Trip reviews - Mexico

The holiday was fantastic!

The trip was more than I'd dared to dream. ...we saw Blue, Fin, Humpback, Brydes, Orca, Pilot [whales] and of course the Greys in their lagoon. I had the very surreal experience of rubbing a Grey calf's baleen along with rubbing his head, getting a blow straight up all over us and they also enjoyed blowing under water to create a mass of bubbles that exploded over us! Dolphins, sea turtles, lots of birds, whale shark (the naturalist hadn't seen one before in 20 years of going there, so we were very lucky) and Mobula rays leaping out of the water - very entertaining...more

(Karen Bailey, UK)
Baja California & Sea of Cortez Whale Watching Voyage

Back home from Mexico so just wanted to send a brief note to thank you for our two fabulous trips with you this year. Wonderful wildlife experiences, but much more than that thanks to the ethos you have established with Aqua-Firma and also very good fun spending time with you both.

Of the two trips the Humpbacks were comfortably in the lead in terms of winning the hearts of Lesley and myself, possibly because we were so lucky to see such a wide range of behaviour during our week at Silverbanks, but our day of Manta Mania amongst the Whale Sharks ultimately made it a much closer battle between two brilliant trips!

A word for Chris too and the huge added value he brought to the Mexico week thanks to his information, enthusiasm and sense of humour.

(Nick & Lesley Atkins, UK)
Silver Bank Humpback Whale Watching & Snorkelling & Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

We want to thank you and your colleagues at Aqua Firma for an amazing Whale Shark adventure. Jeanne, Bryce and I had an awesome time. We totally enjoyed swimming so close to these large, majestic creatures. After a couple of days with Whale Sharks, we were shocked on Thursday to be surrounded by Manta Rays. It seemed like hundreds. The Whale Sharks alone were outstanding, but swimming with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays at the same time was incredible. To top it off, Bryce was able to get a picture of a breaching Manta!

Thank you for organizing things so well. You took care of all the details and everything was perfect. All we had to do was be where you told us to be, when you told us to be there. Thank you also, for putting together such a great team. Rafael was a perfect captain - a marine biologist, a waterman and a host dedicated to making sure we had a great time. It was reassuring that Rafael's priority was putting our safety first. Last, but not least, Dr. Chris Rohner provided excellent color commentary. He shared great insights while we were at sea and answered questions on land too. Most important to Jeanne and me, he spent time with our son Bryce. He very patiently answered Bryce's questions, shared his experiences and educated Bryce about life as a marine biologist.  

It was an extraordinary adventure that we will never forget! We look forward to our next Aqua Firma adventure.  

(Todd, Jeanne and Bryce (aged 14), USA)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

We were thrilled by the entire experience. Ralph was extremely organized and made all of our transfers effortless. The accommodations were comfortable, and the company of good people and whale sharks couldn't be beat! We already miss being out on the boat every day. It was so nice to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves as we participated in some of the whale shark research activities, and we really enjoyed the presentations and expertise from the researchers themselves. All-in-all it was wonderful and we hope to spend more time travelling with AquaFirma in the future!
(Sonia and Jesse Selbert, USA)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

Wow!! It was a fantastic trip. Everything went smoothly, especially the airport transfer which was very efficient and also assisted with check in bag drop etc at the airport which I didn't expect.

It was fascinating learning about the research methods and the sightings were amazing! I never expected to see so many whale sharks together or for such a prolonged period of time. Then the icing on the cake was the 2 courting manta rays on the final day. Swimming with them and watching the display was magical!

Thank you for  all your help in organising this trip

(Sandra, UK)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

I have to say I had a fantastic trip! I am missing the ocean already! I really enjoyed every bit of this trip. Of course the highlight would have to be swimming with the whale sharks, nothing can prepare you for this experience. Everything was made even more memorable by the fantastic people involved in the research and conservation of this magnificent creatures.

I cannot fault the whole trip, everything was good and everybody was great!

(Iulia Babici, UK)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

The experience was fantastic!  We thoroughly enjoyed getting so much time in the water with the sharks and meeting some new, fascinating people.

The highlights of the trip were, of course, being so close to the sharks.  We also enjoyed the talks … and being able to dive on the last day wrapped everything up beautifully. We enjoyed the dinners out with the group and thought the accommodations were good.

We look forward to traveling with Aqua Firma again.

(Doug & Carol Latimer, Houston USA)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

Hi Ralph,

Thanks for a wonderful time in Mexico!!  I truly enjoyed every single moment and enjoyed the many birthday smiles and treats throughout the day. Thank you for a most extraordinary adventure!

Wishing you and Team 2 a successful trip.  I thought of you all many times on my journey home last night.

Missing you all.

(Sandy, the State of Ontario, Canada)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres &
Mayan Temples & Yucatan Wildlife & Marine Life Adventure

Absolutely out of this world!


(Mr & Mrs Ramsden, UK)
Baja California & Sea of Cortez Whale Watching Voyage

A wonderful holiday - all that I could have wished for. The whale shark experience was magical - to snorkel with so many amazing gentle giants together with manta rays in the clear waters of Mexico - spectacular. And to learn about them with a whale shark scientist and a local researcher made it extra special. I loved staying on the colourful island of Isla Mujeres, where we were well-placed on the north of the island to sample the local restaurants at night and enjoy the lovely beaches in the afternoon. The local diving was very good as well. Exploring the island by driving a beach buggy was fun.

The Belize liveaboard experience was excellent. The boat was comfortable, food fantastic and crew very accommodating. I dived the Blue Hole. The entire trip (two holidays in one package) was organised by Aqua Firma who were able to customise it to suit and I was able to experience something of Belize (on land as well) and have the holiday of my dreams. Many thanks to Ralph and Aqua Firma.

(Fay James, UK)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres & Belize Dive Liveaboard

Everything went incredibly well.

From the crew for whom "amazing" would be somewhat diminishing, to the captain truly an old school gentlemen, to the other guests.

The trip kind of took a life of its own split between incredible manta dives, and very good on-board conversations.

I would give it a 10 out of 10.

(Andrea, UK)
Socorro Dive Liveaboard

Thanks again for a really memorable couple of weeks.

(Chris Pulham, Wales)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres

Oh it was amazing ! The whale shark side of things couldn't have been better. The crew on the boat where superb and their knowledge along with Dr Simon Pierce was inspiring. The dolphins following the boat where a lovely surprise and the turtles, on land and off the beach, where mesmerising and I never thought I would ever swim that close to them. They were just there, grazing mere meters away and not bothered by us at all.

Meanwhile on land our guide was a lovely guy, very sociable and a great guide, a very good choice. I think the group loved that we were taken to proper local places and not just the tourist stuff. I could probably go on and on....seriously the whole team was brilliant.
(Jenny Lacey, UK)
Whale Shark Research & Photography, Isla Mujeres &
Mayan Temples & Yucatan Wildlife & Marine Life Adventure

I have travelled to Borneo and Socorro (Rivellagigedo Islands) with Aqua-Firma and can highly recommend them. Friendly, efficient, their trips run like clockwork and they have some fantastic destinations. Plus they are conservation-focused and thus helping to fight the battle against evil shark-finners, rescuing orang-utangs, etc..

(Roly Pitts, UK)
Socorro Giant Manta Ray Dive Liveaboard

  • Calakmul, Yucatan Peninsula - Ralph Pannell
  • Snorkelling with Whale Sharks, Isla Mujeres - Dr Simon Pierce
  • Sea Lion in Baja California - Margaret Andrews
  • Grey Whale Calf in San Ignacio Lagoon on Baja California Whale Watching Voyage - Margaret Andrews
  • Cenote Diving in Yucatan Peninsula
  • Diving with Giant Manta Rays in Socorro Islands - Bob Dobson
  • Isla Santa Catalina, Baja California - Margaret Andrews
  • Diving with Humpback Whale & Calf, Socorro Islands - Shaowen Lin
  • Spider Monkey in Yucatan Peninsula - Bjoern Koth
  • Juvenile Yucatan Jay in Yucatan Peninsula - Susi Ma
  • Humpback Whale on Baja California Whale Watching Voyage
  • Northern Elephant Seals in Baja California, Mexico
  • Diving with Giant Manta Rays in the Socorro Islands - Bob Dobson
  • Cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula - Susi Ma
  • Chichen Itza in Yucatan Peninsula
  • Cenote Diving in Yucatan Peninsula
  • Flamingoes in Yucatan Peninsula - Susi Ma
  • Snorkelling with Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres - Dr Simon Pierce
  • Calakmul in Yucatan Peninsula - Ralph Pannell
  • Grackle in Yucatan Peninsula - Susi Ma
  • Snorkelling with Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres - Dr Simon Pierce
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