Club Caribe members looking for a once in a lifetime diving experience might want to think about heading on an adventure to Banco Chinchorro*, the largest atoll in the Western Hemisphere, located four or so hours drive from Villa del Palmar Cancun.
As home to the largest congregation of American crocodiles in the world, the 800 square kilometer protected marine reserve provides the ultimate opportunity for thrill seekers on the hunt for pure adventure.
A Once In a Lifetime Adventure
At Banco Chinchorro, you can safely dive with the prehistoric beasts that make the shallow waters of the reserve their home under the guidance of experts. With over 700 crocodiles, a close-up and personal encounter is almost guaranteed.
By nature, American Crocodiles flee at the sight of humans, but near perfect conditions outside the lagoon allow visitors to get an extremely close look at the beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Potentially reaching up to 20 feet long, the American Crocodile is definitely a sight to see.
In the early afternoon, after the crocodiles have had sufficient time in the sun to warm up their muscles, the guides will head out on a boat to lure in the most daring, bringing them to an area just outside the lagoon. From this location, participants have the perfect vantage point in the shallow, crystal clear waters to swim side by side with the enormous animals.
Taking care to follow all safety instructions, visitors can snap pictures, feed the crocs and even touch them as they glide on by. While their diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as birds, insects and frogs, divers have begun feeding them the lion fish that have invaded the area, endangering the stability of the delicate coral reefs. With such a delicious snack in hand, the crocodiles need little persuading in order to put on a grand show.
While diving with the crocodiles is without a doubt the main attraction, the protected marine reserve is also home to nine different shipwrecks that make diving in Banco Chinchorro a diversified experience.
The various sites, including two sunken Spanish Galleons, have created a majestic display for those wishing to scuba dive in the area. Boasting huge sponges, enormous schools of fish and a beautiful coral reef, Banco Chinchorro offers visitors a once in a lifetime adventure.
* Please note that as tours leave from Mahahual, about 4 hours from Cancun, this excursion is not offered by the Villa del Palmar Cancun tour agency and will need to be organized privately through a reputable company at your own risk.