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This Mexican Caribbean Beach Town Is Perfect For Travelers Looking For Authenticity And Seclusion

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We all know and love the bustling Cancun, vibrant Playa Del Carmen, and eco-chic Tulum, but are you a traveler that is wanting to escape all the crowds and experience the real culture of Mexico?

If so, then Xcalak is the place for you!

Xcalak beach

This small fishing village offers a really unique blend of seclusion, adventure, and natural beauty – and is located on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.

It’s the sort of place where you won’t find any nightclubs, casinos, or traffic. The only sound you’ll hear is the swaying of coconut trees and wild birds.

The majority of its electricity is solar-fueled, so on cloudy days, you may find yourself without any power. Could you get any more secluded? Perhaps take some books just in case!


En Xcalak la naturaleza es extraordinaria. Dos mantarrayas…

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What’s great about Xcalak is not only its pristine beaches, basically untouched by tourism, but unlike other popular destinations in Mexico, you won’t find any overcrowded beaches or sky-rise hotels here.

You will be welcomed by a peaceful environment where you can relax, sunbathe and swim in peace. What more could you want?

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Where Is Xcalak?

Xcalak is on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and is a village of around 400 inhabitants. It actually used to be the largest city in Quintana Roo until it got destroyed by a hurricane in 1955.

Xcalak actually sits right on the Belize border, just south of Mahahual.

What Attractions Are There?

  • For adventure lovers, Xcalak offers so many different opportunities for outdoor activities. It’s located near the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest coral reefs in the world.
  • You could find yourself snorkeling, taking up some of the phenomenal marine life whilst scuba diving or fishing in the warm crystal clear waters.
snorkelling in Mexico
  • Home to a vibrant community of Mayan people, who have preserved their customs and traditions for centuries, you can enjoy their tasty cuisine and even see their music and traditional dances.
  • The renowned Chinchorro Banks, the site of hundreds of shipwrecks over past centuries, are also just a short 1.5 hours away.
  • You can visit the nearby Mahahual beach or perhaps take a boat tour to see the local wildlife.
  • You could just lay in your hammock, watch the clouds go by, or gaze at the starry night sky.
  • If you’re a keen bird watcher, then you can observe the herons, cormorants, pelicans, and seagulls as they fish in the area.
Royal Caspian terns and Reddish Egret heron birds in Caribbean sea

When to Visit Xcalak?

The best time to visit Xcalak is around December to May when the weather is drier and sunnier.

During this time, the water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling or diving – but remember, this makes it a busier time to go, so plan in advance.

Hurricane season begins in June and goes until around November, but it is said that for 2023, there is an El Niño, which might result in less risk of hurricanes.

Regardless, apart from the quick storms every now and then, you will still see the sunshine, but it is important to be cautious.

aeroplane flying over the beach

How To Get To Xcalak?

Chetumal airport would be the closest airport to Xcalak, around a 3-hour drive away.

For direct flights from North America, you are looking at Cancun International Airport, around a 5 or 6-hour drive. Despite being this far away, it’s certainly worth it.

Plus, it makes more sense to tie it into your trip if you are already heading to the south; you can’t find this level of seclusion too close to the cities anyway.

You can get a bus from Cancun to Chetumal, followed by a shuttle or taxi to Xcalak. Alternatively, you can rent a car.

However, it’s recommended not to make the latter half of the journey in the dark, so if you land in the afternoon, perhaps take a stop off in Playa Del Carmen or nearby Tulum.

The good news, though, is that Tulum’s international airport is set to begin operations in April next year, apparently, making this destination even more accessible come 2024.

secluded beach

Where To Stay?

Xcalak is super small, so accommodations are naturally quite limited – however, there are a couple of options for travelers, including eco-lodges, small hotels, and many rentals too; some of the more popular ones seem to be Casa Carolina, Costa de Cocos, and La Buena Vida.

If you need an off-the-beaten-path, secluded trip to a peaceful haven immersed in wildlife, rich in culture, with Mexican charm, then Xcalak is the perfect place for you!

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