Species
Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, Saltwater Grand Slam, Snook
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Flats, Sightfishing, Skiff, Wading
Season
Year-round
Fishing Days
6
Rate
$$
Why We Go
  • Fish beautiful flats for permit, bonefish, and other species with a guide and assistant guide for each two anglers
  • Experience the unspoiled Mayan coastline and a small remote fishing village with modern comforts
  • Enjoy great air-conditioned beachfront accommodations and excellent local cuisine
  • Sight cast to multiple species from the deck of a panga or while wading
Overview

The Xflats is a full-service flats fishing lodge located in the grater Chetumal Bay region in southernmost Mexico. They fish both the inside bay waters, several lagoons, and the outside waters of the Meso-American reef. Guests will fish from well-appointed pangas with a head guide and an assistant guide, making spotting fish highly effective. In addition to great flats fishing for multiple species, this is an appropriate destination for travel companions that like snorkeling, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits in a true Mexican community that is not overrun by tourists. This lodge has the most comfortable accommodations in the region and fully airconditioned rooms.

Fishing Program

The lodge is located right in the middle of the Caribbean flats fishery or the “frontside”, created by the Meso-American reef that you can see from the lodge beach. The other main fishery is Chetumal Bay accessed by boats about a 15–20-minute run from the lodge dock. There are also several lagoons the lodge fishes. Guests leave from the lodge’s private dock every morning at 8 AM on their panga style flats boats. All boats are equipped with lean bars and poling platforms. The panga is referred to by many as the “Mexican skiff”. They are comfortable boats designed specifically for running smoothly and fly fishing with stealth. Guests will spend time both wade fishing flats and stalking fish from the bow of the panga.

The guides speak limited English but anglers benefit from there being a head guide and an assistant guide in each boat making spotting fish easy by saltwater standards.

Accommodations

The lodge features eight beachfront suites that can be configured to either single or double occupancy. They are furnished with stylish Mayan décor, and breezy exterior terraces. All suites are air conditioned. All breakfast and dinners take place in the lodges on-site spacious beach front restaurant/bar. The big palapa style restaurant has large windows facing the Caribbean Ocean. The food is a mixture between authentic Mayan Ocean cuisine and modern Mexican food. Seafood meals range from grilled grouper with summer vegetables to Caribbean lobster surf and turf. The authentic Mexican non-seafood dishes include chicken Mole, pork carnitas, and chicken poblano. Lodge breakfasts are more the American style breakfast with fresh fruit every morning, bacon and eggs, or a variety of omelets.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Cancun, Overnight (not included in package)

Day2: Transfer to Lodge

Days 3 - 8: Full days of guided fishing

Day 9: Depart lodge for Cancun

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $4,695
  • 6 night/5 day package: $4,495
  • 5 night/4 day package: $4,295
  • 4 night/3 day package: $4,095

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, round-trip ground transportation (Saturday to Saturday), guided fishing, wireless internet, taxes

Not Included: Airfare, alcoholic beverages and soda, staff & guide gratuities, shuttle services outside of a Saturday to Saturday package, fishing tackle & flies, departure taxes, additional activities, laundry service

Species: Bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, jacks, and barracuda

Season: Year-Round

Capacity: 18 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination?

The Xflats is a lodge best suited for passionate fly fisher who enjoys being in a unique remote location. It is also appropriate for travel companions who enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, snorkeling, diving, or relaxing in a hammock. Xcalak is a place for those seeking to see a very real and unspoiled Mexican fishing community.

Where is the lodge?

The Lodge is located 2KM north of the small beach community of Xcalak. It is the most southern town on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

How do I get there?

To get to The Xflats it is easiest to fly into one of two international airports. The first is Cancun. Cancun has many daily direct flights arriving from the US and is the most common airport used by the lodge guests. From Cancun you can take a small charter flight down to Mahaual which is then a short van ride through the jungle to the lodge. Many of the guests ride from Cancun down to Xcalak in a very comfortable shuttle van. Even though it's nearly a five-hour drive, the roads are paved, and the trip is easy and relaxing. The second international airport is called Chetumal. Chetumal is two hours from the lodge but doesn't have any direct flights coming from the US. One must fly through either Mexico City or Guadalajara to get to the small international airport in Chetumal. From there the Xflats picks guests up the same way as Cancun in a shuttle van to take them straight to the lodge.

When should I go?

The lodge offers year-round flats fishing. Fall, winter, and spring months are popular with April-May and October being the most popular. However, many hardcore permit anglers consider summer months to be the most consistent.

How will I fish?

Guests leave from the lodge’s private dock every morning at 8 AM on their panga style flats boats. All boats are equipped with lean bars and poling platforms. The panga is referred to by many as the “Mexican skiff”. They are comfortable boats designed specifically for running smoothly and fly fishing with stealth. Guests will spend time both wade fishing flats and stalking fish from the bow of the panga.

Is there wade fishing?

Yes, many guests choose to wade fish both during the day and after the guided day of fishing is over on the flats right in front of the lodge.

Where will I fish?

The lodge is located right in the middle of the Caribbean flats fishery or the “frontside”, created by the Meso-American reef that you can see from the lodge beach. The other main fishery is Chetumal Bay accessed by boats about a 15–20-minute run from the lodge dock. There are also several lagoons the lodge fishes.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?

The lodge’s fishing grounds are close. Sometimes you begin your fishing day just minutes from the lodge and other times, depending on weather, you might run up to 30-minutes.

What type(s) of fish will I catch?

Permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, jack crevalle, triggerfish, barracuda, and snapper.

How many fish will I catch?

Fish counts vary from group to group and week to week. For permit anglers, catch rates are always low, irrespective of where you target them. We typically say that if you focus on permit, that you will get between zero and three in a week. Some anglers chase these fish for days while others catch back-to-back slams or have multiple permit days. Any time an angler hooks over ten bonefish in a single day, it is a great day.

Will I see other anglers?

Yes, there is a small fleet of about 20 boats and guides in Xcalak. While you will be fishing in

very remote and truly wild locations there is a chance during the busy winter season that other

anglers will be within eyesight at times.

What are the guides like?

All guides are from Xcalak. English is their second language and communication can be tough at times. They are skilled, experienced, professional, very patient, and fun loving.

What are the physical demands?

No. You must be able to walk and stand on a bow with a leaning bar for support. The fishing day is eight hours long with breaks and lunch.

Are there any special skills required?

Casting a saltwater fly rod efficiently is not required but highly recommended. It is recommended that guests practice the “double haul” casting technique before coming but the lodge does offer casting lessons on site.

Does the lodge provide equipment?

Yes, the lodge has a fleet of rods available fit with reels and line. It is recommended that you bring your own wading boots and fishing clothes. Most guests also bring their own rods. The Xflats sells top-shelf flies at the lodge but again many guests bring flies sold at their local fly shops.

What is your favorite setup for the trip?

8, 9 and 10wt rods with corresponding floating lines.

What are the top flies?

Permit:

  • Puglisi Mantis Shrimp Tan Size 1
  • Mantis Shrimp size 4 or 6, & 8
  • Becks Fleeing Crab Size 2 & 6
  • Casa Blanca Crab 2 & 4

Bonefish:

  • Turneffe Flats Charlie Tan Size 6
  • Crazy Charlie Shrimp Pearl Size 6
  • Crazy Charlie Shrimp Tan Size 8
  • Chili Pepper Size 6
  • Micro Crab
  • Becks Sili Legs

Tarpon and snook:

  • Yucatan Sabalo Size 1/0
  • Cockroach Size 1/0
  • Red & White Seaducers
  • Clouser Minnows
  • Gummy Minnows

What are the options if weather conditions become challenging?

If the wind is extremely strong, the guides will find protected areas in the bay out of the strongest winds. If it is rainy or extremely cloudy, the guides will often fish in the lagoons where sight fishing is not important as guides are looking for rolling tarpon that can be spotted without the sun.

What is a typical day like?

Breakfast is between 7-7:30AM. Coffee is ready at 6AM for the early risers. After breakfast guests are greeted by their guide and their assistant guide to help carry gear down the dock and load it into the boat. The boat will leave the dock between 7:45-8AM. The fishing day is eight hours dock to dock. Lunch will take place on the water and the boats return to the dock around 4PM. The guests are greeted by a happy hour at the lodge with drinks and appetizers. Many guests choose to play cards, cornhole, or continue fishing on foot on the lodges beautiful frontside ocean flats.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge?

The lodge has a relaxed and fun-loving approach. Xflats enjoys games and friendly contests like crab races, cornhole tournaments, knot competitions, or fly tie-offs. The lodge dogs and beautiful property make some folks enjoy lodge time just as much as fishing time. A hammock in every beautiful spot around the property makes down time readily available.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge?

Yes, there is always a General Manager and Fishing Director on-site. The General Manager is there to help guests with any non-fishing related questions about their rooms, the property, the food etc. The Fishing Director is there to help with fishing related needs and questions.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like?

All breakfast and dinners take place in the lodges on-site spacious beach front restaurant/bar. The big palapa style restaurant has large windows facing the Caribbean Ocean. The food is a mixture between authentic Mayan Ocean cuisine and modern Mexican food. Seafood meals range from grilled grouper with summer vegetables to Caribbean lobster surf and turf. The authentic Mexican non-seafood dishes include chicken Mole, pork carnitas, and chicken poblano. Lodge breakfasts are more the American style breakfast with fresh fruit every morning, bacon and eggs, or a variety of omelets.

What is the alcohol policy?

The Xflats has a fully loaded bar on site for guests to enjoy responsibly, but alcohol is not included in the trip rate. There are two options for alcohol during your stay. You can opt for a $350 USD per person open bar tab for the week or simply have a bar tab that can be settled at the end of your stay.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like?

The lodge features eight beachfront suites that be configured to either single or double occupancy. They are furnished with stylish Mayan décor, and breezy exterior terraces. All suites are air conditioned.

Is there internet and/or cell service?

There is no cell service, but the lodge internet is very good.

Are there other activities?

Yes. The general manager can arrange kayaking, snorkeling, diving, swimming, and boat tours. These will be paid on-site and are not included.

Are there any other expenses?

The Xflats has an open bar option or a standard cash. The gratuities for drivers, lodge staff, and guides are not included in the package prices. There are also options for non-fishing activities, as well.

Do I need a visa?

No, Mexico does not require a visa.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances?

Sargasso is a common concern along the Caribbean coastline in the spring and summer months. Mosquitos and black flies can be a nuisance, so we recommend anglers bring bug repellent and long sleeves/pants to help stay comfortable on the water. It is recommended that guests always consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines.

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