It’s no secret that the Mexican-Caribbean is home to some of the most stunning dive sites worldwide. Many cities in Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are situated alongside the Mesoamerican reef, giving tourists the chance to catch a glimpse of the numerous coral and fish species that call the Caribbean Sea their home.
But there is one place in particular that divers return to time and time again: Palancar Bricks Dive Site, in Cozumel. With perfect conditions for beginner and intermediate divers, and frequent sightings of nurse sharks and marine turtles, it’s no wonder that Palancar has been ranked amongst the top 40 best dive sites globally, for 2022.
This accolade was given to the Palancar Bricks dive site after thousands of divers worldwide voted for their favourite sites, beating famous diving spots Cod Hole in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Straits of Tiran in the Egyptian Red Sea for the 33rd best dive spot globally.
Four other Mexican locations made the Top 100 dive sites for 2022, including Dos Ojos Cenotes in Playa Del Carmen, the Revillagigedo Islands, Punta Sur in Cozumel and Roca Partida in Baja California.
The Palancar Bricks dive site is located at the furthermost part of the Palancar Reef, on the southwest coast of Cozumel. The Reef itself is typically split into 5 main dive sites, ranging from shallower waters and cave sites to more challenging deep water with stronger currents. The reef is an integral part of the Mesoamerican reef system – the second largest barrier reef in the world.
With dive depths ranging from 50 to 115 feet, divers are able to challenge themselves and explore deeper waters.
Visibility is also excellent in the reef, with crystal-clear waters allowing divers to see up to 200 feet away. Dive experts have also praised the lack of a strong current on the dive site, ensuring divers feel as safe as possible whilst underwater.
Divers who are lucky enough to experience the Palancar Bricks site will have the opportunity to see a multitude of rare marine life. The region is famous for its Hawksbill and Loggerhead sea turtles, which can be seen swimming through swarms of parrot fish and green moray eels. The luckiest divers may even catch a glimpse of nurse sharks and spotted eagle rays passing through the ocean.
For the past 20 years, divers have repeatedly praised the reef for its stunning swim-throughs and immersive cave-like structures – the perfect location for underwater photography in the Mexican-Caribbean.
In particular, voters selected Palancar Bricks as an excellent site for photography due to the huge coral spires that rise from the ocean floor, creating various underwater canyons. The dive is best suited to wide-angle photography, to capture the stunning array of coral and marine life on the site.
Palancar bricks has consistently received a rating of 4.5 stars upwards on Trip Advisor. Novice and experienced divers alike have praised the dive site for its stunning array of marine and plant life, as well as its exquisite coral and rock formations.
The dive site is also incredibly accessible, with a multitude of different dive companies offering excursions from Cozumel on a daily basis. Certain dive companies from Playa del Carmen and Cancun also offer trips to the dive site, but these often fill up quickly due to great demand. Travellers looking to dive at Palancar Bricks are encouraged to make a booking as quickly as possible, as thousands of tourists are expected to visit the Riviera Maya this summer.
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