Scuba diving in Palancar reefs

  • must see
From Boat
Diver level
Average: 7 m
Maximum: 38 m
Average: 26 m
Maximum: 35 m
Palancar is one of the most extraordinary reefs, divided into 4 sections which include the Palancar Caves, Palancar Bricks, Palancar Horseshoe and Palancar Gardens. This dive is usually done as a multi level drift dive that ends about 7m/25ft on the top of the reef. Giant corals growing here form high towers, spires and caves, buttresses, gullies and canyons. The beginning of Palancar reef is known as the Palancar Bricks (a deep dive with many varied combinations of coral growth), and from there it’s about 4,9km/3mi of caves, canyons, overhangs and gardens. Palancar Horseshoe, located 1,4km/0,88mi from Palancar Bricks, is a large horseshoe shaped notch in the wall of Palancar, packed with series of giant coral heads. It is full of varied corals, sponges and a variety of marine life. 526m from Palancar Bricks folows the Palancar Caves site. It has deep buttresses, tunnels, caves and large caverns that sit along the edge of a sloping wall. Palancar Gardens (situated 756m from the previous site) is a great dive for beginners and a good place to encounter stingrays. The site features towering rock spires and cliffs that are covered with colorful corals (including black corals), gorgonians and purple and orange sponges.

When to go

Best time for diving Palancar reefs is December through April. The average water temperature throughout the year varies from 26C/78F to 29C/84F.

What to see

Reefs are teeming with various marine life including corals, sponges, jacks, triggerfish, turtles, snappers, angelfish, Bermuda chub, rays and several species of sharks.

Reachable from


Liveaboards with trips to Palancar reefs

Dive center`s Special Offers

  • Playa del Carmen Fantasea Dive and Adventures

    Playa del Carmen plus Cozumel or Puerto Morelos Package

    2 days / 4 dives, accommodation is available on request
  • Cozumel Scuba Life Cozumel

    Diving (by Days, 2 Dives per Day)

    Price of one day might vary with number of days you order. This product is for certified divers only. Dive Center chooses dive sites according to your level of experience but if you are a Cozumel veteran they are always open to take you wherever you want to go. You’ll always have 1 Dive Master for every 6 divers. Once you arrive to the divesite take your time to prepare, there is no rush. Once ready listen to your Divemaster for an important briefing about the incredible experience that awaits! The crew will always helps you put on your gear if you wish. Once in the water start descending with the group and drift into the beauty of Cozumel underwater world. There is no maximum bottom times as long as computers allow, dive until 700 psi and safely ascend to your safety stop to think about the great experience you just had! Once on the boat captain will serve you drinks and seasonal fresh fruit, from mango to tasty pineapple and healthy snacks. Spend surface interval at el Cielo, the best secluded beach in Cozumel. Ask the captain to show you the starfish.
  • Playa del Carmen Fantasea Dive and Adventures

    Playa del Carmen plus Cenotes plus Cozumel or Puerto Morelos Package

    3 days / 6 dives, accommodation is available on request
  • Playa del Carmen DM Diving

    Cozumel Diving (2 Dives)

    Cozumel Diving. This product is for certified divers only

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