Imagine coming face to face with one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. The massive jaws, countless teeth and swift movements of an American Crocodile could make for a terrifying experience, but for those heading to Banco Chinchorro, an atoll reef off the southeastern coast of Quintana Roo, up-close and personal encounters with these prehistoric giants are all just part of daily life. Embarking upon an American Crocodile Excursion isn’t something most people yearn for, but for those brave enough to roam the shallow waters of Banco Chinchorro, diving with crocodiles is a dream come true.
Diving with Crocs
As home to the densest congregation of American Crocodiles in the world, Banco Chinchorro a good half day journey from Cancun is more than just your average protected marine reserve. It is a chance to experience a once in a lifetime adventure that will literally have you touching noses and brushing up against the scaly bodies of these massive beasts.
In the early afternoon, guides head out on a boat with bait to lure in the crocs, drawing them into an area right outside the lagoon where the shallow waters and crystal clear visibility allows for the perfect viewing opportunity. In this area, those participating in the crocodile expedition are in the perfect position to interact with the animals, while still maintaining the necessary safety required of such extreme conditions.
While Banco Chinchorro is well-known for its crocodile encounters, it isn’t all about the massive beasts. Chinchorro also happens to be home to a series of shipwrecks that blanket the sea floor. The unfortunate circumstances for many ancient sailors have provided some of the most unique reef systems in the world. The nine different shipwrecks, including two Spanish Galleons, have created incredible dive opportunities for visitors to the area. Boasting enormous sponges, prolific schools of grunts and snappers and coral encrusted vessels, divers can literally spend days exploring the soul of the ocean floor.
While visiting Chinchorro, the largest atoll in the Western Hemisphere, one has a 90% probability of encountering one of the 700 crocodiles living in the area and a 100% chance of having the time of your life. With such incredible odds, it is no wonder these excursions fill up as soon as they become available.