Cavern Diving in Cenotes
Cenotes, Peninsula de Yucatan, Mexico.
Under the Yucatan Peninsula’s Jungle in Mexico, a completely different world is opening up to scuba divers. The world’s most extended cave systems stretch through the area with thousands of sinkholes that allow divers to enter these magical places. The cenotes offer an entirely different scuba diving experience with limestone caverns, and light rays piercing through crystal clear waters, ice age fossils, and speleothems or dripstone formations; what you would see in a National Geographic or Discovery Channel documentary.
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to the most significant number and variety of cave and cavern diving sites in one place, globally! Let us tell you more about scuba diving into the veins of the earth…
Most of the cavern dives in Cenotes are at a maximum depth of 15 meters / 50 feet, and there is virtually no current.
Some of the deeper caverns have haloclines, where freshwater and saltwater meet, creating a change in density and a fantastic underwater visual effect.
Oh, and let me tell you about Refraction! As the sunlight hits the surface of the water, light bends in the denser medium, and you get a spectacle of light curtains from the surface to the bottom of the Cenote.
Not to be confused with cave diving.
A Typical Day of Cavern Diving in Mexican Cenotes
We will pick you up in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen and any towns in between, such as Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, and Chemuyil. *(We cannot pick you up at the resorts)* Also, from the Ferry Pier, when you are crossing over from Cozumel.
From there, we drive to the jungle for our day of Cavern Diving in Cenotes. Once there, we give you a comprehensive briefing about the Cenotes’ history, formation, and importance for the ecosystem and the coral reefs.
Just a couple of kilometers from the federal highway 307, we start finding the Cenotes. We park the truck and set up the BCD and regulator on the scuba tanks before walking down to the Cenote to describe water entry and exit methods. We will explain the general safety procedures that will apply to all Cavern Diving. A detailed briefing of the first dive, team dynamics, light and hand communication, navigation, gas management, and emergency procedures.
After that first fantastic dive, we have a break, some snacks, and water. Depending on the day’s location, we explain the second dive’s specifics and get ready to get in the water for more underwater fun. Cavern dives usually are 40 to 50 minutes long, depending on the cavern line’s depth and length.
We will have lunch onsite or at a local Mexican restaurant before going back to town and dropping you off at your accommodation around 2-4 pm.
Are you coming with a non-diver friend? No worries, there are many Cenotes for them to snorkel while you are diving!
Cenotes are private properties; once on site, we need to register and pay the family or community the Mexican Pesos entrance fees. These fees vary from 250 to 600 pesos for the day, depending on the Cenotes.
During cavern dives, you will be able to see the natural sunlight at all times while following a guideline. The maximum distance you will ever be from the surface is 60 meters / 200 feet. In the unlikely event of an emergency, we can always swim out of the cavern much quicker than we could from 30mts of depth.
What are cenotes?
So what are cenotes? To describe them, they are sinkholes filled with water. Yucatan has been under the ocean’s surface multiple times. The last time the peninsula raised above sea level, underground rivers began to build the cave systems. The caves flooded, which allowed divers today to swim around these ancient formations. In some caves and caverns, we can even find ancient Mayan pottery and bones.
The cenotes are portions of the cave systems where the ceiling has collapsed making it possible for scuba divers to enter the water. The half-flooded ones are also accessible for snorkelers and other fun activities like zip-lining, kayaking, and swimming.
The top layer of water in the cenotes in Quintana Roo is freshwater. When you scuba dive deeper than 12 to 15 meters (depending on the cenote), you will reach the halocline, a density change between freshwater and saltwater. This is even deeper in Cenotes deeper in the interior of the Peninsula and around the city of Merida in the State of Yucatan, Mexico.
Haloclines look like a mirror inside the water and leave your vision blurry while going through it. Your guide will ensure that every diver gets a chance to play around with the haloclines before it all gets stirred up by bubbles and fins.
Price and duration:
USD 150 x 2 dives in a day.
Cenote Angelita and The Pit + USD 10
3rd dive same day + USD 50 (Includes lunch at a local Mexican restaurant) **(Must be reserved in advance).
A typical day is from 8am to 3pm.
Transportation from the Center of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Cenote entrance fees.
Water, sodas, snacks and sandwiches.
Cenotes Chac Mool x 2 Dives (Kukulkan & Little Bro’).
Cenotes Dos Ojos x 2 Dives (Barbie Line & Bat Cave).
Cenotes Jardin del Eden + Tajma Ha.
Ask for more…