This trip was years in the making. I’ve been talking about swimming with whale sharks for as long as I can remember. I always thought it was out of our price range to make this happen but I was also under the impression, for years, that you could only swim with them in Belize. Then I discovered that you can also swim with them off of Cancun. THAT we could make happen. First though I had to convince Nate to do the trip.
He’s not a good traveler. Scratch that. He’s actually a great traveler but he has a LOT of anxiety leading up to a trip. Even a small local trip. He worries about things that I don’t even think about…like how we’re going to talk to people in the country we’re going to if we don’t speak the language fluently, what he’s going to eat, how much stuff is going to cost. I never worry about that type of stuff. It’s just not in my nature. My worry manifests itself in other ways. I talked and talked and talked about whale sharks though and finally I beat him down and he agreed. The only downside to seeing and swimming with these amazing creatures is that you have to go to Mexico in the dead of summer. The whale shark season is only from June through September. The best time is July and August. July and August…in Mexico. Here is where my anxiety kicks in…LOL. But we scheduled it for August. I only had to last 4.5 months after we booked…
Our day started at 2:15am. We had to be able to get up, get ready, and be in San Jose by 4:30 am. We also had to drop the car off to long term parking. It could not have gone smoother. We flew from San Jose to Phx and then on to Cancun, Mexico. I had some anxiety about how to get from the airport to the ferry (only because I was unclear about where it was…not knowing where a location exactly is one of my anxieties…Nathan…not at all) but a shuttle was easy to find. The ferry ride to Isla Mujeres was easy, finding our apartment was easy. It was a perfect travel day and we had a wonderfully low key first evening. Our first impression of Isla Mujeres was positive. It’s small. There were quite a few tourist but many of the people there during the day come over from Cancun so by early evening many people have left leaving only those of us that are staying on the island. We loved our apartment (we went through Homeaway) and we took a quick walk around he city center side of the island (the island is only 4.5 miles long and a mile across). My only mistake was not bringing my list of places to eat with me from the apartment so we ate at a place that I hadn’t checked out first. It ended up being okay but we made sure to eat from the list the rest of the time. I got a margarita (that was just okay but it was still appreciated) but it did feel great to finally be on the island after hours of travel. And it was fun to people watch from our little table on the patio. Just based on our first experience on the island we knew this was going to be an a amazing trip. The laid back feeling and small town feel was right in line with what we were looking for. It only got more amazing too. I’ll post about our second day on the island soon:)