Whale sharks are as beautiful and majestic as they are gentle. They come around Cancun to feed on plankton, which is normally abundant around Isla Mujeres, Holbox, and Contoy—right at the parting of the Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
Isla Holbox is perhaps the most famous whale shark spot. Being Quintana Roo’s northernmost point, it is located about 150 km (93 mi) from Cancun and an additional 20 minutes by boat from mainland Mexico. You can stay in Holbox for a few days to enjoy its amazing marine light or take a one-day tour from Cancun or Isla Mujeres.
Mexican tour operators offer exotic 7-hour tours during whale shark season that is largely dependent on the amount of plankton. It can either be a private tour on a small boat or a more crowded excursion on a large boat. Snorkeling is included either way.
The whale shark season may sometimes continue from mid-May to mid-September, but nature isn't that predictable, and in fact, rather changeable. So, if you want a sure thing, then the best time to go for this kind of adventure is between mid-June and August.