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Xcalac Diving

Scuba diving > Diving Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Xcalac diving


Xcalac dive guide


Xcalak diving offers incredible diversity owing to it's situation at the center of the Great Maya Reef which is the second largest barrier reef in the world. Here you will find deep walls, shallow walls, big canyons between spur and groove reef systems, caverns and a wide variety of marine life.

From Xcalac you have access to the Banco Chinchorro. This is the largest coral atoll on the Great Maya Reef, the most extensive reef system in Mexico and is now a national marine sanctuary. Banco Chinchorro diving offers pristine reefs and several species of black coral within recreational diving depths.

The eastern side of Chinchorro is pounded by the waves of the Caribbean and here the remains of many (but not all) of the hundreds of ships that have been running aground on this reef system since the Spanish arrived in the 16th Century can be seen.

The Western side offers much calmer waters and most of the reef dives that Chinchorro is famous for.
The local diving is usually done close to shore along the outer wall of the barrier reef that runs parallel to the waterfront. Travel time to the reefs is usually very short as in most locations the reef is less than ¼ !!!!!mile offshore.

Huge plate and elk horn coral can be seen at many locations. Depths can vary but typically do not run extremely deep: generally from 40-75 feet/14-23 meters. At most sites, once you get underwater, there is a back and forth surge that can take some getting used to.
Water temperatures usually range from about 70°F/21°C to 80°F/27°C year round although it is not unusual to come across some spots where cold fresh water is escaping from under ground springs that originate on-land.

One popular local dive is referred to as La Chimenea or The Chimney. The highlight of the dive is a swim down a narrow channel and entry into a large round room with an open top that gives it the aspect of the top of a chimney.

The atoll is in the shape of an oval and it extends over an area of about 300 square miles/186 square km, most of it underwater. There are three main areas of small islands: Cayo Lobos in the south, Cayo Centro, which is the largest and the two islands of Cayo Norte on the north end. From Xcalak, the nearest of these areas is Cayo Lobos.
The best dive spots can be found on the east side of the atoll. The reason for this is that this is the place where the numerous Spanish colonial ships and steam ships stranded on the coral.

Mexico is famous for it's cenotes and there is an enormous amount of cenotes here. One famous cenote is the Cenote Azul and it's very near Xcalak. This is the largest pit cenote in Mexico, 600 feet/182 meters across and 290+ feet/88+ meters at the center. Here the formations ressemble the moon scape and is populated by lots of fresh water fish. This is truly an exciting dive not to miss for divers looking for the cenotes experience.

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