Scuba Diving in Mexico’s Cenote’s
Scuba diving in the picturesque Yucatan peninsula cenotes is an unparalleled experience that you will never forget. Both novice and experienced divers can enjoy the majesty of these underwater caverns, as they do not require the experience and dexterity of diving in caves, but offer the same astounding geographical formations.
These underwater landscapes are actually freshwater rivers that were created millions of years ago when the limestone bedrock collapsed, creating crystal clear sinkholes that are perfect for scuba diving! Whatever your pleasure; scuba diving, snorkeling, or swimming, these cool jungle pools are the perfect place the explore. The chilly temperatures require a full wetsuit, but many of these gorgeous places are situated right near bars or restaurants so when you emerge from your adventure, you can warm up and refresh.
El Pit This cenote is most famous for the beams of light that enter the cavern system and bounce through the water, lending an otherworldly glow to El Pit Cenote. Divers, snorkelers and swimmers flock to The El Pit Cenote to catch a glimpse of the fractured light because it is a breathtaking experience like no other. As with many of the cenotes, you can also marvel at the stalagmite and stalactite formations and glide through crystal clear water. El Pit it is located right near the Dos Ojos Cenote, why not visit both on the same day?
Dos Ojos cenote is located outside Playa Del Carmen, near Tulum, the Dos Ojos Cenote is not to be missed. This underwater system is absolutely enormous, so you can tailor your visit to your personal ability or level of adventure. It is named “Dos Ojos”, meaning “two eyes” in Spanish, because of the two sinkholes that make up the massive system. Swim through astounding natural displays of stalagmites and stalactites and practice your deep diving, or simply snorkel on the surface.
If you have seen the BBC series “Secrets of the Maya Underworld”, you’ve gazed upon the otherworldly Dreamgate Cenote. It’s jungle location and fragile, the gorgeous underwater labyrinth of “straw formations”, areas where stalactites and stalagmites fuse together, make the Dreamgate Cenote a must on every bucket list. In order to properly enjoy Dreamgate, you should be able to maneuver through water fairly well because the natural elements of this beautiful cenote are very easily disturbed.
Casa Cenote is a true snorkelers’ delight, but scuba divers will also love venturing into its waters! A mere 10 kilometers north of Tulum, the waters of Casa Cenote are dappled with light and shade, making navigating through the crystal clear emerald waters a unique experience like no other! Floating through the underwater mangrove roots is incredibly serene and magical. This cenote is not deep; only 25 feet at the deepest part, so novice divers will have no trouble navigating through the waters.
Feeling adventurous? Check out Calavera Cenote. Also known as “The Temple of Doom”, this fantastic underwater world is home to some amazing Mayan ruins. Dive into the depths of this cenote and you are sure to see some fabulous relics of the past. Plus, the water is crystal clear so you will be able to marvel at the beauty of the ruins perfectly. This cenote has attracted divers for years and is one of the most famous on the peninsula.
Car Wash This cenote got its unique name from the local legend that people used its waters to wash their cars. It is not as crowded as other cenotes, a little off the beaten path, and has a ton of underground caves and caverns to explore. The Car Wash Cenote is another example of a place where novice and experienced divers will feel right at home. You can choose your own adventure at this cenote, venturing down as far as you feel comfortable. There are also rumors of a resident, non-dangerous crocodile at the Car Wash Cenote. Some visitors report seeing the ancient mascot wandering around, while others swear it is just a myth. You will have to go to the Car Wash Cenote to check it out for yourself.
Angelita This cenote is situated in a quiet, woody place, so it is the perfect area to chill out and have a nice day of diving. The emerald water is still and pristine, and the cenote is largely off the radar for all but experienced divers, meaning that you will have a tranquil visit. Divers who venture far into the Angelita Cenote will notice that there is sulfur near the bottom and they need to adjust their tanks in order to deal with the changing water. Deep diving at this particular cenote is recommended for more seasoned divers, but novices can paddle and surface dive to their delight closer to the top of the water. Ultimately, the Angelita Cenote is a great place to spend several hours.
Casa Cenote is famous both for its diving and its snorkeling. The emerald colored waters make it the ideal place for getting your feet wet and seeing some astounding natural beauty. Situated in the jungle, Casa Cenote is a small hike from civilization but it’s totally worth it. You will be amazed by how incredible the mangrove roots look through the crystal clear waters of this impressive cenote. At only 50 pesos per person for entry, Casa Cenote is a day trip that you will not want to miss.
What Cenote Zacil-ha lacks in remoteness it makes up for in accommodations. This cenote has been transformed into a family friendly destination complete with an on-site restaurant and a zip line for maximum fun! The waters at this cenote are deep blue and fairly shadow, maxing out at only 10 feet deep. While you will not get much deep diving in while at Cenote Zacil-ha, you will still be able to traverse the crystal clear waters and check out some truly amazing underwater formations. In addition, Cenote Zacil-ha is full of tropical birds, so the landscape above the water is just as majestic as it is below the surface! One caveat; Cenote Zacil-ha tends to get a little crowded during the weekends, so if you want a more tranquil experience, try to head out to this cenote during the week.
Secret Cenote There are plenty of secret caves and caverns in the Yucatan peninsula. These hidden wonders were known as “dzonots” by the Aztecs, and dot the landscape. If traveling to a standard cenote is not adventuresome enough for you, chat with the locals to discover the hidden sites that are off the tourist map. You might come across a secret cenote; an undisturbed diving location where you can cherish the solitary underwater realm.