Located at the southeastern tip
of the Yucatán Peninsula, Banco Chinchorro Biosphere
Reserve encompasses more than 144,000 hectares of coral reefs,
mangroves, beds of sea grass beds and sand beache. Banco Chinchorro
is the largest platform type reef complex system in Mexico and
because of its isolated position, it represents well-preserved
Corals form a circular strip made up of coral islets, which
constitute the morphological structure of Banco Chinchorro.
Due to this topography and the irregular submarine topography
and orientation, a great diversity of habitats co-exist. Some
95 coral species have been inventoried.
Seagrass beds are abundant in the Cayo Norte zone and in the
interior lagoon of Cayo Centro, serving as reproduction and
breeding refuges of way ecologically and economically important
species. In this latter category, the two main species of importance
are found: the Caribbean lobster (Panulirus argus) and the conch
There are three coral systems: Coyo Norte, Cayo Centro and Cayo
Lobos, which form the three core areas. The transition area
encompasses the fishing village gathering the 90 inhabitants
of the Biosphere Reserve along the mainland coast.