Author Topic: Chinchoro Banks (Banco Chinchoro) Who's been there recently? (since 1/1/08)  (Read 4541 times)

jred159

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What dive operators have permits to go there?
Who can go there?
who has been there?
Has the Mexican Government again screwed up what could be a great dive location?

gusdog

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Its been over ten years since I was on Chinchorro but I still try and keep up with the diving there.  Last time I was in Ixcalak (four months ago) I was told that there were just a few operators that had permits to dive there.  http://www.xtcdivecenter.com/ is one of the few operators who do have permits.  It seems the Mexican goverment has zoned Chinchorro into various usage areas so diving is restricted to certain areas of the atoll which is quite large (imagine Cozumel underwater) 
As to the diving, my observations are a bit dated but I guess better than nothing.  Reefs were great though the viz where most of the diving was done (lee side) was so so 60 to 80 feet.  The outside of the atoll system had great viz but you could hardly ever dive there and I think its now off limits.  Marine life, not much pelagics, turtle nurse shark etc.  Lots of wrecks though they are mainly on the windward side and I imagine many are off limits now. 
 

jred159

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Thanks Gus.  As I stated, I was looking for something a little more current (since 1/1/08).  I dove with XTC and always had alot of trouble getting out to CB.  So much trouble in fact that I have never been out there with them (6 trips to Xcalak).  I was looking for info on the operators out of Muhual maybe Maya Palms.  Do you know anything or anyone who has used them?

gusdog

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sorry  can't help.  We always stay at Ixcalak.  Dive with XT or lately with Costa de Cocos.  Maya Palms has a long history of problems which I think all arise from the original builder (wes) who later sold  the operation.  As a personal opinion I think Chinchorro is overrated.  If you could spend some time out there (we used to camp on Cayo Lobos) it was fun but just to go out and back in a day only lets you say you dove Chinchorro.  Its a big area. About the only thing I am sure of is only a samll group of operators do have permission to take divers there.  I would write Maya Palms and ask.  I kinda doubt any operator in Mahaual has a permit.

VivaCaribe

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Hard to get to, Yes.  My only time there was in 2001 at Maya Ha (the place Wes Boughton originally owned)...they had a pro 48 boat and still often could not get there. The experienced dive operations guy (Higbie) told me for reliable trips there come in July-August.  Diving ok by Caribbean standards the few days we could to the banks. But as was said, the banks are huge so probably lots of variation.

 

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