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American Crocodile Expedition to Chinchorro Atoll, Mexico


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About This Trip

Have an adventure and visit where few have gone before! The endangered American crocodile is found in the remote and pristine Chinchorro Atoll.

 

Chinchorro Atoll (Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve) is the best place in the world to get close to American crocodiles. This is a safe encounter with guides who have done years of experimentation and careful planning to make this safe.

In addition to three days of crocodile encounters, we will also have the opportunity to enjoy some diving on excellent reefs in the shallows and some deep walls covered in healthy sponges and large stands of black coral. Sometimes manatees are spotted on these reefs.

This trip can be paired with our Whale Shark snorkel - we may also arrange optional special activities in Cancun for our crocodile guests


Key Information

Where

  1. Ixcalak, Mexico (south of Cancun)

Participants

  1. Limited to 6 guests

Encounters

  1. 3 days/ 2 nights at the remote Chinchorro Atoll with crocodiles plus 2 days / 3 nights diving pristine reefs  at Xcalak provided by XTC Dive Center. Scuba and snorkeling.

2023 Dates

  1. July 13 - 18th 

Contact us for price and availability

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photograph crocodiles

Included

  1. 2 Days scuba diving (2 tank dives) in Xcalak in the Reef National Marine Park(tanks and weights included)
  2. 3 days snorkel with crocodiles at Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve
  3. 3 nights accommodation in Xcalak
  4. 2 nights accommodation in Chinchorro in rustic/ basic fishing huts
  5. Morning dives at Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve to gather invasive lionfish
  6. Tanks, weights, dive master, guide at Chinchorro
  7. All meals while at Chinchorro Atoll
  8. Breakfast while in Xcalak, lunch between dives
  9. Transfers to/from Cancun Airport
  10. Marine Park fees and taxes, generator for Chinchorro fish huts
  11. We keep our hotel rooms in Xcalak while away at Chinchorro
Trip Policies Link  

Not Included

  1. Airfare to Cancun, Mexico (CUN)
  2. Transportation to group meeting area (if necessary)
  3. Dinner, drinks, and other food during transfers and at Xcalak
  4. Dive gear rental (available)
  5. Gratuity for dive and boat crews

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Travel Planning

  1. Guests should arrange to fly into Cancum (CUN) airport
  2. Guests should arrange to depart CUN at the end of the trip

More About this Adventure

The Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve is the largest stand – alone reef in the Northern hemisphere and one of the healthiest. Currently only 1,928 hectares of the 144k hectares are zoned for diving and fewer than one thousand divers get to see these remote and unspoiled dive sites per year. It teems with fish and other sea life, and contains more than 100 shipwrecks as well s the largest and purest population of American crocodiles found in the Americas. XTC Dive Center is our outfitters and guides in Xcalak and was the first operator to organize American crocodile encounters in Chinchorro. They remain the only dive operator with an official concession. They are committed to sustainable tourism and conservation with safety for the wildlife and humans.



underwater photography of crocodiles photo tour

Photographers get in the water two at a time with a guide nearby as safety



underwater photography of crocodiles photo tour

The crocodiles come into the area in the afternoons and interaction happens in the shallow seagrass beds




On the Chinchorro Banks, we stay in utilitarian fishing shacks over the water on stilts: 36 nautical miles across from Xcalak. (2 -4 hours boat ride). We bring a generator with us so we can charge camera gear and have a little light. We bring all the food and water we will need. There will be 3 sessions with the crocs and the morning dives on the reef. We stay 2 nights at the fishing huts, sleeping in hammocks at night.

underwater photography of crocodiles photo tour

We sleep in hammocks at the remote fish huts for two nights



stay in fish huts photographing crocodiles

A view of our remote fish hut at the Chinchorro Atoll




Each morning we do dives to hunt lionfish. There is a duo purpose in this – to help eliminate the invasive lionfish population and to get food to attract the crocs.

remote photography expedition to crocodiles

We dive the beautiful reefs at Chinchorro to enjoy them and gather invasive lionfish to feed to the crocs



scuba with crocodiles in Mexico

The Banco Chinchorro Biosphere has pristine reefs and is a protected marine reserve




The diving at Xcalak before and after your expedition to Chinchorro is reef diving at its best. A favourite dive is to the daytime resting place for dozens of tarpon. The reefs are full of colorful sponges, soft corals, fish, and we even saw manatees.

underwater photography of crocodiles expedition

A manatee makes an appearance during our dive



snorkel with crocodiles photo tour

My favorite div at Xcalak had tarpons sleeping in a pack. They were not even fazed by our cameras




crocodiles in Xcalak Mexico

While in Xcalak we stay at a beachside resort, home to XTC dive center - our hosts for diving and the croc adventure



underwater photography of crocodiles photo tour

You will have an adventure in a place few people are allowed to go




 

Please Note:

The fishermans’ hunts have no wifi, cell phone, or mobile service. It is a remote shack surrounded by 700 American crocodiles and a few fishermen.

 

Guests sleep in hammocks and food that is packed out with us is prepared and cooked by our boat captains.

 

All fishing huts are shared and we sleep in hammocks. A single room is available while we stay in Xcalak at a different hotel:  this will be at the guest's own expense and arrangement




Links

  • Other Underwater Trips

    Scuba and Snorkel trips including whale sharks, Billfish, Sharks, Whales

  • Video Collection

    Sharks, Sailfish, Whale Sharks, Manta, Etc. : My collection on Vimeo

  • Blog

    Underwater photography tips, trip announcements, and more

  • Trip Reports

    Photos and description of our past trips.

About Us

Our photo safaris are for photographers and non photographers who want to get up close to large marine life. All of our trips are to destinations proven to be reliable for great encounters. Gregory Sweeney is on hand to help guests with camera gear and techniques before and during the trips. We have been hosting underwater trips for over 15  years.

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