Dive at the Wreck of Felipe Xicoténcatl
A sunken vessel promoting marine life and scuba diving tourism, holding the secrets of its past
Set off on a marine adventure by diving 82 feet underwater to explore the Gunboat Felipe Xicoténcatl C-53, a ship that took part in World War II and now rests at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.
History Beneath the Sea
This gunboat was built by the Wilson Marine shipyard in Tampa, USA, in 1944. It served as a minesweeper for the US Navy. For two years, it played a role in the Second World War before retiring from wartime service in 1946.
The Gunboat in Mexico
In 1962, the Mexican Navy acquired the vessel, naming it after Felipe Santiago Xicoténcatl, a military figure who heroically defended Chapultepec Castle, leading the famed Battalion of San Blas.
In June 2000, hazardous and contaminating materials were removed from the ship. It was intentionally sunken in the Cozumel Reefs National Park to become a marine refuge and an attraction for passionate divers and snorkelers.
Currently, it’s a popular site for diving enthusiasts, requiring only basic certification and comfort with enclosed spaces to explore.
What You’ll See at the Gunboat
Diving into the crystal-clear Caribbean waters to explore its interior reveals a diverse array of marine life: sponges, corals, starfish, moray eels, grouper, and a variety of colorful of fish.
You’ll encounter an ecosystem fostering marine life, promoting biodiversity, and serving as a recreational spot for tourism.
Cozumel features various diving destinations within the Great Mayan Reef, a segment of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, making it an unbeatable underwater adventure.
How to Get There
The most common mode of transportation to Cozumel is via ferry, connecting the island to Playa del Carmen. Ferries depart hourly, with a travel time of 35 minutes. Additionally, there’s a ferry for vehicles departing from Calica, situated ten minutes from Playa del Carmen.
Cozumel International Airport welcomes flights from airlines from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, small planes or helicopters depart from the Playa del Carmen Aerodrome.
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