Cenote Calavera, meaning “Skull Cenote” is also known as “Temple of Doom” and is located about 5 minutes west of Tulum, on the road to Coba.
Calavera Cenote is quite unique to the others as you pass thru a big round hole and two smaller ones at the surface. This bigger hole is obviously the collapsed ceiling making an entrance into the cave system. You follow the line around this mound of sediment and rocks in a huge room at different depths, you will pass thru the halocline a couple times. Embedded in the Cavern walls, there are thousands of hidden fossils… Tales of a time long gone. You can always see the entrance of natural light right above you during the dive, and with a bit of imagination, the light shining thru the Cenote’s openings on the ceiling create the illusion of the eyes and mouth of a giant skull, hence it’s name.
The guideline makes a circuit and reaches a maximum depth of 17 meters / 57 feet going thru a light halocline a few times during the dive. During the ascent you follow the cylindrical shaped Cenote walls towards the surface making it a multilevel dive and taking the opportunity to look at the fossils embedded on the limestone.
As you swim along the line you will also see some of the popular cave diving stop signs which alert divers that they are leaving the cavern zone and should go no farther unless properly cave trained and proper cave diving gear is being used.
The bottom of this Cenote and the cave system in general is made of clay which is not an issue when diving above the guideline and within the cavern zone. In the cave, if you don’t follow strict cave diving protocols and proper anti silting kicking techniques for propulsion, the possibility of creating a zero visibility situation is quite high. There is a history of accidents in these cave system due to open water divers going beyond the cavern limits and therefore their level of training, following unscrupulous dive guides into the cave area. Don’t let it happen to you… Always dive with a professional and experienced local cave diver guide.