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    "One of Nature's Hidden Treasures"

 Threespot Damselfish

Palancar: Horseshoe

Depth 50'-90'

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


This dive is similar to the other Palancar dives. Palancar Horseshoe gets its name from the shape of its large, natural u-shpaed amphitheater which can be seen from the surface.

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, Horseshoe, gullies and canyons. Deep fissures run under the corals and sand slopes plummet into the depths. There are many swim throughs that are fun to explore. 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
Eagle Rays     x
black groupers     x
green Morays     x



Check out the photo gallery which shows photos of this reef




Images from Palancar Horseshoe reef

Honeycombed Cowfish and Vase Sponge




Hawksbill turtle and yellow cheeked wrasse


Spotted Drumfish