great thing. Swimming with whale sharks though, is a bucket list experience.

As an ecologically-responsible tour provider, Ecotourism-cancun.com offers a whale shark experience that both respects these creatures and their habitat and gives you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In this tour, you’ll go out to the area between Isla Contoy and Holbox Island, and in groups of two, get in two or three swims with the whale sharks. Groups are kept very small to protect these animals, so it’s important to reserve early to secure your spot.

Click here to find out more about Ecoturism-cancun.com’s Tour to Swim with Whale Sharks, Cancun’s biggest visitor!
 

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We are Ecotourism-Cancun, and we bring you ultimate vacation experiences in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the entire Mayan World.

 

Cenotes Unlock the Secrets to Underwater Mayan Mysteries

Almost 15 years ago, a team of Mexican archaeologists found three human skeletons; one of them was carbon-dated to be 13,600 years old. In 2008, divers located the remains of a MASTODON as well as a human skull that might be the oldest evidence of early man in the region.

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MASTODON bones and ancient human skulls. What other secrets are down there?

 

Where did they find those ancient treasures? They found them, and much more, in cenotes.

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What are cenotes?

Cenotes (se NOH tays) are surface connections to underground bodies of water, and in the English-speaking world we know them as sinkholes. Ah, but they are so much more here in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Explore inner space…

There are an estimated 6000 cenotes in the entire Yucatan Peninsula, forming a vast underground network of caves, caverns and the source of much of the fresh water for the entire area.

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Some of the better known cenotes in our home state of Quintana Roo.

 

The best-known cenotes are large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter, such as at Chichén Itzá.

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Cenote Sagrado, the Sacred Cenote…at Chichen Itza an important body of water used for ceremonial rites

As far as swimming is concerned, cenote water is often very cool and clear, as the water comes from rain water filtering slowly through the ground, and where there is little or no direct access to sunlight. Some cenotes are open, where sections of cave roof have collapsed revealing an underlying cave system.

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Unlock the door to a whole new world…

 

There are four main different types of cenotes, named for their shapes.

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1. Jug or Pit cenotes are those with a surface connection narrower than the diameter of the water body, shaped like a bottle.

2. Cylinder cenotes are those with strictly vertical walls.

3. Basin cenotes are those with shallow water basins

4. Cave cenotes are those having a horizontal entrance with dry sections.

 

Take a Cenote Tour and Be Ready to Have Your Mind Blown

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The following tours have some stunning cenotes as one of their features. In some you can swim in, rappel into or just simply admire for their natural beauty.

1. Chichen Itzaalong with visiting one of the Seven Man-made Wonders of the World, visit the Cenote Sagrado and swim in nearby Ik Kil.

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Ik Kil, a stone’s throw from the Chichen Itza archaeological site.

 

2. Xenotes-from the same people who brought you Xcaret, Xenotes brings you four Cenote experiences, named for Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

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3. Coba Mayan EncounterYour unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track adventure tour then begins: exciting zip-line flying over a lagoon, rappelling down into an incredibly beautiful cenote where you can enjoy a refreshing swim before going up again.

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You can still climb the Nohoch Mul pyramid.

 

4. Akumal Snorkel Extreme TourTogether with your guide, fly above the trees of the Riviera Maya by zipline, snorkel at Akumal among turtles, fish and coral. Then rappel like an adventurer, and marvel as you make your way along the underground rivers of the Mayan cenotes.

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While white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters of Cancun and the Riviera Maya may have brought you here, the mysterious and stunning beauty of the jungle is what will stay with you forever. If you want to see, hear and feel what it was like to be in the Garden of Eden during your holiday, reserve a cenote tour today.

Click on the different cenotes tours above or click here to enjoy the highest quality affordable tours and excursions in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

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We are Ecotourism-Cancun, and we bring you ultimate vacation experiences in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the entire Mayan World.

 

 

Swim with Sting Rays

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Sting Rays

Experience this holiday a day full of excitement in Isla Mujeres, which is located in front of Cancun just 35 minutes by boat.
The tour of Isla Mujeres with Dolphins leaves from the hotel zone of Cancun and in addition to the program with the dolphins will include a meeting with Sting rays, where you can coexists with these harmless creatures of the shark family.
The Sting rays have no bones, they are made primarily of cartilage and can measure a few centimeters or up to 5-7 meters long. They are carnivores and they eat small fish, crabs and shrimp, always hunt at night using their sense of smell and special receivers to detect their prey.
Touching the stingrays you ll see them floating through the sea, giving the impression that their Flying, sometimes they remain motionless, almost buried in the sand exposing only their eyes.

After swimming with the dolphins you can  swim with fifteen rays, the activity has a duration of 30 minutes, the trainer will help you get a chance to touch and interact with these curious creatures.
Some say that swimming with Sting rays is an experience not to be missed in life. To learn more about this trip to Isla Mujeres in Cancun click here.

Swimming with Manatees

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Manatees

Have you ever just wanted to go into the water and just hug one of these “Sea Cows”? Manatees are completely herbivorous aquatic mammals, Their scientific name is  Trichechus manatus, from the Greek tri (three) and chechus (nails) and from the Caribbean native manati (with teat). To me personally, they give me an immense feeling of tenderness, and to want to touch and hug them!!!

In general, the activity with manatees is very simple; you enter the water with them and feed them lettuce. It would seem that the activity has very little point but the activity is so gratifying!!!

Interaction with Manatees is possible at the dolphin centers of Isla Mujeres, Puerto Aventuras and in Xel-Ha. In your reservations for activities in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, don’t forget to mention them to find out which center is closest to you.