Just want to echo here in the forum our happy account in the Instant Reader Reports, about XTC Divers in Xcalak. We had such a great experience! If small, out-of-the-way, rustic-but-comfortable is your style, you will love this place. Xcalak has about 300 people, mostly of Maya descent; in the town itself little English is spoken but folks are friendly & happy to try to help. At the dive shop & the resorts most people speak English. Very safe, relaxed, low-key. The resorts are all small, & all seem to be owned by expat Americans or Europeans.
XTC provided the best service we've ever had (or at least can remember!). All our dive gear was completely taken care of from day one through a final rinse-&-dry after the last dive; we never had to touch it. They have Nitrox but it's expensive because they have to travel to another town to get it; we dove with air & were satisfied. The owner & dive masters were extremely knowledgeable about the area, friendly, enthusiastic, & very willing to accommodate individual requests. Really fun to dive with.
The diving also surpassed our expectations. So often in poor areas where subsistence fishing is a necessity of life, protected areas are seriously poached out; I was assuming this would be the case in Xcalak. Not so! The dive masters said that illegal fishing does go on, but not too much -- and we saw lots of large specimens of a wide variety of fish, so clearly they have been protected enough to grow. Unusually large Tarpon, Barracuda, Angelfish (several varieties), Cowfish, Jacks; healthy lobster; turtles & rays; and high numbers of the usual little reef fish.
The diving is easy but interesting. Very little current; we did one drift dive but it didn't rush us along. Water temps around 80 :-) We really enjoyed the reef structure: swim-through to an underwater bowl, canyons, overhangs, pillars -- something new visually everywhere we looked. And healthy coral -- a Black Coral forest, some Staghorn regrowing after the hurricane several years ago, plus the usual others. Most of our dives were at or just over an hour, even with air; one dive was to 130' but the others started in the 60-80' range & we drifted up as we progressed.
We'd love to see business grow for this place -- we want it to be there for us to return!