human settlement in Mexico

Xcalak is a small sleepy fishing village on the Costa Maya in the municipality of Othón P. Blancothe, state of Quintana Roo in Mexico.

Get inEdit

Aerial view of Xcalak.

By planeEdit

Xcalak has a small private airport that can accommodate small, private aircraft. The nearest cities with available commercial flights are Cancún and Chetumal. Buses are available for travel to Xcalak from both cities. However, many tourists rent a car for the trip to Xcalak. Xcalak is approximately a 6-hour drive from Cancun and a 2.5-hour drive from Chetumal.

By busEdit

There are two Caribe buses from Chetumal daily:

  • The first leaves from the second-class bus station in Chetumal at 0540, passing through the first-class bus station at around 0600.
  • The second leaves at 1610/1630.

The bus goes from Chetumal to Mahahual, and then along the beach road for around 10km towards XCalak. At this point it turns off onto the surfaced interior road for the rest of the trip. It's the bus to take if you're staying at one of the hotels between Mahahual and XCalak.

Get aroundEdit




Scuba divingEdit

There's a great reef offshore and it's also close to the Chinchorro Banks, which is a great dive spot some 30km offshore. There are a couple of dive operators north of Xcalak:

  • Costa de Cocos - [1] - part of a full service resort.
  • XTC Dive Centre - [2] - Good equipment, great staff / divemasters. XTC has the only marine park trips to dive or snorkel Chinchorro Banks.


Snorkeling is an excellent opportunity to have the reef virtually to yourself, which makes Xcalak a great destination for travelers. Local fishermen can provide a boat trip out to the reef for a few dollars. Escorted snorkeling tours are available from the XTC Dive Centre - [3]

The main snorkeling areas are to the south and to the north of the town and about 200 to 300 meters off shore. In some places, the reef breaks the surface and is easily visible. Inside the reef there is abundant sea life in 1 to 3 meters of water with many tropical fish, the occasional ray, turtle and small nurse shark.

On the ocean side of the reef, easily accessed through numerous channels, the reef extends from the surface down 5 to 10 meters to a sandy bottom. There are a wide variety of larger reef fish.



The restaurant at Costa De Cocos is the best restaurant in Xcalak. The fish is always fresh, and the pizza is excellent.





Vacation rentalsEdit


Go nextEdit

By busEdit

The outbound Caribe buses leave from beside the lighthouse at 0500 and 1400, and return to the second-class bus station only. You can also board the bus from the south end of town just before the Tourist Information Office.

By boat to BelizeEdit

You can arrange a boat to Caye Caulker in Belize at one of the dive shops or with one of the captains in town. The crossing is smooth and relatively quick.

Immigration can however be a problem. There are no banks in XCalak (the nearest is in Chetumal) and so you would need to pay your Tourist Card (FMT) before arriving in XCalak. There also doesn't appear to be an active immigration office in XCalak (as of March 2009); the closest is in Mahahual.

This city travel guide to Xcalak is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!