Xcalak is the southernmost town on the Mexican Caribbean coast. This small, traditional fishing village has become a model for sustainable ecotourism in our region. Its conservation status is the result of a well thought-out and implemented plan to preserve the natural environment and unique heritage.
Xcalak sits at the tip of a peninsula bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east and Chetumal Bay to the west, forming part of an extremely biodiverse ecosystem of coral reefs (over 20 km of protected reef), mangroves, rivers, lagoons and bays—a nature lover’s paradise.
Xcalak is located within the Xcalak Reef National Park, which is protected by strict federal environmental regulations both in the water and on land. It has been a focal point for natural resource management studies and a priority area for the federal government, World Wildlife Fund, and many researchers and naturalists. It is not unusual for marine biologists, high-level conservation officials or professional underwater photographers to join us on the dive boat.
Xcalak is also at the center of the Great Maya Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Scuba diving in Xcalak offers incredible diversity: deep and shallow walls, unusual geographical formations, vast canyons between spur and groove reef systems, swim-throughs, caverns and an exotic array of Caribbean marine creatures.
More than a decade ago, the local village requested that the federal government declare Xcalak a National Park to protect it from the kind of development that was happening just a few miles north in Mahahual, where there is now a cruise ship port. As a result, Xcalak is one of the few marine reserves that was protected well before any development occurred, making it an ideal place for focused, professional dive training courses and for hands-on learning about marine conservation.
When you come to Xcalak, you will find that your cell phone doesn’t work here, internet access is limited and most lodging options are small beach inns that run on renewable energy. This allows our guests to unplug and enjoy a truly memorable experience in a very special place.
You will also find an eclectic community of lifelong residents, expatriates and sustainable-tourism entrepreneurs working together to provide you with a collection of small beach inns, guesthouses and sustainable tourism operations that make Xcalak a hidden gem for people looking for that last, unspoiled frontier.
Life in Xcalak is very simple… there are only a few restaurant options and a handful of local shops selling basic necessities. A veggie truck comes around a few times a week bringing fresh supplies, but otherwise getting hold of “non-essentials” can be tricky. Try to bring what you need with you!
Our friendly and knowledgeable Course Directors and Instructors are waiting to hear from you with any questions that you may have.