Snorkeling among tropical fish.

Paradise for sportfishing.

Diving in the coral reef.

Birdwatching in the lagoons.

Mayan ruins at Chacchoben.

Relaxing in the hammock.

Exploring Xcalak

Xcalak’s National Reef Park

The waters of Xcalak have been a protected National Reserve since 2000. The reef is about 300 meters in front of the house and is a snorkelers dream. All visitors to the area are required to follow park regulations and to purchase an entry bracelet for swimming, snorkeling, diving, or fishing. Bracelets are available through the park office in town or through our managers.

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing and Bird Watching

Excursions for many activities can be arranged through the local dive centers. They offer all levels of recreational and technical diving instruction, snorkeling tours, fishing, and bird watching trips. They are fully licensed and insured dive professionals with a relaxed way of doing business. Contact us for local referrals.

Snorkeling

A 200-yard stroll south on the beach will take you to some of the best snorkeling in the area. The water is shallow on the shore, for easy entry and just 50 feet out you can swim for hours among numerous coral heads teaming with beautiful tropical fish, rays, lobsters, and eels, all sheltered by the second longest barrier reef in the world.

300 yards to the north, you can see amazing varieties of coral and aquatic life. The slightly deeper water is crystal clear and contains large schools of colorful fish that you won’t see in the shallow reefs: sea turtles, six-foot moray eels, barracuda, and southern and spotted sting rays. The large, colorful and varied coral is like being in a garden.

Scuba Diving

The waters of Xcalak are a snorkeler’s dream and a wonderful place to begin scuba training. For certified divers, there are dozens of local dive sites within 5-15 minutes by boat. North America's largest atoll, Banco Chinchorro, lies just 25 miles over the horizon, where you can view untouched, pristine coral formations and their local inhabitants. You can also explore the hundreds of recorded and unrecorded shipwrecks that have occurred over past few centuries. Dive trips and diving instruction can be arranged through local dive centers .

Fishing

Xcalak is still the small fishing village it was 35 years ago, but it is becoming a haven for the sport fly fishing enthusiast. Fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit are under a catch and release system, but if you catch other fish - snapper, jack or barracuda - your local fishing guide will often clean and filet them for you. Local independent fishing guides know the area intimately and make sport fishing affordable and enjoyable. There is excellent fly fishing directly in front of the house and in the lagoons behind the house.

Exploring

There are several Mayan ruins within a one to two hour drive, including Chaccoben, Dzibanche, Kinichna, Kohunlich, Oxtankah and a Spanish fort complete with beautiful lake at the nearby town of Bacalar. Click HERE for more information.

In Addition:

Bird watching for parrots, egrets, reseated spoonbills, pelicans, white ibis, jabirus storks and many more can be an exciting event. Iguanas, lizards, geckos and some marsupials are but a few of the land creatures who live in this habitat.

Resting in the Hammock

Hammocks are a link to a great culture which has survived many, many centuries. Through periods of Mayan wars, Spanish conquest and even slavery, the Mayans continued to weave and use their hammock as their main piece of furniture. Sometimes 10 hammocks would be hung in one room for a family to sleep and then in the morning all except one or two would be taken down so the space would be available for other uses. So why do they still use them after all these years? Because they are comfortable and good for your back. They take a little getting used to but you’ll be glad you did.

© 2010 Coral Garden Inn