If you are into diving and looking for new diving experiences and sights, you should absolutely consider coming to Mexican Yucatan peninsula to dive in cenotes. Commonly cenotes are natural sinkholes created due to breakdown of the limestone bedrock. Some of them look like a hole on the ground, that you can climb down and reach a pool, which is an entrance to an underground cavern system. The other type looks more like a natural pool and almost does not have the limestone roof. The thirds ones have entrances from local houses’ basements and are totally covered by limestone and do not have an obvious opening and a roof collapse. We are more interested in the ones that have an access to the sunlight, because those give a very special experience being under the water.
I chose to dive in one of the most famous Cenotes called “Dos Ojos” (“two eyes” in Spanish), that have two underwater routes with the same entrance of the cenote. The diving consists of two tank dives, exploring both of the circuits. The depth is comfortable 10 meters and the divers follow the red ribbon under the water that takes them through the beautiful halls with stalactites, stalagmites and columns, leading to a cave “cathedral”, where it is possible to ascent for admiring the natural “architecture” and the colony of the bets living there. In spite of the fact that a cave/cavern diving in itself is very interesting, in cenotes the special touch to it is the beginning and the end of the dive, when you find yourself in a beautiful clear blue/turquoise water, that is pierced with hundreds of sun rays entering the water through the opening in the limestone and dancing with their full length until the bottom. You see how beautiful it is when you just enter the water, but the effect is even stronger when you leave the darkness of the cavern and catch the first glimpse of the blue light at the “end of the tunnel”. The closer you get into the exit/entrance the brighter the light shines and glitters, which gives a sensation of being in a fairy-tale like place. None- scuba divers can enjoy the swim and free-diving in Cenotes as well, so the experience can be shared between divers and non-divers friends and family members. Usually cenotes are surrounded by a lot of trees, lianas and a lot of shade to hide from the heat of the sun.
The dive’s cost is 100 USD and includes a pick up, the equipment, two tanks and a small snack in between the first and the second dives. The dive site is about an hour away from Tulum. It is better to start the dive early in the morning, when it is not yet too crowded.
Other Cenotes that are supposed to be very beautiful for diving are: The Pit, Temple of Doom, Pet Cemetery, Angelita.
Some of these cenotes are very deep and are suitable only for the advances divers. However the Cenotes like “Dos ojos” are suitable for Open Water divers because the cave diving certification is not required.