Isla Holbox




Isla Holbox

Join us on this very special trip to what just might be the greatest gathering of feeding Whale Sharks on the planet! We have timed the trips to be at Holbox during the height of the Whale Shark season.

Trip Schedule & Pricing

Check on the itinerary section for more info!

2014 Isla Holbox Trip

Trip # Trip Date Cost (pp) Openings

Reservations and bookings for the Isla Mujeres Whale Shark trips can be made online by emailing us at: You can also phone our office at 619-299-8560 – 7 days a week- 9am-5pm Pacific Time Zone (Pacific Daylight Time during the summer).

Note: occasionally we are offshore out of cell phone range and may be unavailable, but there is a voice mail feature on our phone line. Please leave your message and we will return your call when we return to shore.

Deposit: For the Isla Holbox Expedition a $500 deposit per person will hold your spot aboard the Islander. The balance would be due 60 days prior to your departure date. We can arrange a payment schedule for you if you prefer.

Payment: We prefer a personal check , Cashier’s Check, or Money Order made out to San Diego Shark Diving and mailed to our office:

San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions, Inc.
6747 Friars Rd Ste 112
San Diego, CA 92108 USA

Payment can also be made using a credit card (Visa, Master card, American Express, or Discover Card). Many of our foreign white shark divers also like to make their payment via bank wire transfer. Please email or call us for the wire transfer details. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect against unforeseen situations.

If you cancel more than 90 days prior to your departure date, your deposit and any additional money you may have paid toward the balance of the trip price will be refunded, minus a $200 cancellation fee.

If you cancel 90 days or less prior to your departure date, your deposit and any additional money you may have paid toward the balance of the trip price will be refunded, minus a $300 cancellation fee, provided another person can be found to purchase your spot on that White Shark trip. If another diver cannot be found in time to purchase your spot on that White Shark trip, no refund of your deposit, nor of any money paid toward the balance of the White Shark trip price will be issued.


Day 1: People will board the air conditioned transport van outside the arrivals gate at the Cancun airport. A representative will be holding a sign for the San Diego Shark Diving Group. It is a 30 min. drive to the ferry terminal. Here we purchase our ferry tickets ($4) and hop aboard the ferry for the 30 min. ride across the channel to Isla Mujeres 6 miles away.

Upon disembarking outside of the terminal a porter will load up our baggage for the short walk to our hotel. Once unpacked and refreshed you are free to explore the beach and village . Try some of the local “ceviche” usually served with a plate of fresh tortillas. You can also get into vacation mode by taking a siesta. Its hot here during the afternoons so a nap makes good sense. Its easier to stroll the village during the cooler evening hours.

Day 2: We meet the the Mujeres Tours office for orientation. We will be issued wrist bands that all going into the reserve must wear. Our panga crew will introduce themselves and brief us on the reserve “code of conduct”. Then its off to snorkel with the Whale Sharks. The reserve is about an hour’s run from the pier. Once there we should spot several animals finning on the surface as they slowly swim with their mouths open gulping down plankton laden water. The first two snorkelers enter the water with the dive guide once they are retrieved the next two will go in and so it goes until early afternoon when the plankton drops deeper and so do the Whale Sharks. The boat carries snorkeling masks and fins if you don’t want to bring your own. I also carries a cooler with water and soft drinks plus sandwiches for the day. After we return to the pier in the afternoon time for a shower, lunch at the hotel bar/restaurant and maybe a siesta. Dinner in town and a cruise down the beach.

Day 3: Off to the pier to board our panga for another day of snorkeling with the Whale Sharks.After returning to the pier, shower, lunch, siesta. See, its the simple life!!

Day 4: More Whale Shark snorkeling. Shower, lunch, siesta. What more could you ask for? Dinner during the cooler evening. Catch the stars out over the ocean.

Day 5: Pack up for our return to Cancun. A truck will pick up our bags and the golf cart taxis will take us back to the ferry landing where we board the boat back to Cancun. Disembarking at the Cancun ferry terminal we’ll taxi back to the Cancun airport for our return flights home. Some may opt for extensions in Cancun or Cozumel. Others may opt for visiting the Mayan ruins of Chitzen Itza or Tulum. The Yucatan in a fascinating area and should definitely be explored.

Trip Accommodations

Trip includes:

  • Transfers to and from Cancun airport to Chaquila
  • Double occupancy hotel room
  • Boat and crew
  • Snorkeling gear

Trip does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Ferry to Isla Holbox
  • Meals
  • Gear rental
  • Gratuities

Isla Holbox Information

Isla Holbox is located on northeastern tip of the Yucatan peninsula just a 3 hr. hour drive away from the bustling tourist destination of Cancun. In July of 2006 I did an expoloratory trip to see if the stories about the big numbers of Whales Sharks here were true. I was truely blown away! In my 37 years of diving I had never seen such a large number of Whale Sharks and Mantas in one area!
A shuttle van will transport you from the Cancun airport to the village of Chiquila where we will board a ferry to the Island of Holbox 8 miles across the Yalahao channel. Once on the island we take a golf cart taxi to our hotel. In the morning we will be issued wrist bands which all going into the Whale Shark Reserve must have.

The crew will explain the code of conduct for viewing the Whale Sharks.We board our panga at the village pier. The panga will take a max of ten snorkelers. Only two snorkelers plus theguide are allowed in the water at one time. We will rotate into the water thru-out the morning swimming with the Whale Sharks as they feed in the rich currents of the reserve. We might be treated to the sight of Manta Rays launching themselves into the air and plopping down with a thunderous crash and foaming whitewater. The pangas return to the dock in the early afternoon. That leaves us time for lunch at one of the island reataurants where local “ceviche” is considered the best in Mexico! After lunch its siesta time or perhaps an open air massage on the hotel’s beachfront. It’s hot in the afternoons and most people opt for nap time or just sitting in the water relaxing. After sunset and during the cooler evenings is when most people come out to stoll along the beach or visit the many shops in the village of Holbox. There are a number of small restaurants serving anything from pizza to fresh seafood. We’ll have three days on the water with the Whale Sharks and Mantas. There are plenty of options avaialable before or after our tour. You can spend some time in Cancun at one of the posh resort hotels, head south to Cozumel for some scuba diving, try Cenote diving, or visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum or Chitzan Itza.


Q. What water and air temperatures can I expect at Holbox Island?
A. Generally water temps are a warm 76-78 F.
Air temperatures can be high 80s to low 90s during the day.In the evenings mid to low 80s . It is usually cooler when there is cloud cover. Do use sunscreen liberally during the trip. The sun can be intense down at the island.

Q. What is the visibility like on these trips?
A. The animals are here to feed on the abundant plankton brought in by the convergent currents so the water thens toward a deep green color and visibility averages about 20 ft with an occasional clear area of 40 ft. You are so close to the Whale Sharks that visibility usually is not a problem.

Q. Will we be going to several dive sites?
A. No we will be in the marine reserve snorkeling with the Whale Sharks and Mantas

Q. How much dive time can I expect during the trip?
A. That’s up to you. We must adhere to the “code of conduct” when within the reserve. That means only two snorkelers and a dive guide in the water at a time.The animals are usually moving so you must swim to keep up with them. When they out swim you, return to the boat and give the next two snorkelers their turn. Believe me, you’ll get plenty of water time as we rotate into and out of the water.but there are lots of other things to do when you are not in the water. You can take surface shots of the Whale Sharks from the deck or elevated tower, If you are lucky you might catch a Manta in mid-air.. Hey you’re on vacation, enjoy it!

Q. What is the average size of the Whale Sharks at Holbox Island?
A. The Whale Sharks we’ve seen have ranged from a small 15 ft male to a hefty 35 ft female. Its also a treat to see the other animals that tag along with the Whale Sharks such as Cobia, Remoras, Jacks, and Trevelly. Some of the sharks look like they have beards with all the fish hanging around the lower lip.

Q. Can we go exploring on the island?
A. Certainly! The quaint village of Holbox and its colorful houses are a taste of “old Mexico” with its sand lined streets. There is a central Plaza where couples stroll during the cooler evenings. There are a couple of Internet cafes for those who simply have to check their emails or connect to the web. Many small shops offering shirts and crafts and many good restaurants offering everything from fresh seafood, to an Italian chef who makes fresh pasta everyday. You can rent a golf cart or scooter to explore the further reaches of the island. The island is a noted stopover for many bird species such as Flamingos, Cormorants, and Osprey.