Eye to Eye with Crocodiles in Mexico

Have you ever had the nose of a wild saltwater crocodile hit the lens of your camera? On this trip to Mexico, that could just happen….
Travel period
June, July, August, September
Starting at
8 days from €5015,- p.p

Go on a Crocodile Expedition in Mexico

Best travel time for this crocodile vacation

This trip is operated only between June 1 and Sept. 30. Although the crocodiles are there year-round, conditions (mating, nesting, weather, etc.) the rest of the year are not ideal for making these trips.

Welcome to Xcalak, a charming beach town in Mexico that has remained largely untouched by mass tourism to this day. Here begins your adventure journey to Banco Chinchorro, the largest atoll in the northern hemisphere and a UNESCO reserve. This beautiful area is bursting with life, with caribbean reefs and nurse sharks. But what makes this trip really special is the chance to meet American crocodiles.

Encounter with American crocodiles

While you are on your knees in the water, just deep enough that you yourself are completely underwater but that your snorkel can still reach the surface there is a crocodile about a meter away who is studying you intently. That’s what this special crocodile journey is all about!

This 6-day expedition offers you the chance to see American crocodiles up close, while experienced guides ensure a safe and fantastic experience. Safety is paramount, with trained alligator handlers and strict protocols to ensure everyone is comfortable.

Your 6-day crocodile expedition

This unique expedition includes two days of local diving on the local reefs of Xcalak, followed by four days of adventure with the crocodiles. You’ll sleep in hammocks in a fishing hut on stilts, giving you a truly authentic experience and watching artisanal fishermen at work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience nature and of Mexico in a unique way.

Private tour or connect? This trip is offered primarily as a private tour where you will make the trip with your own group of 2 to 6 along with the crew. It is also possible to join a single tour as an individual or couple on a few selected dates. A private group of 6 is considerably more economical than joining separately. The price in this trip is based on individual participation. Ask us about the possibilities if you have your own group interested in this.

Please note that it is really a maximum of 6 people per tour, due to safety but also accommodation capacity at the crocodiles.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Xcalak & Banco Chinchorro

The crocodile expeditions take place in summer, when the water is about 28/29C. A 3mm shorty or wetsuit is then more than sufficient.

What will you experience on this diving vacation?

View itinerary here

Day 1 | The journey to Xcalak, Mexico

Today you will fly to Cancun. From Europe, there are several direct flights (duration about 9 hours) or flights with a stopover (duration 12+ hours). You should arrive in Cancun fairly early today since you still have about a 6/7 hour cab ride ahead of you. If you are uncomfortable with flights, you may want to fly a day early and take a hotel and then travel to Xcalak rested and in daylight. The first few days of this expedition you will stay in Xcalak.

Located on the southeastern coast of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo, Xcalak is a quiet seaside resort with a population of 252. Once a thriving Mayan settlement, it was destroyed by Hurricane Janet in 1955. Today, Xcalak is a haven for tourists, with untouched beauty and charm, away from mass tourism.

Click to enlarge the folder

Day 2 | Local diving

Today, after breakfast, you will enjoy local diving on the reef of Xcalak. Xcalak offers dozens of dive sites within 5-30 minutes by boat. They have deep and shallow walls, huge tooth and groove formations, “pozas” (blue holes), swim-through passageways and much, much more. You may have heard of “La Poza” (also known as “The Tarpon Hole,” the only formation of its kind in the entire Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system); or “La Chimenea.” With any luck, you’ll spot a nurse, eagle ray or even a manatee today!

The instructors and guides at the XTC dive center are known for carefully choosing dive sites based on your skill level and interests, ranging from novice students to all kinds of photographers, tec divers and everything in between.

Meals included: breakfast & lunch

Day 3 | Start of the crocodile expedition

Today begins the program you have traveled all the way to Xcalak for – the crocodile expedition!

We left early in the morning by boat for Banco Chinchorro. Along the way, we stop for a dive to hunt lionfish (lionfish) or snorkel on beautiful, healthy reefs of Banco Chinchorro. The lionfish will soon be used to lure the crocodiles as well as to feed ourselves. Good to know, lionfish are an “evasive species” in the Caribbean Sea. All over the Caribbean, it is encouraged to hunt them because they destroy a lot and have no natural predators. It is therefore the ideal fish to use as bait.

Around 11 a.m. we arrived at a fishing shack perched on stilts about a meter above the water. There are about 6 hammocks hanging in one room…. This is where you will sleep for the next 2 nights! So what all lives in the water in which the fishing hut stands? Well guess what…. 😉

After a nice lunch, which already included half of the lionfish, we used the leftovers to lure the crocodiles. There is a guide in the water who, along with another crocodile handler on the boat, keeps the whole experience safe. Every 15 minutes two of you get to observe the crocodiles in the water, after the 15 minutes are up it’s another 2 others’ turn and so you rotate for the next few hours. Since there are 6 of you, you therefore have 15 minutes of crocodile time followed by 30 minutes of break and another 15 minutes of crocodile time etc. These encounters with crocodiles take place in very shallow water (1 – 1.5 m/3-5 ft.) around the fishing lodge and offer an incredible encounter.

You finish the day at 5 or 6 p.m. after which dinner is prepared before going back to bed early. You’ll sleep in hammocks in the fishing hut, allowing you to watch artisanal fishermen at work in one of the world’s most remote and pristine environments.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 & 5 | Continued crocodile expedition

Day 4 and 5 of the trip follow a similar routine to Day 3, with morning snorkeling or diving trips to beautiful reef or wreck sites on the vast atoll, followed by more time in the water with the crocodiles. You spend an average of 3-4 hours a day with one or even several Crocodylus Acutus.

On Day 5, we also visit Cayo Centro, the main island in the atoll, home to the CONANP Marine Research Station and home to the world’s densest population of crocodiles and “pink” iguanas. Here you can explore the fishing village, tour the old lighthouse and maybe even observe the crocodiles from an elevated deck in the main lagoon, where they nest, eat and enjoy the sun. On the last day, we pack up around 2 p.m. and leave at 3 p.m. after a well-deserved lunch, then return to Xcalak.

Meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner on day 4, and breakfast and lunch on day 5.

Day 6 | Local diving

You have now returned to Xcalak, where you will make 2 more beautiful local dives today. You might spot the local manatees today. That would be the icing on the cake!

In the afternoon, if you still have energy, we recommend booking a guided canoe trip (or SUP) (about $40.00 p.p.). Then enter Xclalak National Marine Park for two hours via a narrow mangrove river. During this trip you can really enjoy nature, spot birds and maybe even a “stray” crocodile! On the way back, stop at a protected reef where eagle rays and sometimes manatees are regularly spotted. So a super fun excursion to end your last afternoon in Xcalak on a good note.

Meals included: breakfast & lunch

Day 7 & 8 | Return home

After breakfast, you will depart for Cancun Airport today. As you drive about 6 hours north, you think back to the extraordinary crocodile encounters you’ve had this week. You really never forget this. Because of the time zone and flight duration, you then land back in Europe on day 8.

Rather not go home yet? You can stay longer in Xcalak, take in a few more cenotes in Tulum (you drive by them), book a lovely all-inclusive hotel on Cozumel or in Playa del Carmen…. or. fly to, say, La Paz to do some more seal diving. Mexico has so many huge opportunities and we offer it all. Ask us about the possibilities to extend this adventure, we will be happy to advise you.

The accommodation

The stay and surroundings

Flying Cloud Hotel

The first 2 nights and the last 2 nights you will stay at the Flying Cloud Hotel. The Flying Cloud Hotel is a small 5-room hotel located just north of the town of Xcalak, the oldest and southernmost town on the Mexican-Caribbean coast. It is located just a few miles north of the Belize border and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the urban environment. The hotel is located right on the beach and XTC’s dive shop is also on the property. So everything at hand!

Several room options available:

  • Third floor suite: beautiful sea view, king size bed.
  • Second floor apartment: spacious, 2 bedrooms, king bed, 2 bunk beds, sofa bed, sleeps up to 6 people.
  • First floor playa room: next to the ocean, king bed, single bed, spacious living room with kitchen.
  • First floor selva room: jungle-themed, king-size bed, en-suite bathroom.

Travel costs

What is included

This Mexico crocodile trip is available from €5015 per person based on two people in one room – except in the fishing lodge, where everyone shares one room. The diving trip can be expanded as desired. For groups between 4 and 6 people, the price will be more advantageous. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about this trip? Get in touch with us!

Included in this diving trip, from €5015,- p.p.

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