Originally scheduled to take place over a three-day period, the festival now scheduled to take place over the course of seven days is a cultural extravaganza which showcases the achievements, traditions and environmental splendor of Isla Mujeres while championing the need to preserve a fragile marine ecosystem. In past years, the Festival has had a significant positive impact on the island’s tourism with increase in hotel occupancy and a surge in tourism-related businesses. This year, the Department of Tourism expects more than 5,000 guests to descend on Isla Mujeres during the festival which will host more cultural events, performances and Island color.
“The Festival has turned in to a global event and we felt we needed to extend it so our guests can fully enjoy and experience the splendor of Isla Mujeres,” said Sr. Gustavo Rodriguez Orozco, director of tourism for Isla Mujeres. “Isla Mujeres boasts a wealth of resources and ecotourism activities for guests to enjoy. With our Annual Whale Shark Festival, we have truly become the destination for ecotourism adventures.”
The 7th Annual Whale Shark Festival kicks-off on Sunday, July 20 with a dazzling parade. Following the parade, the Festival will include several fun activities for children geared toward getting the kids excited about environmentalism. It will showcase contests throughout the island in sand sculpting, best marine costume, whale shark drawing, and whale shark piñatas. Exhibitions showcasing the beauty of the island will feature whale shark murals, photography, gastronomy and local handcrafted works of art. The Festival will host volleyball and basketball games as well as several workshops where guest will learn to craft using reusable materials.
The Festival continues with a dancing show showcasing time-honored dances present by the academies of the island, a golf cart parade and a beauty contest for young girls called "Miss Caribe Quintana Roo, 2014.” Guests can visit nearby attractions such as the Whale Shark Exhibition and view a display of the winning marine figures made by local high school students.
Whale Shark season on Isla Mujeres runs from May 15th till September 15th, visitors can have an ecotourism adventure of a lifetime and swim with the whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean and endangered species. Don’t worry: these magnificent whale sharks are filter feeders, like whales they feed on plankton, algae and krill. And, all swimmers will swim with fully licensed, expert diver/guides. Besides swimming with the whale sharks, guests can participate in some of the other water activities that have made Isla Mujeres a favorite vacation spot: sport fishing, diving, and snorkeling tours of the pristine reefs.
In addition to celebrating the beauty of Isla Mujeres, the Whale Shark Festival is a concerted effort to raise awareness of the need to preserve the area’s marine ecosystem. It is part of the second largest barrier reef on the planet, and serves as the nursery of the Caribbean and the migratory path of whale sharks, Manta Ray’s and Dolphin as well as sea turtles, water fowl and game fishes.
“Sustainable eco-tourism engages guests in the effort to preserve the indigenous culture of Isla Mujeres, their way of life and the marine environment,”
For a complete listing of 2014 Whale Shark Festival activities and for more information, visit
http://www.whalesharkfest.com or www.cevichetours.com. Information about Isla Mujeres can be found at www.islamujeres.gob.mx.
About Blue Realm A.C.
Blue Realm A.C. is a Marine research and preservation NGO whose mission is to ensure a healthy, sustainable area of marine biodiversity in Northern Quintana Roo, which provides superlative natural
phenomena for years to come. For more information about Blue Realm A.C. and to further read about the several projects that they are working on in order to create a UNESCO world heritage site for the Northern Quintana Roo Marine Ecosystem so that we can protect, enjoy and study its inhabitants for many generations to come visit www.bluerealmproject.org
About Amigos de Isla Contoy
Amigos de Isla Contoy was founded on October of 1994 to promote the conservation of Isla Contoy, nature areas and regional projects of the Yucatan peninsula through the sustainable development of local communities in collaboration with the National Commission of Nature Protected Areas. Amigos de Isla Contoy develops environmental education programs for the entire community. With a special focus on educating children, Amigos de Isla Contoy has also initiated a successful Conservation of Coral Reefs program for all students, beach cleanups, plays that teach about recycling and an elementary program on the environment with materials for teachers. For more information, visit www.amigosdeislacontoy.org.
About Ceviche Tours
Ceviche Tours provides sustainable ecotourism and travel services to the Yucatan and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Founded by John and Adriana Vater of Spa Adriana in Huntington Village, NY, with longtime friend and Isla Mujeres native Luis Refugio Aguirre, his son Jesus and their family, Ceviche Tours works with the indigenous islanders of Isla Mujeres to help preserve their culture and maintain the integrity and beauty of the surrounding marine environment. Through education and photo identification efforts, Ceviche Tours joins the worldwide effort to protect and preserve whale sharks. As participants on our whale shark tours, guests are invited to be part of those identification and tracking efforts. For more information, please contact www.cevichetours.com. Follow us at www.facebook.com/
Travel arrangements and bookings for whale shark tours can be made through the Ceviche Tours Website www.cevichetours.com or call 631.470.6315 (tel:631%20470%