Close to the border of Belize and with a population of only 400 people, Xcalak is truly off the beaten track and a gem worth exploring. It’s the most southern town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and a part of the Xcalak Reef National Marine Park. You won’t find mobile phone coverage, internet or any nightlife here, but you will find a pristine reef, unique wildlife in abundance and absolute serenity.
The best way to get there is from Limones, you can get a bus quite cheap or a taxi if you don’t mind spending a bit more. Alternatively you can hire a car and drive from Cancun, it’ll take you about 5 hours.
There’s accommodation from camping (called Maya Village campground) to some small hotel and villas that can be booked online. You’ll find some great restaurants along the beach serving local seafood to tantalise your taste buds.
A lot of people come here because it is the gateway to the amazing Banco Chinchorro but there are some other interesting dive sites that shouldn’t be missed. La Poza, aka The Tarpon Hole, is a trench that is unique to the Great Maya Reef and is home to lots of big fish including massive 6 foot tarpons, schools of jacks and snapper and midnight blue parrotfish. La Chimenea is a wall dive with a large cavern you can go into and watch the light dancing and schools of fish. Advanced divers can go into the swim through and up a large chimney, followed by a beautiful coral wall finale.
Other sites with an abundance of sea life include Alejandro’s Reef, Santa Julia and Hob Na. For a truly special dive visit Lake Bacalar and the biggest pit Cenote in Mexico, Cenote Azul with its incredible underwater trees.
Other activities include bird watching trips, snorkelling, bone fishing or trolling, snorkelling or kayaking. This paradise destination is awaiting you.
(Story by Kelly Luckman)