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Know Before You Go

What to Pack for Isla Holbox

The following packing list contains general recommendations for Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks. If you are currently booked on a whale shark adventure with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.

CLOTHING

  • 2 KN95 masks per person (included in your pre-departure package)
  • Lightweight neck gaiter (included in your pre-departure package)
    —Useful for wearing over the KN95 masks to keep them clean and extend their use.
    —Also provides sun, wind and/or dust protection.
  •  Additional cloth face coverings
    —We recommend bringing a few more face coverings of your own.
  • Lightweight, waterproof rain jacket
    —Your rain jacket should have a hood and be fully waterproof, not just water resistant. Rain ponchos also work well and can be more comfortable in this humid environment.
  • Water-resistant sport sandals or water shoes/aqua sox 
    —We will enter and exit our boats in shallow water—your feet WILL get wet. Teva, Chaco, and Keen all offer appropriate footwear.
  • 3–4 short-sleeved T-shirts 
  • 1–2 lightweight, long-sleeved shirts
    —To protect you from the sun during our outings on the boat.
  • 2–3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of lightweight pants
  • Lightweight sleepwear
  • Swimsuit
    —You may wish to bring two suits
  • Comfortable walking shoes
    —Some people choose to bring tennis shoes in addition to water-resistant sandals, as we will be doing a fair amount of walking during the adventure. Hiking boots will not be necessary.
  • Sun hat (with brim for protection)

ADDITIONAL ITEMS 

  • Cash
    —For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation).
    —For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee).
    —Optional activities/tours at Azul Beach Hotel if you are spending additional time in the area (credit cards will also be accepted).
  • Water-resistant daypack
    —To carry gear during outings.
  • Snorkeling gear
    —A mask, snorkel and fins will be available for your use during the adventure; however, if you have your own mask and snorkel, we recommend bringing them to ensure a better fit. You will not need to bring your own fins, as there is a very good selection available.
  • Rashguard and/or wetsuit
    —As most people find the water warm enough for snorkeling without the use of wetsuits, they will not be provided during the adventure. If you are particularly sensitive to water temperature, you may choose to bring your own wetsuit. You must wear a lifejacket (provided) while in the water if you do not have your own wetsuit.
  • Biodegradable sunscreen & lip balm (SPF15+)
    —The Mexican national park system requires all swimmers to use biodegradable sunscreen in order to protect the whale sharks and the marine environment from chemicals. This can be difficult to find in retail stores, so it is advisable to look for biodegradable sunscreen online before your adventure. Brands that are biodegradable include: Mexitan and Carribean Solutions Sol Guard. Be sure to look for the word “biodegradable” on the product label, as there are many “all-natural” sunscreen products on the market that are not biodegradable.
  • Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch
    –Our activities start at 7 a.m. Wake-up calls are available at Hotel Villas Palapas del Mar.
  • Headlamp or small flashlight
    —For use around town.
  • Water bottle
    —In our continuing effort to operate adventures with as little impact on the environment as possible, we will provide you with a reusable water bottle upon arrival.
  • Hairdryers will be available at both accommodations.
  • Binoculars 
    —For those interested in birdwatching.
  • Sunglasses
    —With UV filter and secure strap.
  • Toiletries
    —Only if you wish to bring your own. Shampoo, conditioner and soap will be provided at both accommodations.
  • Washcloth
    —Only towels will be provided at our accommodations on Isla Holbox.
  • Insect repellent
    —Mosquitoes and gnats are very common this time of year.
  • Anti-itch ointment (for insect bites)
  • Small medical kit
  • Medication for motion sickness
    —While we don’t anticipate rough seas during our snorkeling excursions, it’s always best to be prepared. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, we recommend bringing medication with you as a precaution, as none will be available onboard. Ginger candies are a great option to avoid nausea, and they do not cause drowsiness like some medications can.
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Reusable waterproof bags
    —Bring several sizes. These are great for wet or dirty clothing and
    for protecting camera equipment.
  • Spanish/English dictionary
  • Lock to secure your belongings when you are away from your luggage.
View Marine Life on Our Mexico Adventures
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Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks
New Itinerary!

Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks

A genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience! From our base on Holbox Island, snorkel off the Yucatan Peninsula with the largest fish on the planet—gentle 15-ton, 40-foot-long whale sharks!
6 Days / Jun–Aug
From $5695
Limited to 14 Travelers
New Itinerary!
The Great Gray Whales of Baja
New Trip

The Great Gray Whales of Baja

Come within arm's length of amiable Pacific gray whales and their calves, as these gentle giants birth and nurture their young in the warm Pacific waters of San Ignacio Lagoon.
6 Days / Feb–Mar
From $4595
Limited to 18 Travelers
New Trip
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Request Your 2022-23 Catalog
Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the globe, while helping to protect the spectacular places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog

(Continued)
To help us customize your catalog request, please tell us more about your travel needs:

View Our 2022 Digital Catalog
Help us save paper! We offer a digital version of The World's Greatest Nature Journeys. If you'd prefer a mailed copy, please provide your contact details here. To view our digital catalog, please enter your info below.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog
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Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab gift card you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here
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