Xcalak Fly Fishing Basics

You’re sitting at your computer, dreaming of fly fishing, and wondering what your next destination will be.

Maybe it’s a magical place where you can hook permit all day long, wade mudflats without another fly fisher in sight, or finally hook the Grand Slam you’ve been aching for.

This place is real – and it’s called “Xcalak”.

You might have heard of Xcalak, but because of its remote location, it’s a relatively unknown, uncrowded fly fishing destination. And thanks to the protection enforced by the Xcalak National Reef Park, the waters around Xcalak are full of healthy, plentiful pescado just waiting for you to arrive.

Curious about this undiscovered fly fishing mecca? Here’s a rundown of the Xcalak beach, and here are the Xcalak fly fishing basics:

Saltwater flats

The saltwater flats are the biggest deal in Xcalak. The flats all along Xcalak’s coast are fair game for fly fishing, with some of the best found at Chetumal Bay, only 30 minutes away by boat.

Chetumal Bay is at the far southern tip of the Yucatan, near the border with Belize. It’s less developed (and less crowded) than its popular northern neighbor Ascension Bay, near Tulum. Traveling a few hours further south you’ll discover Xcalak has bigger flats and more diverse sea life.

Bring your wading gear for hopping out of the boat onto the flats, or for wading out right from your hotel (if you didn’t get enough fishing during your 8-hour tour, that is).


In the Xcalak National Reef Park, fishing is catch-and-release (release comes after you take a photo of your catch, of course). This keeps the population healthy and means there’s always plenty to catch.

The Park’s daily entrance fee is payable to Park officials and it includes a wristband to show that you’ve paid to use the park.

You also need to purchase a Mexican fishing license, which you can buy weekly, monthly, or yearly. Buy it online or buy it when you arrive, just be sure to buy it before you start fishing.

Famous for permit and bonefish

The most popular fish in Xcalak are permit and bonefish, but there’s a lot more than that for you to hook. Talk to your guide about what you want to try for – snook, tarpon, barracuda, or jacks. Grand slams are not uncommon in Xcalak, so set your sights high!

And stay open to opportunity, as you never know what you might come across while looking for something else…

A woman standing waist-deep in clear turquoise water holding her fishing rod and her catch (bonefish)

Local guides, Xcalak fly fishing services, and accommodations

The guides in Xcalak really know their stuff. Some guides have over 25+ years of experience guiding fly fishers in the area. Hop in a panga, explain to your guide what you want to catch, and off you go.

Your guides know where to find the fish – they spot them, and you hook them.

Xflats @ Tierra Maya Lodge

This fly fishing service can book your tour and accommodations and has access to a network of Xcalak guides. They’re at the Hotel Tierra Maya. https://www.thexflats.com/

Acocote Eco Inn

Home of the Fxcalak (“fish-ka-lak”, get it?) Fly Fishing shop, the owner of this B&B is a fly fishing enthusiast. You know you’re at a fly fishing-friendly place when there’s a rod wash station. Acocote Eco Inn

Costa de Cocos

One of the first accommodations to open in Xcalak, at Coco’s your room is a palapa hut. You won’t be roughing it though – this palapa hut comes with its own private bathroom. The restaurant at Coco’s is a popular place to cool off with one of their microbrews and trade stories with other fishers. Costa de Cocos

Coral Garden Inn (Casa de Coral)

At 9 km north of town, this secluded accommodation is a fantastic destination for DIY fly fishing. Walk out from the private beach to fish for barracuda, permit, and bonefish. Two suites complete with kitchens sleep 6 people each. Coral Garden Inn

Xcalak on the Fly @ Casa Paraiso

Xcalak on the Fly (XOTF) offers all-inclusive fly fishing packages with rooms at Casa Paraiso. There are four suites here, all with great views of the beach.  XOTF @ Casa Paraiso

In Xcalak, fly fishing is a treat – the beach isn’t crowded and the area has healthy marine life and excellent guides. Choose your accommodation, pack your gear, and head to what might be the last undiscovered fly-fishing paradise in the Yucatan.

There’s more to Xcalak than fly fishing, here’s our Ultimate List of Things to do in Xcalak