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Banco Chinchorro Diving & Snorkeling

Banco Chinchorro Diving & Snorkeling

Diving at Banco Chinchorro

About 35kms off the coast of Mahahual lies a mysterious yet wonderful coral atoll, full name Reserva de la Biósfera Banco Chinchorro. This national park, rich in history, is also a graveyard for all sorts of sunken ships. A natural protected area since 1996, it conserves its natural beauty, holding secret to a collection of wrecks scattered alongside the exterior reef. It forms part of the “Tríangulo” a name dating back since the XVI century, also designated by Charles Darwin as part the of the Triangle Reef. Measuring up to 800sqm with just a mere 1% of land above water, you can be sure that the magic of this place is underwater, that being said, at Banco Chinchorro you definitely have more than one option to choose your dive, depending also on weather and sea conditions and your own comfortability in the water:

Banco Chinchorro Diving & Snorkeling Prices

2 Tanks

Includes island visit, fisherman hut visit, drinks & lunch.

$150 USD

(5 diver minimum, 10 diver maximum)

Additional Chinchorro Tank: Per diver 30USD

Snorkel

Includes island visit, fisherman hut visit, drinks & lunch.

$100 USD

(7 snorkelers minimum, 10 maximum)

 

Overnight Stay / 5 Tanks

Includes overnight stay at the fisherman’s hut,  drinks,  lunch & lobster dinner.

$399 USD

(4 diver minimum, 6 diver maximum)

Chinchorro Several days stay: Pls request a quote

Our Boat: "La Chula"

Name: La Chula

Boat: 33 feet fully customized Panga boat with canopy covering all seating area

Engines: 2x140hp Suzuki 4 Stroke Twin Engines with Lean Burn Technology

Equipment: 30 racks for dive tanks (+2 additional tanks at rear of the boat)

Capacity: Max. 14 divers plus crew

Banco Chinchorro Dive Sites

Coral Negro 1 & 2

  • Shallow Dive Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Deep Dive Difficulty. Moderate

A 15-35 meter drift dive site between Cayo Centro and Cayo Norte, features immense sponges, large-sized black coral trees, and frequently, large groupers.

Aquarium I & II

  • Difficulty: Easy

Just south of Cayo Centro, are 16-meter anchor dives amid an abundance of sea fans and elkhorn coral. These sites are also commonly frequented by schools of blue tang, snappers, and grunts.

Punta Gonzalez 1 & 2

  • Shallow Dive Difficulty: Easy
  • Deep Dive Difficulty: Moderate

Punta Gonzalez is a 13-30 meter drift dive with immense sponges, many large gorgonians, and usually a chance to see sea turtles, eagle rays, and lobsters. It is located in front of Cayo Centro.

Gata

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Gata is a 10-20m dive just north of Punta Gonzalez that tends to be a very fishy site and famous for its curious Nurse sharks, in Spanish known as Tiburón Gata, who often swim alongside divers.

Santa Teresita

  • Difficulty: Moderate

A 13-26m wall dive. You can expect to see some nurse sharks, sting rays, giant hogfish and even a few goliath groupers among one of the most beautiful coral formations Banco Chinchorro has to offer.

Rubias

  • Difficulty: Hard

A 20-32m drift-dive for advanced divers at the very southern tip of Chinchorro close to Cayo Lobos. This is a very fishy site with often sightings of huge groupers, lobster, and sharks.

Dos Primas

  • Difficulty: Moderate
Dos Primas is a great dive site with a flat sandy top at 10 meters, then a sloping reef wall with hard and soft corals that gives way at depth to another sand flat with some really enormous barrel sponges, yellow tube sponges and elephant ear sponges that must be about 3 meters across! Careful scrutiny of the beautiful crinoids will reveal small arrow crabs and squat lobsters. Lower still, at 30 meters, look out for Spotted Eagle Rays, which cruise this area frequently. Southern Stingrays can be found shuffling across the sand flats.

SS Far Star

  • Difficulty: Hard

Far Star was a 1970s cargo boat. A large steel-hulled transport ship, the spur and groove reef structure is littered with a profusion of steel plating, winches, generators, a huge diesel engine, and immense smoke stacks. The brass and stainless steel screw are well over seven feet in diameter, and the equally immense anchor clearly weighs many tons. The light is perfect, highlighting the hundreds of yellow-tailed snapper that swirl around the wreckage – another diver’s and photographer’s delight.The wreck is on the southeast corner of Chinchorro just south of Cayo Lobos, and accessing it requires the calmest of days with gentle easterly or northerly winds. The middle of the boat is covered with fire coral, and the surrounding reef has many brain and elkhorn corals. There are often blue tang and ocean triggerfish as well as lots of barracuda, and the stronger current ups the odds of seeing a few sharks. Visibility on this dive is often around 50m.

SS Ginger Scout

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Also known as Ginger Screw. Located east of Cayo Centro, was a steam cargo vessel dating from the XIX century that transported heavy machinery and metallurgy. The vessels of this type reached gigantic sizes. This is a majestic site, where its scattered remnants can bring to us a museum amongst the coral. It is known that in her last journey she was on a route from north, heading south and we still don’t know what occurred so this vessel found itself with Banco Chinchorro. When diving this site, we can find ourselves with majestic industrial submarine scenery, definitely the best sunken ship in Chinchorro, due to its enormous size, the amount of artifacts it was carrying and the reef it decided to end its travels it is simply beautiful and full of life.

40 Cañones

  • Difficulty: Easy

The shallow bottom near Cayo Norte is littered with scores of brass cannons, some over ten feet in length. Dating to the 17th century, experts say these cannons suggest that this may be a Dutch wreck, or possibly even a pirate ship. There is also at least one very large cast-iron double-fluke anchor. Set in only 10-12 feet of water, this site is easily accessible to divers and snorkelers, and is surrounded by healthy corals and good fish life.

As you might imagine, it is a great site for underwater photography. With no significant current, this is a beautiful snorkeling site and a great dive. There is a wide assortment of corals on this site and often a lot of French angelfish and queen angelfish.

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Amigos del Mar
Calle Huachinango entre Robalo y Coronado 77976 Mahahual, Q.R., Mexico +52 1 983-104-4747 info@amigosdelmar.net