swim with whale sharks in holbox
photo by BlackTomato

Swim With Whale Sharks In Holbox

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The Facts
Ideal length7 nights
LocationMexico
Pricefrom £1,999 per person
When to goall year round

From whale sharks to a killer art and a vibrant nightlife scene, with the peaceful Oaxaca valley in between, this Mexico experience combines coast, countryside and capital perfectly. Just don’t forget your underwater camera.

mexico’s chaotic capital

condesa df

Flying right into the craze of Mexico’s capital you’ll check in to the uber-stylish Condesa DF for true taste of modern Mexico.

Art buffs should check out Frida Kahlo's original sketches at her eponymous museum, and Diego Rivera's enormous murals at the Palacio Nacional, built from the ruins of an Aztec temples.

In between, fuel up with traditional Mexican cooking, such as carnitas (a shredded pork pancake) as you sit back with your salty margarita, before hitting the town.

For a day out of the city, the pyramids of Teotihuacan are an absolute must. Discover the mysterious origins of these mind-bogglingly huge pre-Hispanic structures, with the added bonus of a good work-out climbing the 247 stairs on the Pyramid of the Sun. Multi-tasking Mexico-style.

up in the mountains

oaxaca

Leaving the wild pace of Mexico City behind, make your way to the ancient colonial city of Oaxaca set high in the stunning Sierra Madre del Sur mountains.

Toast your arrival with a glass of Mezcal, the local fire water, or take the soft option and go for a mug of hot chocolate – there’s so much cocoa stored on Mina St that it literally scents the air.

By day, admire the authentic wood carvings of the historic gallery district and by night the vibrant outdoor markets really come to life. See the huge, ancient Iglesia de Santo Domingo and watch local artisans glaze pottery and weave colourful baskets and rugs known as Tlacolula. Unwind by the pool at the elegant Hacienda Los Laureles: our favourite five star hotel which feels like your very own private Mexican estate.

whale shark

get up close with the largest fish in the world

And for the grand finale: beach time with a twist. Hop over to Isla Holbox: a gem of an island a few miles off the coast of Cancun, still largely unknown to tourists and even most locals.

Originally settled by pirates and local Mayans this is the place to chill out and meet a different type of native. In July and August every year, enormous whale sharks congregate off the coast to feed on their favourite food – plankton and krill.

Take a private tour to their feeding grounds, don a snorkel, and literally swim beside these huge fish (the largest in the world) which can reach up to 12 meters long. And if these magnificent creatures aren’t enough to satisfy your wildlife needs, you may even spot a manta ray, the largest ray in the world, as well as flamingos, pelicans and other exotic birds which the island’s shallow lagoon hosts. Simply incredible.

casa sandra hotel

the ultimate crash pad

Throughout this beach extravaganza, you’ll crash at the gorgeous Casa Sandra Hotel where every piece of furniture is hand-made.

Spoil yourself at the spa and swing in a hammock outside your beach front rooom, go kayaking, kite boarding or wind surfing in the clear, warm waters, and we definitely recommend exploring the seven-mile long island on your golf cart (yes, really) before returning home full of unforgettable stories.

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

BlackTomato

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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