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Yucatan Adventure - Holbox Island
August 11 - 16, 2013
Watch Gayles Whale Shark Video!

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Yucatan Peninsula, this paradise is the crossroads between the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico
and is rich in ancient Maya history. Located to the northwest of Cancun, Isla Holbox  is just 26 miles
long and an easy 20 minute ferry ride takes you there. Holbox is separated from the mainland by
the shallow Yalahau lagoon which gives sanctuary to thousands of flamingos, pelicans and other
exotic birds and creatures.

Most of the locals make their living fishing and a common sight
is seeing the fishermen walking through the village with their
catch of the day or carrying their nets. The streets of the island
are white sand, common in the Caribbean and golf carts are the
main transportation. Despite it’s natural beauty and tranquil
atmosphere, Holbox is considered a virgin tourist destination.
Most tourists flock to the large resort hotels of Cancun so this
has left the island virtually unspoiled by mass tourism.

    But what sets Isla Holbox apart from anyplace else are the wondrous creatures that visit the
    area every summer, the HUGE and gentle whale sharks. The whale shark has nothing in
    common with whales except for its size and the fact that it only eats small plankton by
    scooping it up with an open mouth. It’s body is similar to a shark but the whale shark is
    actually the largest fish on earth, usually measuring between 15 and 50 feet in length and
    weighing as much as 10 tons. These gentle sea creatures spend the months from June
    through September feeding in the plankton rich waters around Isla Holbox.

    The whale shark is a very gentle and docile creature and despite their impressive
    appearance, are slow moving and pose no threat to humans. Being in the presence of these
    incredible creatures, with enough time to observe and enjoy them, is a special privilege
    indeed. When in the water with them we respect their space and never touch or harass them
    in any way!

Tourism based on whale shark activity has increased dramatically in the last few years and
government agencies have taken steps to protect these magnificent animals so that the species
will not be harmed and so they will continue to return to this area. There are strict rules against
scuba equipment being used to view them so it is snorkel only. Local guides have been trained to
give tours that are as safe for the whale sharks as they are for their human visitors. Aware of the
importance of this species and its protection, President Felipe Calderon has decreed a marine
reserve of 160,000 hectares added to the reserve of Yum Balam

    Daily Itinerary

    Day 1. August 11, 2013    Arrival in Cancun, Mexico – HolBox Island

    Welcome to the Yucatan! Upon arrival at the Cancun airport arrangements will
    be made to transfer you to the Puerto Cancun dock where you will take the ferry
    to Holbox Island. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the 4 Star Villas Pariaso
    del Mar beach resort. Enjoy the remainder of the day exploring the island or
    enjoying the pool, beach and other amenities of this lovely hotel.

    Villas Paraiso del Mar is an ecological hotel where great care has been taken in
    all environmental aspects of its construction, running and management. Discover
    a new kind of eco-tourism accommodations immersed in nature. Surrounded by
    green areas and tropical plants, you will enjoy peaceful tranquility, comfort and
    quality in a relaxing and exclusive atmosphere. Daily buffet breakfast included
    Villas Paraiso del Mar

    Day 2. August 12.   "VIP" Private Charter Boat Whale Shark Adventure  B

Our Whale Shark adventure will begin at 7:00AM when you attend the morning coffee briefing. All
snorkel and safety equipment is provided as well as on-boat snacks, sandwiches, ice cold sodas
and water. Our luxurious high speed Lancha boat has sun covers, and thick soft cushions to sit on
for a smooth, comfortable ride to and from the whale shark swim áreas which can take from 1 to 1
1/2 hours depending on where the whale sharks are feeding. You'll also receive an early morning
snack of freshly-made Empanadas and yogurt drinks enroute. We'll also have snacks,
sandwiches, soft drinks and water on board for our day on the water.

The highlight of our VIP private chárter is you'll get unlimited time with
the magnificent Whale Sharks! You are only allowed 2 people at a time
in the wáter with a licensed biologist / guide, but you'll enjoy 5-6
extended duration swims as compared to 3 short swims on a public
boat. This will allow us the ultimate in-water experience with these
wondrous creatures! You may also encounter dolphins, huge manta
rays, golden rays, turtles and flamingos - every day in Mother Nature's aquarium is different!

After we leave the whalesharks, our Captain will head for a spot where he knows Fresh Snapper,
Grouper, & Yellowtail are in abundance. The crew and you if you choose, fish for these tasty morsels
"Island Style" w/ Hand lines. Then we're off to the northern most point on the Yucatan peninsula
where we can explore a lighthouse, snorkel some reefs with colorful fish while the crew prepares
the "FRESHEST" CEVICHE Imagineable! They filet and marinate our "fresh catch" in fresh Squeezed
Lime Juice & Salt, then mix with Chopped Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro, and a Hint of "Habanero
Peppers" (peppers optional). This is then served in a huge Bowl with Crispy Tortilla Chips!

We’ll return to the island in the afternoon where you can relax and enjoy the remainder of the day
at the hotel pool or beach. You may choose an optional activity like a horseback ride on the beach,
kayaking, or exploring the island in a golf cart.

Later enjoy a spectacular sunset as you enjoy a cool drink and then savor a FRESH LOBSTER PIZZA
at Edelyns Restaurant. Get good night's rest so you are ready for the next days adventure!

    Day 3. August 13.   Full day excursión to the Mayan Site of Ek Balam.  B,L

    After breakfast we’ll take the ferry back to the mainland to visit Ek Balam. Ek
    Balam which means "Bright Star Jaguar" in Maya language is one of the most
    fascinating Mayan sites in the area. Not only does it boast some of the most
    monumental Mayan buildings on the Yucatan peninsula, it also features a wall of
    stucco unique in the Maya world, you just have to see to believe it! Ek Balam is
    unlike any other Mayan site and has a feel all it’s own. The main temple here is
    impressive, both in size and architecture. Its massive size of over 500 feet long
    and 200 feet wide easily makes it one of the largest structures ever excavated
    in the Yucatan. The intricate detail of the artistry and symbolism incorporated
    into the frescoes and sculptures decorating this temple are an artistic marvel.

    Ek Balam´s most striking temple is one with a huge ¨monster mouth¨. To the
    Maya this represents a portal to the ¨other world¨. The enormous mouth of the
    Witz Monster (entry to the underworld), complete with teeth, is awe-inspiring.
As Ek Balam is still an undiscovered treasure that not many tourists visit, you can still climb the
steps up to the top of the temples for an amazing view of the entire area.

As we are driving to Ek Balam we will pass many small indigenous villages and we'll stop to meet
some of the local people, shop for hand-made crafts and learn more about the culture.

    Day 4. August 14.  Our 2nd "VIP" Private Charter Whale Shark Adventure  B

Another day out on the water with our new friends the gentle and docile Whale Sharks. This day
will be as exciting as our first experience with them and who knows what other surprises this day
might bring! Sandwiches, snacks and water on the boat.

    Day 5. August 15.  Free Day to relax or enjoy optional island activities.  B

After so much excitement with the whalesharks, today is your day to do as you please. Hang out at
the pool, kick back and relax, rent golf carts to explore the island, do some local shopping in Holbox
village, ride horses or go kayaking. You can also choose to go on another mainland tour to the
Mayan sites of Chitzen Itza, Coba or Tulum. There are also boat tours to other areas in the marine
reserve for bird-watching or you can swim with the whalesharks one last time and go on a public
boat tour.
Join Gayle Lawrence on an
Amazing Adventure!
Holbox Island - Yucatan, Mexico
August 11 - 16, 2013

Snorkel with Wondrous Whale Sharks and
Explore Sacred Mayan Sites!

Trip Cost Only: $1,695.00 PP
priced on a "maximum" of only 8 guests

    Day 6. August 16.  Departure Holbox Island to Cancun Airport  B

You will be transferred from the island to the airport, transfer times will be arranged according to flight departure times. This is
the end of our group trip experience but you may also choose to extend your stay in the Yucatan with a few more days on the
island or a couple of days in Cancun.

Print Trip Itinerary and Details

Watch Gayles Video

Holbox Island Whalesharks trip cost:
August 11 - 16, 2013

$1,769.00 per person
based on a group of 8 in double accommodations
Single Room Supplement: $390.00

5 nights at the 4* Paraiso del Mar Villa Resort
buffet breakfast daily at the resort

2 days VIP Whaleshark swims private charter boat
snorkel gear is provided
(sandwiches, snacks, water and soft drinks provided on the boat)

Professional photographer / videographer on the boat
video and still photos are included of the group

Full day private tour to Ek Balam, Mayan Site on the mainland
stops at local villages, lunch included

airfare to Cancun, Mexico

meals not noted in the itinerary

transfer from Cancun to Holbox Island, this will be arranged for
you and price determined by number of people in the van.
It's a 2 hr. ride from the airport to the ferry, 20 min. ferry ride to
the island. Average cost around $55 per person for 4 people, more
than 4 price goes down

optional island activities    /    gratuity to boat crew
Contact: Gayle Lawrence
Journeys of Discovery

Email Gayle:

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