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Maracaibo Reef offers spectacular reef terraces moving outwards of Point Celarain, the most southern point of Cozumel.
|Name Dive Site:||Maracaibo Reef|
|Depth: ||5-40m (16-131ft)|
|Inserted/Added by: ||scuba_diving_cozumel|
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Maracaibo Reef or Lighthouse Reef is the southernmost reef on the island and is very exposed to current and topside surf. The wall starts at 28 meters and is covered with large orange elephant ear sponges, black coral and sheet coral. Sharks, rays and loggerhead turtles swim through the channel. It is unfortunately a decompression dive area due to the depths that are in excess of forty meter. It is spectacular with lush and huge heads of coral populated with gray and black tipped reef sharks along with large groupers. Those less experienced can stay shallower and enjoy the beauties of Maracaibo Shallow.
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Very deep Maracaibo Reef and steeply inclined wall are subject to unpredictable currents. When descending through open water to reach the descending terraces you must move swiftly and keep close in to the reef or you may be swept away from your planned position on the reef. Wide-angle photography is best, as you keep moving along the reef, the depth is great, and you do not have time to study the reef and its inhabitants. However, you can marvel at the complexity of the old coral limestone structures, caverns, caves and swim throughs. Only the most experienced divers should attempt this site and only under supervision of a very experienced local dive master carrying a signal marker buoy and a seasoned boat-handler.
Although this reef is best seen at depths exceeding recreational limits and engaging in deco procedures, a no- decompression dive with very limited time at depth is possible, groups will be kept together by the dive master and a mid-water decompression safety stop is obligatory on the way to the surface. It is close to Punta Celarain lighthouse and south from Colombia reef.
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