Whale shark tours

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husker gringoes
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2015/08/13 19:51:43 (permalink)
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Whale shark tours

 We will be going to Isla Mujeres on the 24th of August for three days to do the whale sharks, then 7 days at ABR. It is our first time with the sharks and would like recommendations for a good tour company to go with, and or, who to stay away from if there any bad operators. Also it is our first time on Isla, so any " MUST SEES or things to do" on the island?
   Thanks, HUSKER       P.S. I see the grass is gone for now, got my fingers crossed!!! 
#1
Vancouver Sundog
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/13 21:23:21 (permalink)
+2 (2)
Husker - where are you staying?
 
Two of the top WS companies (recommended by many and on Isla)
 
Is 
1) Captain Tony: a small tour company  owned by a local Isla favourite  - book via his Facebook Page - may be difficult to advance book
 
2) We used onislamujeres.com: Larger company but very well trusted - we booked months in advance
 
Again, book ahead and the earliest date you can in case weather bumps you 1-2 days
 
Must see on Isla
Buy MapChicks maps - a must
Rent a golf cart and visit some great places around the island (Soggy Pesos, Bahia Tortuga,Villa Del Bella)
Tacos on the water - Bally Hoos & Cooperative
 
Asia Caribe - mix of asia and seafood
 
Bistro Francais (surf and turf, shrimp kebabs, fish filet in lime sauce or garlic sauce)
 
Miramar (seafood soup, seafood tacos, garlic fish filet, whole fish)
 
Kalak (curried chicken satay with peanut sauce and mango salsa)
 
Café del Mar (filet mignon with blue cheese sauce; steak and shrimp skewers)
 
Rolandi’s Pizza (wood overn roasted chicken, vitello tomato, fish or shrimp in parsley sauce)
 
Rene Renee = Rene is just Great!
 
Picus = Fresh Lobster tail for under $200 Pesos
 
El Comejen = Tix n Chix
 
El Charco = never had a bad dish there
 
Morgan's Restaurant and Bar - new steak/fish place
 
Freddies for the pork chops
 
Very Special dinners ($$$) Olivias, Lolo Lorena
 
 

A triple PMASB2019  & AASB2019 (Part  I & II) -
Happening now
 
 
 
 
 
 
#2
CallMeFrank
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/13 23:39:13 (permalink)
+2 (2)
When we went way back in 2005 there wasn't any time to explore the island.  Company picked us up at the ABR then we went to Isla Holbox, not Isla Mujeres.  Once back from swimming with the sharks we had just enough time to hit a store and pick up some T-shirts then back in the van for the ride back to the ABR.  Might be different now and the fact you're going out of Isla Mujeres.  I can tell you one thing-it's one heck of a good time and something you'll never forget!
#3
Jamie
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/14 08:12:37 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Haven't done the whale sharks, but you have to rent a golf cart and tour the island, be sure and stop at Villa la Bella (adults only B&B on the Caribbean side, watch for the yellow place with the sign "beer so cold it makes your teeth ache") for a made from scratch pina colada or margarita. Punta Sur, just beautiful.
Also second the filet with bleu cheese sauce at Cafe del Mar, and for good northern Italian, Cafe Rolandi at the Villa Rolandi hotel, it is now a Zoetry AI but the restaurant is still open to the public. Terrific view from out on the deck over the water.
#4
OmahaBruce
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/14 10:43:52 (permalink)
+1 (1)
We met a young couple at the COZ airport who swam with the whale sharks just a couple of days previous.  It had been an ALL DAY travel getting up at 6, catching the first ferry from COZ to PDC.  Taxi to Cancun, Ferry to Isla Mujeres, boat ride out and trolling the swimming lanes.  They each got 5 or 6 turns  that lasted just a few minutes each, then repeated the same travel process in reverse.  They got back to their hotel quite late.
I asked them if, considering the trouble, they would do it again.  They both got so indignant at the question I had to laugh.
"DUDE!  We S W A M with the  W H A L E S H A R K S!!!!"

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#5
johndc
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/14 11:28:22 (permalink)
+1 (1)
From what you say, I understand that you plan on doing the whale sharks from Isla, which is a good plan, since you won't have to get up at such an ungodly hour as if you were doing it from the mainland like we did a few years ago.  Just to reinforce what Vancouver Sundog said about booking a day early in your stay (I would do it the day after you arrive), our first attempt got scuttled by the weather (2 bad days in a row) and because it was near the end of our stay, we  ended up not going that year.  But we came back and had a great trip the next year.  Here's my TR, which will tell you what to expect -- except you won't have the ultra-early morning!  Enjoy!
http://www.tripadvisor.co...Yucatan_Peninsula.html
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Grump
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/15 12:29:12 (permalink)
+1 (1)
I know this won't help you with your decision but we took the tour out of Holbox a few years ago. We stopped on the way back and went fishing with just lines. The boat caught around 20 fish which the fist mate made ceviche out of. We pulled into a cove and ate the freshest fish I have ever had in my life. 


#7
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/15 15:19:31 (permalink)
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Grump, That sounds great! I love to fish and love to eat them. Maybe I will find a boat on Isla that will offer the same kind of trip!?
#8
Shark_Bait
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/16 07:46:48 (permalink)
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Wonderful experience! Recommend taking something for seasickness though. Three out of four us weren't feeling too well for awhile.
#9
nevertoolate
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/16 15:12:25 (permalink)
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Highly recommend Tony Garcia, he posts daily on FB.
I have to quit following him because of his non stop posting,
But you should friend and follow as your dates approach.
He only books by PM or in person the day before, and doesn't go when the weather is bad.
Prefers USA cash, I think $100 each when we went.
He takes you at your word that you will show up and pay, maybe we paid $20 the night before.

We went in early June and not many sharks yet but boat captains cooperate by radio,
and took orderly rotation to put customers in the water just ahead of the surface cruising wale sharks.
Our boat had only us two and another couple with two 10 to 12 year old girls.
We got in and out of the water several times.
We had a 2 hour boat ride out and 3 of the 6, me included, were mildly seasick.
Take a pill. We had local pill Vomisin and chewed them up and that helped.
I'm sure it's much better to take an hour or two before and not chew!

Also on FB is Tony's wife Betsy Snider and she may be the one to answer your inquiries to Tony.

After whale shark adventure Tony made fabulous guacamole and ceviche during the ride in
and while we stopped for some snorkeling on the north end of the Isla.
Then anchored in the north end of beautiful north beach, chest deep water,
To enjoy our snacks and soft drinks. Maybe 2 beers per adult.

Fabulous guy. Check out his recent beached turtle rescue on his FB page,
or shared on mine.

We are Huskers too, but now 25 years removed in Utah.

We like Isla. Some pretty nice scuba there as well. It appears.

It won't be the same next year, so go now!
AND next year too, if you still can :-)
#10
nevertoolate
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/16 15:22:50 (permalink)
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First things first.
When you arrive find or contact Tony to book trip.
He doesn't go if it's too windy or minimum 6 I think.
Lucky us, we made his six! The other 4 had been waiting for 2 more to show up.
If he is booked up I would trust his next available recommendation.

Especially check with him the day before if you need to use his snorkel gear.
I think we met at his shop around 7:30am or such,
and finished back on shore by 2 pm or so.
He recommends only a light breakfast and no milk or dairy.

It won't be the same next year, so go now!
AND next year too, if you still can :-)
#11
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/16 17:59:20 (permalink)
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nevertolate, Where do you find Tony on the island? Daughter had some trouble with an old boyfriend on Face Book a few years ago so we stay away from that!
#12
nevertoolate
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/16 18:49:43 (permalink)
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Tripadvisor has great current reviews.
I sent you you a pm.
I have email of.
Capitantonys@hotmail.com

I found this website with Tony Garcia info:

http://www.isla-mujeres.net/capttony/home.htm#_=_
post edited by nevertoolate - 2015/08/16 18:54:44

It won't be the same next year, so go now!
AND next year too, if you still can :-)
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OmahaBruce
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/17 11:32:39 (permalink)
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 Have fun on your trip next week.  Be sure to post a TR to tell us all about it when you get back.
 
Go Huskers!

I'd much rather have sand in my shorts than snow in my shoes.
#14
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/17 19:21:34 (permalink)
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Bruce, Thanks.. Hope the weather doesn't spoil our plans! Don't mind a little rain as long as we get there, but would hate to miss the sharks!!??  Just a few weeks till football but first things first!  GO BIG RED
   HUSKER
 
post edited by husker gringoes - 2015/08/17 20:35:26
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husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/17 20:38:42 (permalink)
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Sundog, Forgot you asked, we are staying at Posida del Mar, not fancy but just a place to stay for three nights before going to Akumal. Hoping for clean,cold AC, soft bed!?
   
  HUSKER     
P.S.  Thanks for the Isla info, we'll put it to good use!
#16
Vancouver Sundog
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 00:04:03 (permalink)
+1 (1)
We were originally going to book with Captain Tony - he has a place by Olivia's restaurant on Calle Matamoros #7A
 
See http://www.myislamap.com/
 
But for our short 4 day stay, we wanted to prebook so we went onisla
 
All the best

A triple PMASB2019  & AASB2019 (Part  I & II) -
Happening now
 
 
 
 
 
 
#17
Jamie
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 07:31:51 (permalink)
+1 (1)
Husker, I stayed at Posada del Mar for 3 nights in 2013 in New Building 2, nice cold and quiet remote controlled AC and bed was pretty comfy. Small fridge would keep water cool but not cold, think they may have fixed that problem. Be sure and stay in one of the 2 new buildings. Nice pool and be sure and have a drink at Romy's palapa bar, he is a real character.
#18
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 11:22:14 (permalink)
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Jamie, The research I did before booking there, everyone said to book the new buildings ONLY. Also my daughter stayed there 4 years ago and said Romy is the best! Said we needed to make sure we spend some time there and meet him.If I remember right when they did a whale shark tour they booked it at the hotel and I know she said two of the people that work there went with them. They had a great time and they even went fishing after the tour. I wonder if they still book out of there, I would rather fish after the whale sharks than snorkel as most do, as we will be at Akumal after for a week and can snorkel all we want.  
    Thanks HUSKER
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Jamie
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 15:37:04 (permalink)
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I have not gone fishing in Isla myself, but a lot of the fish they seem to catch (not all) is barracuda which a: I do not care for other than smoked and b: you need to make sure that the barracuda does not have ciguatera.
#20
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 17:41:48 (permalink)
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 We have eaten barracuda that we caught, at Pescadors, many times, battered and fried, and it was delicious! I've heard that some of the larger ones and time of year might make you sick, but never had a problem so far!?
#21
ulle trautvag
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/18 21:56:47 (permalink)
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Jamie
I have not gone fishing in Isla myself, but a lot of the fish they seem to catch (not all) is barracuda which a: I do not care for other than smoked and b: you need to make sure that the barracuda does not have ciguatera.


Jamie, very interesting.  I had barracuda once at ABR and disliked it.  Smoked is probably very good.
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sherrys07
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/19 09:46:02 (permalink)
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We had a great experience with Whale Shark Daddy, they get great reviews.  Amazing experience!
 
They did reduce the number of people allowed per day in the reserve where the whale sharks are, so I definitely recommend a reservation or you could be shut out.
 
post edited by sherrys07 - 2015/08/19 09:48:10

Sherry


Next trip to heaven on earth.....soon!
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Chopperita
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/20 15:59:56 (permalink)
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I had a great experience with On Isla Mujeres last June.  The crew was terrific.  There was one woman who did not swim well who the guide took one on one and she loved it.  The guide generally took 2 of us at a time but did one on one swims with most of us.   I think I had 6 turns, as most people did.  Saw lots of whale sharks and manta rays and managed to get to a space that was not too close to other boats. Amazing experience.  On the way back we stopped for a general snorkel which was not spectacular but we did see a big field of purple fan coral and some of the usual fish.  They made us lunch while we snorkeled, ceviche, guac, chicken.   
 
The boat itself is a little bigger than some that go out and had comfortable seating and a bathroom on board.  I booked with them online so I didn't have to spend any time doing that when I was on Isla.  It was very stress free.   Book for the first day you'll be there in case the weather isn't good you'll have a chance to rebook.   Highly recommend them.   We were out there for quite a few hours (I think we left at 9 and got back at 3) so take the seasickness pills even if you don't usually get seasick. 
 
The first time in the water I was nervous about the size of them.  After that I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss them.  You do have to take off swimming fast as soon as you drop in the water.   They really weren't scary at all, quite beautiful. 
 
 
#24
husker gringoes
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Re: Whale shark tours 2015/08/20 16:15:11 (permalink)
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Sounds good, thanks, I''ll check them out. Also heard good things about Capt. Tony, and E-mailed him last night but haven't heard back from him yet. 
#25
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