It is accessible to new divers that want to Discover Scuba Diving and offer a fantastic introduction to cave diving but also to experienced tec divers, that discover new lines and underwater routes.
But what excatly are cenotes?
The word Cenote comes from the Yucatec Maya word, “Ts’onot” which can refer to any location where there is an opening to the in the cave which leads to the surface. Cenotes are incredible natural water holes that are formed by the collapse of limestone, revealing a whole underground water sistem.
Cenotes mostly have fresh water thats filtered by the earth and limestone therefore the visibility is crystal clear, allowing us to explore the mystery that these ancient water holes may hold. The Cenotes located nearer the coast can also have a combination of fresh and salty water creating an acrylic like visibility called halo-cline.
As these water holes date back to millions of years ago it is very common to see stalagmite and stalactite formations and if lucky remains of fossils.
The Yucatan Peninsula has over 5000 cenotes, whats so fun about discovering Cenotes is that they are all unique and come in many different shapes and sizes, some are Open-air while others can be fully closed.
These incredible underwater cavers and cave sistems remain as sacred places for mayans who used to practice rituals and ceremonies in them. Mayans considered Cenotes a gift from the gods, sacred wells. As a matter of fact, most mayan temples of the Yucatan Peninsula were built around these natural wonders.
Cenotes available for Open Water certified divers:
The name Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) refers to two neighboring cenotes which are connected by an extensive series of caves and caverns. Viewed from above, they very much resemble a pair of eyes.
The caves have a maximum depth of 30 feet/.9 meters, and the water is exceptionally clear. Many bats can be seen flying and resting in the roof the Batcave (as it’s known), a unique area which can be accessed easily. The bats keep the insect population of the cenote at a record low, making it a forgiving, paradise-like location.
At Dos Ojos Cenote we do two dives, the first dive heads along the “Barbie Line” and on this dive you see great light effects as you look towards the entrance. There is a lot of space to swim around huge stalactites and columns. The second dive heads along the “BAT CAVE LINE” this dive is a bit darker. This passages run under a large air dome. We ascend into the air dome where we see a highly decorated cave, with lots of bats hiding between the stalactites.
Dream Gate is part of Sac Actun system, one of the largest underground river systems in the world.
The depth of this cenote is 30 feet/ 9 meters,
Dream Gate is known for it winding labyrinth of decorative caverns. It’s spectacular formations of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns will amaze you. Cenote Dream Gate is the subject of many documentaries and must-see for divers from around the globe. Open Water Certification needed , but we additionally need to check divers buoyancy before this dive.
Also known as Cenote Manati connects one of the longest underwater rivers systems in the world to the ocean. Casa Cenote gives you a completely different feel. You are now diving below the jungle, with mangrove roots as the ceiling. Along the bottom is there are huge rocks covered in mosses and green algae.
Here there is also a halocline, as the fresh water flows out of the river system and the salt water flows in from the ocean, because of this we have a lot more fish life. This dive has a maximum depth of 8m. There is also a large open water area and is great for the PADI Open Water Course and PADI Discover Scuba Diving.
Located at a twenty five minute drive form Tulum the Taj Maha cenote is incredible as it has sections of rock that glow when you shine your torch on them. Shards of light enter the caves from above and are refracted by the water’s surface to create jagged laser-like beams. You weave through a web of tunnels and vast chambers, passing fossils and impressive limestone formations and, just as you begin to wonder if you’ve passed that 60 m cutoff point, you emerge into another cenote even more remote and beautiful than the last.
Cenote Calavera, which means “Skull Cave” is also known as “Temple of Doom”. It is located just outside of Tulum, on the road to Coba. The cavern is a huge room with a hill of sediments and rocks in the center. During the dive, divers wind their way slowly around the hill, travelling at different depth alongside the walls of the cenote. In this dive it is possible to move through three different halocline layers. There is much light in the cavern and many hidden fossils to discover
Cenotes available for Advanced Open Water certified divers:
Cenote El Pit
Cenote el Pit is located about 5 minutes past Cenote Dos Ojos on the same road. The cenote is in the middle of the jungle, it has nice stairs into the water with a small deck for easy access, it also has a rope for lowering down equipment.
This cenote is one of the deepest in the area, and is very unique, at the depth of 40 feet. 13 meters to 60 ft/19 meters you can see the Halocline (salt water mixing with fresh water). When you reach the depth of 100 feet/ 30 meters you encounter a cloud of hydrogen sulfur, its like flying through a cloud, the most beautiful and intriguing part of the dive is the way the light penetrates through the cenote, it reaches all the way down to the cloud, a 100 feet beam of light, it lights the whole cavern, where a jumbo jet can fit inside. At the celling of the cenotes you can see many stalactites, making a nice decoration, on the south part of the cenote, you can appreciate how a cascade used to run through there, when the water level was below where it is now.
For this dive the maximum depth is 30m, and you will need to be an advanced diver. If you are not an advanced diver check out our diving and course packages
This cenote has a depth of 180 feet/55 meters, we dive up to 120 feet,/37 meters. This cenote is particular because of its crazy hydrogen sulfur cloud found at 100 feet of depth. The cloud is about 9 feet thick as you enter the halocline. This is one of the most bizarre dives you can do in your life.
There are tons of fallen trees, that rise out of the halocline and a little island with branches and voodoo dolls.
The profile that we do at this dives is 7 minutes at 120 feet, 2 minutes at 90 feet, 3 minutes at 80 feet, 3 minutes at 60 feet, 5 to 7 minutes at 40 feet and 5 minutes at 20 feet (average total time is 40 minutes under water).
Divers will notice a couple of stalactites and a swim thru tunnel. With bird bones, branches, and other stuff that has fallen into the cenote. Cenote Angelita is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring dives in all of Tulum.
Join as at Adventure Tour Center for a truly unique experience diving into the mystical world of cenotes.