We visited Playa Palancar after a recommendation from someone at the port. We were looking for someplace to snorkle from the shore and some activities for the kids. We had a nice time - the water and beach were beautiful and the staff were very friendly. We were a party of 4 and I think we really were overcharged to get here and get in. The guy at the docks "booked" us into the cab, for $25 per person, including the ride out to the beach, admission, snorkeling equipment and kayaking (plus lounge chairs) for approximately 3 hours. I think we may have done better walking a bit away from the port and taking a cab from there. That being said, we enjoyed ourselves. The ceviche was quite tasty as were the nachos. Of course the cold cervezas were terrific.
The snorkeling was okay - snorkeling that close to the shore really limits the types of fish. The reef is largely covered with sand, and not a thriving reef. From what I understand, you really need to go off shore to see the beauty of the reef. My kids (age 9 and 11) enjoyed snorkeling and paddling around the roped off area. I even got a nice massage on the beach, which was very enjoyable.
The beach wasn't crowded at all. That was the best part. Nice for families with young kids.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.