Palancar Reef

It's hard to describe the Palancar Reef in a way that does it any justice. One could state facts. For example, Palancar Reef is part of the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park (Coral Reef National Park), which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. That reef system, the second largest in the world, is about 700 miles long from the Northernmost point of the Yucatan peninsula and stretches down through the Honduran Bay Islands. Palancar itself makes up about 3.5 miles, and is a combination of different coral formations. Dive depths range from 30 feet to almost 120 feet. Some of the dive locations include Palancar Horseshoe, Palancar Caves, and Palancar Gardens. Those are some facts. 

We can talk about its marine life. On any given dive, you can find Hawksbill and Loggerhead sea turtles, nurse sharks, queen triggerfish, parrot fish, grouper, spotted eagle rays, sting rays, lobsters, green moray eels, the endemic splendid toadfish (pictured), a seahorse if you're lucky, and so many more. 

The endemic Splendid Toadfish

The adventure of diving through some of the swim-throughs, and cavelike structures is one like no other. It's the closest you'll get to flying and to top it off, you get an incredible view. Everywhere you look (which can be very far as visibility is sometimes 200 ft plus), there are amazing coral formations and passageways, canyons, reef walls that drop down farther than you can see, bright and beautiful marine life, and a landscape you won't find anywhere else. 

By the end of 2018, Cozumel's coral reefs experienced a huge decline. "Hard corals had been infected by diseases called Stony Coral Tissue Loss, SCTL, and White Band Disease. White Band Disease gets its name from the white bands of dead coral tissue that it forms. (" From October 7, 2019 until December 15, 2019, all the Palancar dive sites, Columbia, Punta Sur, El Cielo, and Maracaibo were closed in an effort to give the reefs some time to recover. The Marine Park also hoped that the closure would bring awareness of the problems the reefs are facing. 

The Palancar Reefs are a beautiful place and there are many reef conservation efforts out there helping to ensure the wellbeing of all of Cozumel's breathtaking corals. 

As adventurers, as nature lovers, and as divers, we are committed to the health of the world around (and below) us. We want people to get to know new parts of the world, particularly the ocean. We want you to grow to appreciate it, respect it, and love it.