If you are traveling to Grand Residences this summer and are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, how about swimming with the whale sharks, the gentle giants that are the world’s largest living fish? Get ready for a magical wildlife encounter that’s straight out of National Geographic.

From mid-May to mid-September, hundreds of whale sharks migrate to the northern waters of the Mexican Caribbean near the islands of Holbox, Contoy and Isla Mujeres to feed, in what biologists say is the largest whale shark gathering in the world.

Whale sharks are great ocean wanderers, migrating thousands of miles through the tropics in search of the plankton and fish eggs that are their staple diet. They are also known as domino fish due to their distinctive stripes and dappled markings. Each fish has its own unique pattern and taking photos of them is helping whale shark experts around the world to compile a catalog. Through the use of this international database for identification purposes and by tagging sharks they can now begin to map the movements of these enigmatic and endangered creatures during the year.

Imagine snorkeling alongside a whale shark and watching as a creature the size of a bus approaches you and then swims placidly by, its gaping jaws open to scoop up the plankton. It is an awe-inspiring sight and one that wildlife watchers shouldn’t miss.

Guided small group eco trips to see the whale sharks are available and often include sightings of wild dolphins, sea turtles and the graceful manta rays that also gather in the whale shark feeding grounds.

Ask your Concierge to help arrange a whale shark watching trip for you. You have two options: taking an eco trip from Cancun or Isla Mujeres or traveling to Holbox, the island on the north coast of Quintana Roo where even the wooden signs and colorful murals lining the sandy streets show the famous pez domino, as the whale shark is affectionately called by local fishermen.

Staying on Holbox will let you discover the rustic laidback ambiance of the island, spend time on the beach, set sail in search of whale sharks and explore the Yalahau Lagoon, a prime spot for bird watching.