Dive Xcalak Mexico
This entry Diving Xcalak, prices, marine life, dive operator, transport, accommodation and our video diving at Xcalak!
We had our appetites wet for diving in perfect, fish tank like conditions while diving in the cenotes near Tulum. The plan was to dive in the crystal clear Caribbean being circled by sharks and big fish, idyllic National Geographic kind of stuff. Unfortunately we missed both the bull shark and whale shark seasons. Most Mexican dive sites seemed to have mainly small fish, patches of coral with the odd turtle or barracuda swimming around in the clear water. Doing some research Alya stumbled upon Xcalak. Fueled by the promise of huge schools of massive fish we were off, hitchhiking towards paradise just on the Mexican side of the border with Belize.
Just like at many small rural towns close to top Asian dive sights, Xcalak is not the most beautiful little town. There was a lot of pollution from passenger ships washing out in the shallows. La Poza, the main dive site was however an awesome dive. We were surrounded by a variety of fish as soon as we entered the water; snappers, barracuda, trevally with one or two eagle rays also joining the party. Swimming just impatiently scanning the horizon, waiting for the tarpons to show up. Two smaller tarpon appeared from nowhere and we started following these prehistoric looking fish. All of a sudden there where massive tarpon swimming everywhere. Some of these giant fish being about 2m long and I estimate over a 100kg. The other dive sites and snorkelling were nice. Nothing that can however be compared with the awesome dive at La Poza.
The tarpon is the main attraction, other than that the diving is nice, but not amazing. It can not be compared with top sites in Asia. I loved diving with these schools of big fish and there were a lot of other fish around. Don’t however expect the massive color explosion and a variety of large pelagic creatures that you can find around some top international dive sites.
XCALAK DIVE LOG
Dive site: Canones Max Depth: 30m Avg Depth: 17m Temp: 25C Viz: 20m
Canyons, nice bottom structure, crayfish, many lionfish, some interesting nudis, DM spears lionfish (an invasive species)
Dive site: La Poza Max Depth: 22m Avg Depth: 11m Temp: 25C Viz: 20m
The highlight was many massive tarpons. Greater Barracuda, trevally, spotted eagle ray, snappers and some nudibranches.
XTC is a very professional operation and the diving is good, but it is VERY EXPENSIVE! We paid $140 for 2 dives, they except VISA.
There is a daily bus from Chetumal main station to Xcalak. The bus leaves around 6:00 am and 14:00 pm hrs and takes about 4 hours to arrive in Xcalak / Mahahual (Majahual). From Xcalak the bus returns around 10:00 am and 18:00 PM from the dock of Xcalak to Chetumal.
We hitchhiked to Majahual, there were no cars passing beyond this town and we took the bus coming from Chetumal for the last stretch.
We hitch hiked most of the time around Mexico, we did not have any safety issues, but some days we spent hours waiting for a ride.
ACCOMODATION IN XCALAK
Xcalak, self-catering apartment, 350 peso ($18.50) for a double room per night. We had a stove plate and could buy limited groceries in Xcalak and cook for ourselves.
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