Costa Maya, Xcalak and Mahahual (Majahual) Visitors pages - Activities |


In and around Xcalak many activities can be done. Most activities are related to sports and nature. Pick your favorite:

Local Diving Goto top

Clown fishXcalak is the most famous for diving. The Meso American reef runs just a couple of hundred meters from the beach. The Meso American reef is a thousands of kilometers long reefs system. The second largest in the entire world. This reef offers and endless list of great dive sites. The dive sites feature animals like tarpon, jack, giant midnight blue parrotfish, snapper, lobsters, moray eals, fry, conch and nurse sharks. Besides an abundant animal life there is also an abundant coral life like black coral and giant sponges. The fish and the coral can be seen in impressing underwater structures like coral walls,drop down,canyon formations and caves.

Angel FishAround Xcalak you will find the following sites:

  • Hob Na
  • Santa Julia
  • La Poza Rica
  • Blanquizar
  • Ciudad Undida
  • Sieto Cocos
  • Doña Nica
  • Cañones
  • La Poza del Quebrado
  • G-Spot
  • La Poza
  • La Pozeta
  • Blanquizares
  • Portilla
  • Coral Garden
  • Chimenea
  • Scott's Playground
  • Bahia de Chetumal

You can arrange diving trips to the local reefs with the diving school XTC Diving, Costa de Cocos, Blue Ha diving and Maya Palms diving . Also several other hotels have their own equipment for diving trips.

Click here to read more on divng in Xcalak

Click here to read more on diving operations in Xcalak

Cenote diving Goto top

CenoteMexico is famous for it's cenotes. The ground of the Yucatan Peninsula is to hard to absorb the rainwater sufficiently. The rainwater has therefore cut large caves into the ground. There is an enormous amount of this kind of wells or cenotes.

Cenote AzulCenote Azul is near Xcalak. Cenote Azul is the largest pit cenote in Mexico, 600 feet across and 290+ feet at the center. The diving here is the most bizarre and thrilling fresh water dive you will ever experience. The geological formations look more like a moon-scape with submerged trees populated by schools of live bearing, fresh water fish. At 100+ feet, you can look up and see swimmers above but not the bottom. During the first dive, you will drop down through the clear blue water to a ledge at 90-100 feet, we then progress along the wall in a multilevel dive. For the surface interval, you can lounge in the sun or enjoy some fine local cuisine in the Cenote Azul restaurant. The second dive will be conducted at 50-60 feet and often we can make a complete circuit of the cenote in 40 minutes. The water in this cenote is much warmer than what you will commonly experience in the smaller cenotes, with an average year round temperature above 80 F.

Banco Chinchorro diving Goto top

Banco ChinchorroPart of the Meso American reef is the famous Banco Chinchorro, an atoll shaped island. The distance from Xcalak is approximately 60 Km and takes a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to visit. The atoll is the largest of the northern hemisphere. Banco Chinchorro has abundant sea life including sharks.
There are many ship wrecks to be found around Banco Chinchorro. The wrecks date from the colonial times when many unfortunate sailors banked their ship on this beautiful reef system.

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. The wrecks can be found on the following locations:

  • PenelopezCayo Centro
  • SS Ginger Screw
  • SS Glen View
  • SS Five Star
  • Spanish Galleon Anchors
  • Spanish Galleon 2
  • SS Caldera
  • Spanish Galleon
  • 40 Cannons
  • Mary

Diving on Banco Chinchorro can be done with XTC Diving and Caribbean Excursions. Also some hotels offer diving on Banco Chinchorro.

Click here to read more on Banco Chinchorro

Snorkeling Goto top

The water's visibility is so clear that often you can see up to 30 meters. There are many small coral outcroppings just off the coast of Xcalak. These are home to an abundance of fish life. Often times schools of brightly colored fish will be swimming around these small coral mounds. These mounds are spaced such that you can swim from one to the next and slowly make your way out to where the waves are crashing about 500 m of a mile offshore. The ocean floor varies between a depth of several feet upwards to 5 meters between the shoreline and where the waves are crashing. However, each small coral mound rises to only several feet below the water's surface.

Brain coralOne type of coral may stand out from your underwater adventures in this area. The brain coral (Colpophyllia natans) gets its name from the hundreds of small curved channels that exist on its surface. It usually grows into a spherical shape and is found in waters from approximately 1 meter to 60 meters. It can grow up to 2.5 meter in diameter although 0.5 meter examples are much more common. If you look carefully on shore you may find several that
have washed up during severe storms.

You can arrange snorkeling trips on the local reefs and Banco Chinchorro with the diving school XTC Diving. You can also try to persuade one of the local fishermen to bring you to a nice local reef. Several hotels have their own boat for doing snorkeling trips.

Biking Goto top

BikingThe best way of transportation and exploration in Xcalak is by bike. The coastal sand road will show you all the magnificent trees and you won't be scaring of the tropical birds with car noise. There has been made a track to the Laguna Cemetario, just south of Xcalak. Another interesting ride is to the Chetumal Bay. Most hotels rent out well fitted bikes. Bring your hat and enough to drink for your adventure. If you venture into the jungle put on some insect repellent.

Kayaking Goto top

CanoeingThe calm sea on the Xcalak coast is perfect for kayaking. The shoreline is protected by an offshore coral reef which is the second largest in the world just behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The water is extremely clear and fish life is abundant. The depth of the ocean floor varies between 1/2 m 5 m between the reef and the shoreline but then right at the reef it is 1/2 m and you need to be careful to not damage the pristine reef.

There are several pristine lagoons with there specific wild life. There is a large lagoon next of town, a large lagoon north of town called Laguna Canal and one large lagoon just south of town called Laguna Cementerio.

Fishing Goto top

Fly Fishing
Xcalak has been a favorite destination for fly-fishing. Long before the new paved highway, fishermen made the 3-hour trek from Mahahual (Majahual) just to fish the pristine flats that surround this area. Year round, we catch and release bonefish, tarpon, permit, and more.

This area has been renowned for its fantastic fly-fishing, yet few people have tried the wonderful trolling. Year round, we catch sierra, jacks, tuna, barracuda, grouper, snapper, permit, and tarpon. During April through June, we also catch lots of dorado, marlin, and sailfish.

Ask for Nato or Victor at the XTC dive shop or ask at Costa the Cosos, they are excellent guides.

Costa de cocos introduced fly fishing to this area, through Mark Cowan from taos, who mapped out the flats, and trained most of the guides in this village. They have four flat boats for fly fishing.

For Barracuda bring Klauser minnows in yellow or green. For bone fish, Crazy Charlies in light shades of brown, yellows and greens are pretty good. Also some small crab imitations will assure you with a hookup.

Sailing Goto top

SailingSailing is one of the best ways to get to Xcalak from Belize or from the north of the Mexican coast.

The best sailing experience is to sail with a small boat or a catamaran along the beautiful coast line. The conditions for sailing are perfect, there is always a nice Caribbean breeze and the waves are small due to the reef. Check with your hotel if they have a sailboat or catamaran available.

In Mahahual (Majahual) a 35 feet catamaran can be chartered for day trips.

Click here to read more on sailing

Windsurfing or Kitesurfing Goto top

WindsurfingThe sea at Xcalak is perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing. There is always a Caribbean breeze. Check with your hotel for your gear.

Horse riding Goto top

Horse ridingLocal farmers have good riding horses to enter the lush Xcalak jungle and bushes. There is a 10 mile trail south of town that leads to a pristine Laguna de Cemetario This lake is about 100 acres.
Riding through the shallow sea on the unspoiled beaches is an adventure never to forget.
In Mahuhual town you can find horses for a trip along the beach.

Hiking Goto top

You can walk along the endless pristine beaches of Xcalak or follow the Beach road. On the beach road you will find all kinds of animals like the Cacomixtle or the Coatimundi. In the trees you might find parrot like birds. A walk to the Laguna Cemetario can be worth your effort. Ask Alan in the Xcalak Caribe restaurant for directions.
Don't forget your insect repellent when you are going land inwards.

Trips Goto top

From Xcalak you can make many trips. Here are some suggestions.

Bird Island

Bird Island is located in the Bay of Chetumal. On the way there from Xcalak you can snorkel at different locations in the ocean and the Bacalar Chico River. Once you enter the Bay of Chetumal, you will travel through ancient Mayan canals that were once part of a trade route. You can stop on one island and see an abandoned antique steam engine. Also, you may visit the canons from a Spanish galleon that was stranded during a hurricane. The final destination is a small island where many rare species of birds nest. This trip allows you to see the diversity of ecosystems that surround Xcalak- if you are really lucky, you may even spot a manatee!

Swim with Dolphins

The Dolphin Interactive Swim is located at Uvero Beach Club. There can be a maximum of 10 people per dolphin. Each interactive swim lasts approx. 30 minutes.

Read more on swimming with dolphins


BacalarBacalar is a small town located near highway 307. The driving distance from Xcalak is about 1 1/2 hours. Bacalar is known for for three things:
Laguna Bacalar, Fortress, Cenote Azul.

San Pedro

San PedroFrom Xcalak it is an easy day trip to San Pedro (Belize) by boat. The boat can take then 'outside' route over sea or the 'inside route which goes throught the river Boca Bacalar Chico and the lagunas in the Chetumal Bay.

You can ask the local dive operators in Xcalak. The price for the trip is about 175 USD for a boat with max. 6 persons. The trips takes the whole day. The operator will help you to go through the proper border control procedures. Some nationalities need a visa to get into Belize. The visa costs 25 USD. Please check this before you leave.

Once in Belize you can do some shopping in the busy town center of San Pedro. There are many operators that will bring you to the famous dive locations like the Blue Hole National Park, Turneff Island and many others. Snorkeling is a great experience at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.

Archeological sites

The Rio Bec and Chennes sites are one of the latest found in Mexico. Most of the sites were found by rubber farmers scouting the forest in search of rubber trees. The discovered sites are;

Rio Bec: Chennes: Petén
Rio Bec Chicanná Oxtankah Coba
Calakmul Becán   Chacchoben
Rio Azul (Guatamala) Xpuhil    
Naachtúm (Guatamala) Dibanche    
Uaxactún (Guatamala) Kohunlich    
Tikal (Guatamala)      
Nakum (Guatamala)      
Mutul (Guatamala)      
Tayasal (Guatamala)      
Naranjo (Belize)      

'Guerreros' orchid and bromelia garden

The 'Guerreros' orchid and bromelia garden is set in the typical Costa Maya environment of ponds and forest. In the forest you can also find other plants that are often seen on the Costa Maya. There are lots of interesting birds and many types of insects to be found. In the night small crocodiles come out to the garden.

The garden is located on the Cafetal - Mahahual (Majahual) road approx. 7 km from Cafetal.

Click here to read more on Guerreros orchid and bromelia garden


Chetumal is the largest city near to Xcalak. Chetumal is well worth a visit because of the Museo de la Cultura Maya. And of coarse for it's transportation capabilities.

Click here to read more on Chetumal

Sports Goto top

You can play soccer and basketball on the local fields in Mahahual and Xcalak.

Delta Flying Goto top

Delta flyingAt this moment there are no facilities for (motorized) Delta flying at the Xcalak airport. However It can not take long before someone takes up the challenge of showing the beautiful scenery to visitors.

Golf Goto top

The Las Vegas Golf Club at Bacalar is currently under development and will be one of the nicest golf courses in the Caribbean, this 18-hole course also offers an attractive modern spa. A new golf course is planned near Mahahual (Majahual).

Las Velas Gold Bacalar Resort Golf & Spa
27 km/Chetumal-Cancun Highway
MEX-77500 Bacalar, Qintana Roo

Activity operators

Hotels on the Costa Maya


Rental houses on the Costa Maya


Camping on the Costa Maya