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“A wonderful dive experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of XTC Dive Center

XTC Dive Center
Postal 21, Xcalak 77000, Mexico
983-839-8865
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Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Xcalak
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: XTC Dive Center is located within the Xcalak Reef National Marine Park, a strictly protected region of the Meso-american Barrier Reef system. The area boasts some of the most breathtaking dive sites on the Yucatan peninsula and offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the pristine marine environment without the crowds present in the more developed areas of the coast.XTC Dive Center is internationally known for our world-class customer service, top notch equipment and expert guides. We provide a seamless customer experience through careful planning, logistics and proprietary local knowledge. All of our standard trips and courses provide great value!
Redmond, WA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A wonderful dive experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We have had a condo in Puerto Aventuras for a couple of years. We have been slowly branching out and going farther from "home".
This was our first, but hopefully not or last, trip to Xcalak.
Our friends had arranged diving with XTC to go to Banco Chinchorro and then do some local dives. I can't say enough about the team; they were very professional and safety conscious.
The Banco Chincorro dives were fun and very different...but really we have to rave about the dives at "la chimenea" and "Scotty's playground". All I can say is "wow". Thanks for a great trip. A shout out to DM Jesus and Ollie. Good job, every one!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jules P, General Manager at XTC Dive Center, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Xcalak really is a beautiful little village away from the main tourist resorts. We are glad you came down and visited and look forward to your next trip too.

Banco Chinchorro is magnicfent diving and the Cayo Centro island visit with the large iguanas and fishing villages is such an interesting trip. However so many people find Xcalak Marine Park is often the star of their trip with the dive sites such as Chimenea and Scott's Playground!

Ollie is also very proud when he gets a shout-out! Primarily teaching full time technical courses and sidemount courses he doesn't get to lead Chinchorro or local dives as often but he really loves those adventures too!
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  • Danish first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fabulous Dive Shop and Wonderful diving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Loved diving with XTC! My friend completed her open water referral course, and I did the digital underwater photography course. They accommodated both of us (her entry level diving experience and my technical requirements to complete the course). Her instructor John Vizard was patient and professional with her, while Phil Creed, my instructor shared his vast experience and valuable tips with me. Sophia was a wonderful Office Manager (and dive buddy), accommodating all of our adjustments and booking a Chinchurro day trip (a must do - fantastic dives), and Mike Grall was the perfect DM in training, helping me unlock the mysteries of my dive computer, as well as showing us the lay of the land in Xcalak. (And Xesus was great too!) We had such a good time, not just because of the incredibly beautiful dive sites, well-cared-for equipment and great boats and captains, but because the XTC staff are exceptional dive professionals, gave excellent customer service and made us feel like we belonged there - which sadly made it all the more difficult to leave! Will be back!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jules P, General Manager at XTC Dive Center, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Hi! I am also so happy to read such fantastic reviews when I came back from a holiday. I am very proud of all the staff and thank you for your time to write your review. Phil and John are both excellent instructors and Sophia really keeps the the place running like a Swiss clock! Perhaps it's her German-ness shining through? Banco Chinchorro is a very special place - can you believe the size of the iguanas? We are glad you enjoyed your week escaping the snow to share our little bit of sunny paradise and look forward to your next visit.
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Maple City, Michigan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“XTC is fabulous!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Sort of by accident I chose XTC Dive Center to do my PADI certification when their name jumped onto my computer screen. I could not have been more pleased. The staff was helpful, equipment was in good shape, boat captains were adept, and diving in Xcalak Marine Park was amazing--saw so many spectacular sights in the UnderWater MagicWorld. And best of all my instructor--Xesus Varela--was smart, kind, and proficient. Xesus was an experienced and skillful teacher, he instilled confidence, and he had a wonderful sense of humor as he put me through the rigors of training. I did six dives with XTC and that left me wanting more. I'd return to XTC & Xcalak in a hot minute! Thanks everyone for making our trip so fabulous!

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jules P, Manager at XTC Dive Center, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thank you Gera! We appreciate your kind words – especially Xesus! The boat captains all puffed up their chest a little bit when I read your trip advisor review to them yesterday! The PADI Open Water Course builds the diving skills and confidence so you can best enjoy the Magical Underwater World.
We look forward to seeing you on your next trip!
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Berlin, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very professional diveshop, good diving!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Had a great time with XTC! I liked the vibe there, everyone was really lovely and helpful. Equipment is in very good condition, the boats are great, so are the captains, the dive sites too. I went on three dives with them and really enjoyed all of them. I'm a dive instructor myself, so I do have to say that I was impressed to find such a welcoming and professional diveshop at the end of Mexico ;) Keep it up guys! Can't wait to return and dive Chanchurro finally!! Take care, Conni from Berlin

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jules P, General Manager at XTC Dive Center, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
I’m glad you liked it Conni! We are totally off the beaten track in terms of tourist shops and touts, we don’t have mobile phone signal but we do have internet! We are glad you enjoyed the local dives and look forward to sharing Banco Chinchorro, the Northern Hemisphere Largest Atoll with you!
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Port Orchard
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The best snorkling ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Spent a week in Xcalak and we went out twice with XTC. Both times they were very helpful and honest. We had wanted to arrange a trip to Banco Chinchorro and they had gone out of their way to help us. The day before we asked about the weather and whether it would be a nice boat ride out and they told us that due to the winds, we would have a wet and bumpy ride. We decided to cancel that trip and come back later in the year when it was less windy. We went in Feb, the windy month. They were honest about the poor conditions, even though it meant losing a big chunk of change. You don't get that very often. It is nice to see an operation that wants you to enjoy the trip more than they want to make a profit!. We had a 5 hour trip to Bird Island, to see birds, manatees and to two coral reefs. Our guide was fantastic and the snorkling was awesome. We were the only ones on the boat, so no crowds of first time snorklers getting in your way:). Although they were willing to help us if we needed it. I could tell our guide was watching out for us. We also went on a snorkel boat to 3 reefs. Again, it was gorgeous and they were more than willing to wait for better weather conditions. Again, the 4 of us were the only ones on the boat. We have snorkled for decades all over and this was definitly one of our better experiences. Way better than Cozumel, or any place else in Mexico, Panama or Belize. ( which is right down the road, but more crowded.) The shore snorkling was also fantastic. It is just nice to have someone take you out to the best reefs, which were a little too far for swimming. The coral is really healthy with lots of fish and the best water clarity anywhere. I loved the town also. They had coconut lionfish at Toby's which was great ( and good for the environment). The Leaky Palapa was one of the best restaurnts I have ever eaten at. Try the lobster and shrimp in pineapple mango butter! We stayed at Casa de Suenos and it was fantastic! Great snorkling from shore, incredible views on roof. I would go to Xcalak now before it turns into Cozumel ( which I still love, but this is better!) Great, unspoiled coral reefs, friendly people and awesome food. I felt XTC gave us the best snorkel trip we have had from a tour operation. Pleasant, friendly, honest people who did not rush us off the coral and did not crowd the boats up with the maximum number of people to maximize their profit at the expense of your enjoyment. If you go to Xcalak, go to XTC!

Visited February 2013
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Jules P, General Manager at XTC Dive Center, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
We appreciate you taking the time to write such an in depth review of your time in Xcalak. We realize that it is a disappointment for some to hear that the trip is going to be bumpy, rolling and wet as it’s their to go to Banco Chinchorro. However coming back in the calm summer months is really the best time to experience the trip at it’s best.
Xcalak Marine Park was actually requested by the residents of Xcalak and the fisherman support the marine park efforts and even help to set the rules and regulations. It means we are lucky to boast uncrowded healthy coral reefs, away from large scale developments haunting the Northern coast of the Yucatan. We are also not going to be able to turn into Cozumel due to all the restrictions. However I agree come here while it’s still this peaceful and experience a Mexican fishing village, devoid of tourist shops, touts and all you can drink establishments!
We hope to see you again soon!
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