Diving and swimming with real mermaids at the XTC Dive Center in Yucatán, Mexico

Image credit: © XTC Dive Center

Since the beginning of this 2018, the sightings of manatees at the Southern tip of Yucatán have substantially increased!

XTC Dive Center is the only center in the region with a comprehensive tech diving setup and is located right within a large marine sanctuary. The top diving attractions right in front of the own boat dock are coral formations with big schools of huge tarpons. And manatees.

The behaviour of these marine mammals, called manatees (with a round caudal fin) which were considered mermaids by European explorers because of their floating-like silhouette resembling of a female swimmer, has changed dramatically.

"We have not yet figured out why," says Javier Salas, owner of the XTC Dive Center, about the new situation, "but we've been seeing an increasing amount of manatees for months now." Sightings of this miraculous, two-meter-long and 250-pounder animals are not exceptional in this part of the world, especially as one of the world's largest herbivore populations lives near the XTC Dive Center.

Manatees are very shy, so encounters between humans and animals were rather rare. "This has now changed fundamentally," says Salas, "if guests wanted to observe manatees in the past, we went to an intense, time-consuming, and yet mostly frustrating, because unsuccessful, search. Now all one has to do is to dive on our doorstep.

Of course, there is still no guarantee to meet one of these elegant swimmers, but the odds have increased manyfold." The regularity and frequency of these encounters can no longer be dismissed, so Salas informed one of Mexico’s leading researchers on Manantees. Together, he and his team are now looking for causes, global warming for example, higher and thus less favourable water levels, changing feeding habits. No one knows what consequences will come out the findings. "But until then, we are pleased to be able to offer our guests a new - old - highlight at our dive center," explains Javier Salas with a wink, "so anyone who wants to dive with the real mermaids - now is the opportunity! At the XTC Dive Center in Yucatán, Mexico!"

The XTC Dive Center is located in the very south of the Yucatán Peninsula, and meanwhile well known among many divers hungry for adrenalin infused dives, because it is the starting point for trips to the offshore Banco Chinchorro atoll, where you can snorkel with saltwater crocodiles.

For further information on the Chilam Group, please visit:

About the Chilam Group

Under the umbrella of the Chilam Group, various suppliers and companies are joining forces that offer unparalleled travel experiences in the areas of diving, fly fishing, water sports and culture on the Yucatán Peninsula, all with the same high quality standards. These include Yucatan Dive Trek, XTC Dive Center, maya blue dive center and Dark Zone Diving.