The paradisiacal destination of Mexico is not only loved and visited by humans but a number of nature’s creations have made it their second home. One of them is the Whale as every year between the months of December-March, the world's largest species of fish, migrates from the cold waters of Alaska to the coasts of Mexico. These giant creatures feed on plankton and are attracted by the abundance of plankton found in the waters of Mexico. They can reach nearly 50 feet in length and stay in waters of the Caribbean until mid-September. Visitors come from all over to watch these giant and grab the opportunity to swim in open water with them. 

Humback Whale breaching water in Banderas Bay

The impressive size and scope of their jaws which measure up to about 4 feet, makes swimming next to them a thrilling and emotional experience. But this activity follows strict rules to prevent any kind of harm either to visitors or the whales. The protocol includes: no more than 10 people per boat; only two people and one guide can swim with whale sharks at any given time; life jackets are mandatory and must be used at all times; it is prohibited to touch the sharks; only small boats are allowed; and the number of tour operators certified to visit the area are restricted. Various regions in Mexico organize whale tours as these gentle giants are found in Cancun, Riviera Nayarit, Isla Mujeres and also around Punta de Mita.

The Marietas Islands located about 12 miles off the northernmost point of the Punta de Mita bay is a great destination for whale watching. Boats offer snorkeling as an option along with whale watching however half day tours concentrate on whale-watching only. Private "pangas" is another option which includes boats between 24 and 30 feet. They have twin engines and are open boats. The option of high speed Zodiac and chartering a boat on a two hours minimum limit is also available.

These boats are well equipped for snorkeling and as well as fishing. There are several good boats going there daily on day trips leaving from Nuevo Vallarta. Visitors can opt for them if in mood to spend about six hours on a bigger catamaran or sailboat. Due to lack of commercial activity on the islands, it is great place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. Mexico is adorned with such hidden jewels and one needs to definitely do some exploring for experience of a lifetime.

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