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    "One of Nature's Hidden Treasures"

Barred Hamlet - look for them at the end of the dive near the lettuce coral

Palancar caves

Depth 40-120'

Experience level. Intermediate. You can go as deep as you want and make this an advanced dive.


Although this is classified as a deep dive, the dive is usually done as a multi level drift dive and ends about 25' deep on the top of the reef. The reef slopes outward to the reef edge and deeply convoluted lip. The corals form tall towers, spires and buttresses, caves, gullies and canyons. Deep fissures run under the corals and sand slopes plummet into the depths. There are countless caves and canyons along this stretch of reef and you will never be able to see all of them even after several dives. This reef is not rich with fish by Cozumel standards. The coral and sponges are the big show here.

However, if you look closely you may spot a Butter, Indigo Hamlet, Shy Hamlet, a Red Spotted Hawkfish, in the lettuce or finger coral towards the top of the reef.

On any reef in Cozumel you can see any fish or animal at a given time. Below is a general guide.

  common occasional rare
Damselfish x    
Barracuda   x  
Grouper/Coney   x  
Creole Wrasse   x  
Trumpetfish   x  
Bar Jacks   x  
Hamlets   x  
Hawkfish   x  
Turtles   x  
Nurse Sharks     x
Spotted Eagle Rays     x
Black Groupers     x
Green Morays     x



Check out the photo gallery which shows photos of this reef





Images from palancar caves reef

tube sponges and diver

Hawksbill turtle and Gray Angelfish

palancar caves at 120'

palancar caves at 120' Feather Black Coral in the background.



Rare Butter Hamlet

Rare Butter Hamlet



hawksbill turtle over the reef towers

Reef Shark



\Typical reef formation


queen trigger and coral

Tube Sponges

he dreaded lion fish

Diver and typical reef formation