Xcalak, Mexico

Xcalak (Pronounced "ish-ka-lak") is an unspoiled tropical paradise located right in the heart of Mayan Yucatan - and at the very southern tip of Caribbean Mexico - merely miles from the Belize border. Xcalak offers adventurers and explorers access to some of the best saltwater flats fishing in the entire world.

Book your lodging right on the Caribbean Ocean. Sleep each night to the purr of the waves breaking on the Meso American Reef located less than 400 yards off shore. At night, look up to the dazzling, brilliant show of stars and the Milky Way - untainted by light pollution, then down at the magical show of bioluminescence in the water and over to the winking fire flies on the beach, it's magical. Awake each morning to the sun rising over the Caribbean.

Xcalak is the last town in Mexico before you reach Belize along the Caribbean coastline. It is just over 200 miles form the city of Cancun and only 30 miles south of the cruise ship port town of Mahahual. Easily reached from the Cancun airport, the drive is 80% on 4-lane divided highways, and takes about 5 hours. Xcalak is just north of the border of Belize and Ambergris Key/San Pedro. For those who wish to explore the unspoiled beauty of Mexico's Yucatan, Xcalak is the place.  

HISTORY - from Wikipedia

In the 1950s, Xcalak's economy was very healthy, boasting developments such as stone and wood construction, an ice factory, and electric plant, storehouses for large quantities of copra, grocery stores, a billiard hall, a movie theater, and an ice cream factory. Xcalak was the most important supply center in the region. After Hurricane Janet (1955), Xcalak was in ruins. Many of its inhabitants died, including the lighthouse keeper and many sailors. The survivors were traumatized and a large group migrated to interior towns. The survivors who remained in Xcalak returned to fishing. The area was repopulated with people from San Pedro and Sarteneja, Belize, as well as from Honduras and El Salvador.

The fishing trade resulted in social organizations. On October 25, 1959, the Cooperative Fishing Production Society of Andrea Quintana Roo was founded. It consisted of 49 members. Fishing techniques were greatly altered with the arrival of the first outboard motors made by Calipso and Lister.

In 1980, a 120 kilometers (75 mi) gravel road was built, forming the Chetumal − Carrillo Puerto highway. This established a land route between the village of Xcalak and the rest of the state. People often recall that the first vehicle to arrive in the village was a Land Rover.

At the end of the 1980s Costa de Cocos and the first dive shop, 'Aventuras Chinchorro' (now XTC Dive Center), opened. Soon after that a second dive shop 'Xcalak Dive Center' (Now XTC) appeared. These developments increased tourism and marked the beginning of a new period.

On August 24, 1995, the government of Quintana Roo published the decree for the 'Ecological regulation for the area referred to as the Maya Coast' (Punta Herero - Xcalak). The decree outlined tourism development plans for the Costa Maya corridor. Xcalak was designated as one of the sites for the greatest development. The restoration of the municipal pier in Xcalak was completed at the end of 1995 to facilitate tourism development. In June 1996, a ferry pier was built at La Aguada in order to provide service between Chetumal and Xcalak. At the same time, the existing airstrip in Xcalak was enlarged.

There are approximately 300 native inhabitants of Xcalak, most rely on fishing for their livelihood; however, many are now working in tourism and recently the Tourism Cooperative was formed. Officials that have their headquarters in Xcalak include: the Municipal Delegation, State Government representative of the Judicial Police, a port captain, immigration officer, and Navy base. As part of the social structure, other associations have been formed: the Parents Association, the Electricity Committee, the fishing Cooperative, and a Community Committee in which different representatives of all community sectors participate. It is through the Community Committee that issues regarding the management and conservation of natural resources are addressed.