Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico

Every time I break up with a boyfriend, Amelia and I go on a trip. It’s great. She’s like break with more dudes so we can go on more trips. This particular breakup we ended up in Cabo. I love going to Mexico. The tacos, the tequila, the whale slide at my timeshare. What more could you ask for?

We were in Cabo and we wanted to check out a few excursions so we talked to one of those kiosk guys in town and they told us some very exciting news: we could swim with whale sharks! I didn’t even know that was an option in Mexico. We couldn’t pass it up so the next day we loaded up in an SUV with two other groups, a family from Idaho and two girls from Mexico City and drove to La Paz. We boarded a boat and off we went.

These suckers were hard to capture on camera but look how beautiful

I pictured really deep water and chillin whale sharks that we could slowly snorkel next to, but no way jose this was not the experience whatsoever. We take the boat out and our guide stands at the front looking out for dark shadows. When he sees one we throw on our mask and fins, the boat speeds up and we all jump off and swim as fast as we can. The first time I jumped out of that boat was TERRIFYING. I didn’t know where the whale shark was or what it would do if it saw us. I just knew that we weren’t allowed to touch it and should swim next to it, not behind it. But what an incredible experience. Amelia and I quickly saw the beautiful creature and swam alongside it, trying to keep up. We looked back for our guide and he was gone and it was just me, Amelia and the whale shark. I thought maybe we should go back or stop because we didn’t know how long we were allowed to swim with it but we couldn’t stop because it was such a magical moment. Finally he out swam us and we headed back to the boat, where everyone else was. We learned that the two girls from Mexico City didn’t know how to swim so the guide had to take them back to the boat, that’s why he was MIA. Who signs up for an ocean excursion when you can’t swim? Haha whatever, more room for us.

We did this find the whale shark, jump out of the boat and swim for dear life routine about 4 more times but none of them compared to that first encounter. They are gentle creatures but they have two dorsal fins so it’s a little frightening. Not to mention they’re like 10 times our size. It’s up there on top 10 coolest things I’ve done in life so far.

On a natural high and stoked on life

The ride back was fun because we stopped in Todos Santos, the cutest little surf town. We drank margaritas at Hotel California, which our guide tried to convince us was the inspiration for the Eagles song, but I’ve since Googled it and that’s just folklore. But their margaritas are delicious and strong. The mom from Idaho had a few, which made for a hilarious ride back to Cabo. Drunk moms are the best. (If you’re somehow reading this, email me! Amelia and I miss you and want to be pen pals!) We also met up with our friends from Mexico City at the club later that night. They didn’t speak English and we don’t speak Spanish so we couldn’t understand each other but we had a blast dancing the night away.

Hotel California, Todos Santos

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