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Cenote diving is an amazing experience but should in general only be done by more experienced scuba divers.

A cenote is a sinkhole or natural pit that's the result of a collapse in limestone bedrock. Because of the collapse, groundwater that lies beneath is exposed. Cenotes are often found along coastlines and on islands, especially in Yucatan in Mexico.

When you dive a cenote you're exploring the subterranean water, and you're essentially in a large pool that measures several meters in diameter. Because the water is filtered naturally, it's clear, making for great visibility.

Cenote diving also referred to as cavern diving is different than diving in open water. The most obvious reason is you will have an overhead environment, and you will not always be able to make a direct vertical ascend. Therefore, other rules count for cavern diving then for Open water diving.

Cenote Diving

Things to remember for all cenote / cavern dives:

  • To explore the cenotes you should at least be open water certified.
  • Your dive guide should be a certified cavern guide and be full cave certified. Please do not hesitate to double check this before you sign up.
  • Your dive guide must use full cave equipment when guiding you through the caverns.
  • There should not be more than four divers in your group guided by one guide. The ratio is always 4:1
  • You should not enter the cave zone, I repeat you should not ever enter the cave zone even if your guide invites you to do so
  • Respect the rules of 3rds. When you have used 1/3 of your breathing gas, you should turn around to get back to your entry point
  • Make sure you master your buoyancy, and you use proper finning techniques, so you do not stir up sediment which could lead to a silt out and disorientation.

That said, cavern / cenote diving is unlike any other experience you'll have in the world of scuba diving. If you want to check out some of the best cenotes on the planet, start with the list of 5 of the best cenotes to dive below.

Also read: 5 Reasons why diving cenotes is not for you

Cenote Angelita

This cenote is considered magical by those who have had the chance to explore it. It's very large, dropping down 61 metres or 200 feet. You'll find incredible visibility in the fresh water that's within the first 30 metres or 100 feet.

Before you reach the saltwater layer, you'll come upon a layer consisting of hydrogen sulphate that's often described as mystical in appearance because it looks like a dense, large cloud from above, yet it has a very strange colour from below.

Cenote Angelita a Cavern Dive Like No Otherhttp://buff.ly/1swIRuw

Posted by Bookyourdive on Thursday, August 14, 2014


How to get to Cenote Angelita?

Angelita lies about 17 km to the south of Tulum, Mexico. After walking for a short while through jungle terrain, you'll make your way to the large yet hidden cenote known as Angelita.

Entrance fee and price for a two tank dive.

  • Expect to pay an entrance fee of 250 Mexican pesos.
  • Expect to pay USD $150 for a two tank dive. This price should include; transportation, lunch, full cave certified guide and equipment rental.

Who should dive Angelita and who shouldn't dive it?

Advanced divers with a minimum of 20 logged dives should check out Angelita, as it is a deep dive offering a magical experience. New certified open water divers should not enter Angelita. There are many other cenotes more suitable for Open water divers.

Cenote Dos Ojos

Dos Ojos means "Two eyes" in Spanish. This cenote is one of the world's best underwater caves / caverns, as its home to the deepest cave passage in all of Quintana Roo. Once in the super clear, warm water, you'll find this particular cenote is beautifully decorated with stalagmites and stalactites. On clear sunny days, sunbeams shine into the water creating an awesome lights show which should not be missed. This is one of the many reasons why cenote diving is so much fun.

Cenote Dos Ojos. Have you been? #scuba

Posted by SCUBA on Thursday, February 13, 2014


Location and how to get to Cenote Dos Ojos?

Dos Ojos lies about 17 km north of Tulum and south of Playa Del Carmen. A short walk, as well as a journey down some steps, will get you to the cenote. There are proper facilities around the cenote, like a small souvenir shop, a "hidden" sun deck with nice chairs and wooden platforms / dive deck for easy entry into the cavern.

Entrance fee and price for a two tank dive.

  • Expect to pay an entrance fee of 200 Mexican pesos.
  • Expect to pay anything between USD $120 for a two tank dive (Barbie line and Bat Cave) This price should include; transportation, lunch, full cave certified guide and equipment rental.

Who should dive and who shouldn't dive Cenote Dos Ojos?

There are two main cavern dives that most divers do when diving Dos Ojos. The first dive is often along the Barbie line. The "Barbie line dive is an awesome dive with no real tight swim throughs and a lot of open "space" giving the light ample opportunity to shine in and create mystical views. If you ever dived the Barbie line, you'll understand the name. If not, we'll not spoil the surprise. Spoiler alert

The 2nd cavern dive in Dos Ojos is the Batcave

As soon a you are comfortable diving the Barbie line it is time to dive the Batcave. The Batcave has tighter swim throughs and allows less light to enter the cavern, which makes it a bit darker. As you would expect, the Bat Cave is home to many bats that hang high up among the stalactites covering the ceiling which you can see when surfacing there.

Cenote The Pit; Why should you dive it?

Located in the jungle, The Pit is an exceptional cenote that's part of Dos Ojos. It's roughly 119 metres, or 391 feet, deep, making it the deepest of all the cenotes in Quintana Roo.

At roughly 30 metres or 100 feet, you'll notice the gorgeous rays of the sun colliding with a cloud of hydrogen sulphate. You can continue past this cloud to the deeper parts of the cenote. But you should only do so when properly trained.

How to get to cenote the Pit?

The Pit lies roughly 48 km to the south of Playa del Carmen, 12 km north of Tulum, 1 km to the south of Xel-Ha, and 10 km to the south of Akumal. To get to this cenote, you'll need to walk over a rocky trail for about 300 metres through the jungle. Then, to get to the water, you have to jump down another 6 metres. The pit is known as a challenging dive and can be hard to get too.

Entrance fee and price for a two tank dive.

  • Expect to pay an entrance fee of 250 Mexican pesos.
  • Expect to pay anything between USD $150 for a two tank dive. This price should include; transportation, lunch, full cave certified guide and equipment rental.

Explore the cenotes with CenoteXperience #scuba

Posted by SCUBA on Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Who should dive it and who shouldn't dive it?

Getting to the cenote itself may be challenging enough for some divers, but the dive itself is quite deep and demanding as well, so only advanced scuba divers should venture here.

Planning a scuba trip? Then you should download the ultimate scuba dive checklist just like 5000+ other divers already so you will not forget to bring anything.

Temple of Doom

The Temple of Doom cenote features a depth of 16 metres or 53 feet. Also referred to as Calavera, which translates to "skull," this cenote features three holes along the roof that look like a skull. But this dive site also features an incredible halocline, and divers can explore both the freshwater and saltwater layers.

The scenery is also spectacular, with very light sediment that's similar to baby powder, as well as a soft green light that comes from the opening.

Location and how to get to Temple of Doom?

This cenote is located conveniently right on the highway towards Coba, and it's easily accessed about 5 minutes from Tulum, Mexico.

Entrance fee and price for a two tank dive.

  • Expect to pay an entrance fee of 200 pesos.
  • Expect to pay anything between USD $150 for a two tank dive. This price should include; transportation, lunch, full cave certified guide and equipment rental.

Who should dive it and who shouldn't dive it?

Only divers who have proper buoyancy controle should dive this location. The depth is not as intense as other cenotes, but a good level of experience is still required.

Cenote Pet Cemetery

Pet Cemetery belongs to the second-longest underwater cave system on the planet, known as Cenotes Sac Aktun. The majority of it is shallow, reaching an average depth of only 3 metres or 10 feet. This is also one of the loveliest cenotes, with stalagmites, columns, super clear water, stalactites, and more. Cenote Pet Cemetery got its name from the animal skeletons that divers will see throughout the cenote.

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Features top notch footage from Pet Cemetery to the bottom of the awe inspiring Blue Abyss, a dive deep into the amazing Cenote Sac Be Ha, next stop the off the beaten path regional classic Cenote Regina’s mysterious saltwater tunnels, before the mythical Cenote Vaca-Ha was officially closed we were lucky to gain access and film an afternoon dive into the awesome deep phreatic tunnels, being an outsider I was allowed to film a secret cave currently under exploration somewhere south of Tulum, I agreed to be blindfolded and never know were this cave is in exchange for permission to film at this very sensitive location this was a minor detail as we can now show footage of a strong contender for the most beautiful cave in the Yucatan, secret spot Cave X.Whether at a friendly gathering, a backyard barbecue or alone with nothing but your own TV this supercharged collection of classic cave dives is the sure shot way to add awe and excitement to any occasion.Available now at http://www.aquavistafilms.com

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How to get there?

You can reach the Pet Cemetery through the Dos Ojos entrance, which lies 1 km to the south of Xel-Ha along Highway 307. You'll follow a 3 km dirt road that takes you to Dos Ojos and then continue for another 20-minute drive into the jungle to reach Pet Cemetery.

Entrance fee and price for a two tank dive.

  • Expect to pay an entrance fee of 500 pesos.
  • Expect to pay anything between USD $150 for a two tank dive. This price should include; transportation, lunch, full cave certified guide and equipment rental.

Who should dive Cenote Pet Cemetery?

Divers with confidence in buoyancy control can safely dive this cenote. Divers should be careful to prevent damaging the fragile formations throughout it, so only individuals with plenty of experience should venture here.

Remember; always dive well within your limits and use common sense. If you feel or think, you are not up for it, aboard the dive before it starts. If you are on your way and do not feel comfortable in any way, let your guide know and turn back.

What are your thoughts about diving Cenotes? Let us know in the comments below

Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.

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