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First-Time Scuba Diving in Tulum’s Cenotes – All You Need to Know

Tulum, Mexico is known for its white beaches, but it’s also a popular spot for diving. For those looking for adventure, scuba diving in Tulum is a must! With access to the Caribbean Sea, divers can explore an array of wrecks, and coral systems teeming with marine life. Cenotes promise an adventure like no other. In this article, you will learn all you need to know so you can plan your cenote scuba diving adventure while in the Riviera Maya.

a beach in tulum

What are Cenotes?

Cenotes are natural sinkholes created by acidic groundwater dissolving the underlying limestone and revealing hidden underwater worlds. They are perfect for cave swimming but diving into these cenotes can be a thrilling adventure filled with spectacular rock formations, glowing water, and countless marine creatures. Cenotes are the dream dive spots, for many divers globally.

Related Read: Best Snorkeling Spots in Mexico

Differences between scuba diving in cenotes and ocean diving

Before we start with the list, let’s discuss something very important: scuba diving in cenotes might be similar to open ocean diving, but there are a few key differences. The temperatures of the water are cooler and darker than in the ocean, requiring proper dive gear and lighting for safety purposes. Additionally, when it rains, because of the sometimes low visibility due to the murky waters, divers must remain close together and keep an eye out for potential hazards. After all, there’s an almost endless array of stunning rock formations, stalactites, and other geological formations for divers to explore, but be aware that all should remain untouched. Some cenotes might require better buoyancy and more advanced scuba skills, than others. 

With comprehensive safety measures and certified diving instructors at hand, cenote diving has become increasingly popular amongst daredevils looking to explore beyond the light zone of the caverns. Scuba diving in Tulum is definitely a must!

Related Read: Best Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Spots Around the World

Top 4 must-dive cenotes for scuba divers:

  1. Casa Cenote (Beginner Level) – open-air cenote

With no current and very little wave action, the calm waters provide perfect conditions for a relaxing and enjoyable dive, even for a try dive. The cenote is filled with a vast array of marine life including tropical fish, turtles, and more. Diving in Casa Cenote will take you on a magical journey underwater with breathtaking views and diverse marine life under the mangroves. 

  1. Dos Ojos (Open water divers) – cavern & cave

Dos Ojos Cenote is a unique and beautiful site for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. The crystal clear waters of the cavern offer a stunning view of some of the most pristine ancient Mayan formations that make up the area’s stunning ecosystem. Life flourishes in this underwater environment with over 100 different fish species and other creatures like turtles, lobster and shrimp close enough to see. Plus, there are incredible colors from rainbow-hued rocks, and shimmering sunlight beams filtering through lush overhangs. 

The two lines at Dos Ojos Cenote are the “Bat Cave” and the “Barbie line”. The Bat Cave line is a deeper dive, with a depth of approximately 22 meters. The Barbie line is more suitable for beginners, with a maximum depth of 8 meters. Both offer plenty of sights to explore, from stalactites and stalagmites to unique fossils, crystal formations, and incredible cave features.

Related Read: Cave Swimming in Mexico: Why It Should Be on Your Bucket List 

  1. Angelita (Advanced divers) – deep dive through hydrogen sulfate cloud

This cenote provides views of towering limestone cliffs and lush vegetation, as well as stunningly clear water in which to explore unique geological features and underwater caves. The depths of Angelita are home to myriad marine life, from small schools of fish to graceful mantas gliding over humid rock formations.  The highlight of this dive is the underwater river, created from hydrogen sulfate as it interacts with fresh water and saltwater. The amazing sight of the freshwater and saltwater layers creates an incredible and surreal atmosphere for divers to explore. However, it requires more advanced diving skills to reach the deeper levels, so be sure to have experience with deep water diving before attempting this dive site.

  1. The Pit (Advanced divers) – deep dive amongst vertical light beams

The Pit is considered an advanced dive due to its depths. it is a crystal-clear water pool with deep vertical walls that contain incredible formations. With its unique features, this cenote offers an unforgettable diving adventure for seasoned divers. From the depths of its hidden secrets to the graceful fish species it’s home to, exploring the depths with The Pit Cenote is truly breathtaking.

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