The diving in Banco Chinchorro is some of the best in the Northern Hemisphere. This Biosphere Reserve hosts easy drifts, colorful reefs and intriguing shipwrecks. All these sites feature excellent visibility and warm waters, but some are more difficult than others.
Advanced divers can head for the eastern side of the atoll where heavy surf makes diving difficult or, as is the case of several wrecks in the area, impossible. Intermediate and novice divers should stick to the west side of the atoll where the reefs are protected from open ocean.
Loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles are frequently seen in the area as well as grouper's living among the reefs and wrecks.
There is no bad time to dive Banco Chinchorro. In fact, the water temperatures remain constant year-round and cool only slightly during the winter months.
December to April is considered the best time to visit Mexico and therefore is the most popular time to dive in the Caribbean. If you enjoy a good balance between topside temperatures and great underwater conditions, the winter months are the best time to dive Banco Chinchorro.
Because the winter months constitute high season, you should make sure to book as early as possible in order to secure the best rate. On average, water temperatures vary between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC) in Banco Chinchorro.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
To access Banco Chinchorro, you’ll first need to fly into Cancun International Airport or take a bus into the Riviera Maya region. Then, hop in a taxi, bus or rental car to either Xcalak or Majahual near the Belizean border. These are the two setting off points for day trips to the Banco Chinchorro atoll.