Fearless Diver’s Thrilling Encounter: Swimming with Crocodiles at Mexico’s Banco Chinchorro Reef

Banco Chinchorro, a renowned coral reef site in Mexico, is famous for hosting diverse marine life. Among its inhabitants lurks a creature that evokes fear – the crocodile.

The very mention of the word can send shivers down our spines, often making us steer clear of waters that might harbor these ancient reptiles.

Watch the video at the end.


However, there’s an individual who defies this fear. Bartolomeo Bove, an adventurer with a bold spirit, possesses an entirely different perspective.

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In July 2020, he embarked on a journey to Banco Chinchorro, fueled by the desire to dive alongside American crocodiles.

Situated 35 kilometers off Quintana Roo’s southeastern coast in Mexico, Banco Chinchorro is the largest atoll reef and a designated biosphere reserve. Interestingly, it serves as a seasonal haven for fishermen during the lobster harvesting period.


What sets this reef apart is its population of over 500 American crocodiles, forming the world’s densest congregation of these creatures.

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Isolated geographically, they exhibit genetic purity. These crocodiles mainly inhabit a lagoon nestled within the central island of the atoll.

Surprisingly, a unique harmony exists between the crocodiles and fishermen in stilt houses nearby.


The symbiotic relationship between the Crocs and the fishermen unfolds as the latter discard leftover scraps of filleted fish into the waters. These scraps become a crocodile feast, fostering an unusual camaraderie.

Beneath the pristine waters, just off the stilt houses, lies the domain where Bove encounters these formidable and brilliant beings.

Bove’s safety strategy is simple: he approaches them directly from the front or at eye level, which he believes prevents confrontations.


In an interview with “WhatzViral,” Bove paints a vivid picture of his unique experience, saying, “The crocodiles are extraordinary creatures, and being in their presence, up close, within their natural realm, was a breathtaking experience.”

He emphasizes the need to maintain unwavering focus when swimming with these creatures – never letting them slip out of your sight.

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