Cenote Diving in Mexico

There are three main diving attractions in the Riviera Maya and Cancun region of the Yucatan peninsula for more  experienced divers. Diving with whale sharks, diving with bull sharks and cave/cavern diving in a crystal clear cenote. Diving with whale sharks and bull sharks are both season bound and unfortunately we were here out of season for diving with either. We did however do some amazing cavern diving in the cenotes.

yucatan dive seasons

Whale sharks     June – Sept

Bull sharks           Nov – Feb

Cenotes                 Jan – Dec

Dos Ochos is a beautiful cenote, it is shallow so it is accessible to openwater divers.

Dos Ochos is a beautiful cenote, it is shallow so it is accessible to open water divers.

the cenotes of the yucatan peninsula

The Yucatan peninsula poses a complex network of underground caves of hundreds of kilometres in limestone rock. Cenotes are freshwater-filled sinkholes  formed when the roofs of limestone caverns collapse. The cenotes then provide an entrance into the cave system. Rainwater filters through the earth into the cave system.  Consequently many cenotes are filled with crystal clear, turquoise water perfect for diving. Some possess an array of stalagmites and stalactites formed over millions of years that makes these caves even more beautiful. The Yucatan cenotes are entrances to  intricate cave systems  that draw divers from around the globe.

cave and cavern dives around tulum

There is a distinction between cave and cavern diving making it possible for anyone with an open water qualification to dive in the cenotes. Cavern diving is the exploration of overhead environments such as caves  always keeping the entrance in sight. Cavern divers do not go no further than 60m without access to the surface. Cavern divers use a guide line to prevent getting lost that is already attached to the cave floor.

The fixed line on the bottom of the cenote is visible, this is required in a cavern dive.

The fixed line on the bottom of the cenote is visible, this is required in a cavern dive.

It differs from cave diving in that cave divers may penetrate very deep into the caves. Cave diving is technical diving and specialized training is required. For cavern diving the same qualifications as for openwater dives are required. There are many cenotes to dive in around Tulum, the dives are expensive, you can read HERE about different Cenotes. We decided to do a triple tank dive in two different cenotes, Dos Ochos and The Pit.

Dos Ochos

This beautiful dive site is known for shallow dives and you only need an open water qualification to dive here. We did two dives in this cenote. These two caverns start and end in the same place but are very different from each other.

The Barbie line, it is a 500m circuit and containing plenty of daylight. It also gives divers a lot of space to swim around huge columns and stalactites. The light and beautiful scenery is very nice for taking photos.

The longer loop, called the Barbie Line, gets its name from this Barbie doll being eaten by a plastic crocodile at the midway point of the dive.

The longer loop, called the Barbie Line, gets its name from this Barbie doll being eaten by a plastic crocodile at the midway point of the dive.

The Bat cave line feels almost like a cave.  It is the darker of the two due to the fact that it leads around an air filled bat cave with little daylight entering.

The Dos Ojos underwater cave system was featured in the 2002 IMAX film “Journey into Amazing Caves” and the 2006 BBC/Discovery Channel series “Planet Earth” and parts of the Hollywood 2005 movie “The Cave” were filmed here.

Qualified cave divers do dives of many miles in the Dos Ochos cave system

the pit

This unreal dive was definitely my favourite cenote and one of the most beautiful places that I have ever dived. It is a deep dive and an advanced qualification is required.

The Pit is a sinkhole inside the deep jungle near Tulum, it is a part of the Dos Ochos system. Rays of bright turquoise light reach more than 30 meters  straight down with unlimited visibility. A cloud of hydrogen sulfate, anthropological remains and cave formations make this cenote an an unreal experience.

Looking at stalactites and cave formations diving in "The Pit".

Looking at stalactites and cave formations diving in “The Pit”.

The Pit (119 m) is the deepest cenote in the State of Quintana Roo. On our dive the water was crystal clear and from 37 meters I could see a diver on the surface entering the water. Panicking at this depth can be very dangerous. A diver in another group had a problem. I saw him sprinting the whole 30m to the surface, heading for decompression problems in water  as clear as if he was floating in the air.

Fossils in "The Pit".

Fossils in “The Pit”.

cenote DIVING

Diving was expensive, triple tank dive Dos Ochos and The Pit,  $140 (R1680), but was the best deal we could find. Includes torches, no boat required

ACCOMODATION

Charly’s Hostel, dormitory 180 peso (R140)

FOOD:

Our budget was about 60 peso (R45) per day

SIGN UP HERE to get email notifications of new posts.

FOLLOW THE ADVENTURE!!

cenote Looking at some stalactites in 'The Pit'Looking at some stalactites in ‘The Pit’.

Alya diving in "The Pit".

Alya diving in “The Pit”.

Diving in Cenote Dos Ojos.

Diving in Cenote Dos Ojos.

LIKE IT? PIN IT!

mexico-diving

ANY COMMENTS?

We would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy to comment give suggestions or ask questions!

5 Responses to Cenote Diving in Mexico

We'd love to hear your opinion or question!

Newsletter

FOLLOW THE ADVENTURE!!

BLOG AWARD
WHO ARE STINGY NOMADS?
DO YOU LIKE COMICS? CHECK OUT THIS ONE ABOUT US!! STINGY NOMADS COMIX
Our Journey Map
Interactive map of our travels!
LIKE US!