Cenote Diving - Only In The Riviera Maya
Cenotes – An Underwater Gateway to the Mayan Underworld & Adventure
The Riviera Maya offers an awesome diving experience for certified divers with this dive happening in the jungle, not the ocean! It’s called Cavern diving, or Cenote diving, and it’s the most unique diving experience in Mexico. Divers come to the Riviera Maya just to dive the cenotes; it is that unique. If you are open water certified and up for a new dive experience this could be for you!
Discover this Extraordinary Environment
Cenotes are crystal clear natural jungle pools that often lead to spectacular submerged caverns. In the Riviera Maya these caverns are usually decorated with limestone rock formations called stalactites and stalagmites. Diving in a cenote is an experience in and of itself and it has scuba divers flocking here from all over the world to see this underworld. Diving in the cenotes, caverns and caves of the Riviera Maya was the sole reason we came to the area in 1992! It is that unique.
Cenotes are filled with fresh water and the visibility feels like infinity. In some cenotes you may discover a layer of saltwater below the freshwater. The layering effect is called the halocline and is similar to oil and vinegar. When the two waters mix the blur that is created looks just like an oil and vinegar mix. If you approach an undisturbed halocline you will see the distinct line between salt and freshwater. Super cool and seen almost nowhere else in the world.
What is Cenote Diving?
Cavern diving is diving from the open water pool of a cenote pool in full sunlight, down into a submerged cavern entrance. The cavern zone is basically where sunlight can still be seen with a distance restriction of 59 meters. Cavern diving should not be confused with cave diving, which requires a lot more training and allows deeper penetrations far beyond the daylight zone of the cavern. Most cavern diving in the Riviera Maya is offered as a guided tour where the guide has full cave training and knows how to prepare open water divers for a cavern tour. To take a cavern diving tour you will need Openwater Diver certification. Local dive centers will request that you show your diving certification, and may ask that you go on some open water dives first before you go on a cenote dive tour. Guides will be checking for diving comfort, buoyancy, and diver awareness, necessary skills to protect the ancient caverns and fragile environment.
What Makes a Good Cenote Dive?
All cenotes are beautiful, so a good cenote dive is really up to you. Find a great guide that you like, practice great buoyancy, listen to the dive briefing provided as cavern diving rules are a bit different, and relax. Cenote diving is nothing like ocean diving, but the experience is out of this world. Listen, learn and appreciate the natural work of Mother Nature that created these caverns millions of years ago. Respect the formations and please do not touch. Dive groups are small and intimate to ensure that you have a great time! Dive groups are limited to 4 divers with one dive guide.
What Can Be Seen In The Cenotes?
The draw to the cenotes is the unique limestone formations that decorate the ceilings and floors of the caverns. Stalactites and stalagmites fill the area with a few cenotes being the exception. Carwash and Casa Cenote are a wonderful mix between fish and formations due to the large open water area making these cenotes special.
Why Do I Have to Dive With a Guide If I am Open Water Certified?
Property owners restrict access to the cenotes. Local guides have access to caverns and are trained specifically in cavern guiding. Open water certification is required to dive in the cenotes, but cave diving rules are applied to your cavern dive. We want you to have fun, and the guides create a safe and fun environment.
How Do I Pick a Good Dive Center?
Whether you are diving in the sea, a lagoon or a cenote, a good dive center is one that you click with. Diving is not about price, it is about liking and trusting the dive guides you are with. Check out a few dive centers, talk to the staff and check them out. If you hit it off, likely this is a good fit. If something just does not sit right with you, move on to the next. There are a ton of dive centers to choose from in the Riviera Maya, so visit a few and chat with them. You undoubtedly will pick a good one!
Stay Close By
Tulum Beach| 5 Beds | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Casa Mandala Tulum, A tropical paradise for you to unwind in. Come enjoy this semi-private home tucked away with 2 other homes in a private slice of Paradise.
Choose from 3 Special Deals! Tulum Beach| 1 Bed | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Extraordinary Tulum Beach Boutique Hotel. The Beach Tulum is a new, adult only, boutique hotel that provides all the luxury amenities you could dream of while staying true to the bohemian feel of this beautiful beachfront town.
Tulum Beach| 1 Bed | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
This romantic vacation rental faces the Caribbean sea on a beautiful part of Tulum Beach. Surrounded by tropical gardens, palm trees and open blue sky, you will instantly shift from work to life the second you place your bags on the floor.
North Akumal| 1 Bed | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Beach level condos on Half Moon Bay w/ AC, full kitchens, living rooms, and patios or balconies overlooking the sea. Good snorkeling either in the bay or nearby Yalku Lagoon. Restaurants nearby.
Tulum Beach| 6 Beds | 5 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Claim the best section of Tulum’s beach to yourself and stay at eco-friendly Casa Carolina! With 5 bedroom, 5.5 baths, beachfront pool, amazing rooftop bar, flat screen TV’s in each bedroom and free Wi-Fi everything you need for a perfect vacation…
North Akumal | 5 Bed | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
This oceanfront vacation house rental has a pool and 3 bedrooms w/ AC in the main house and guest house w/ AC. Enjoy Caribbean and Half Moon Bay views from several outdoor patios and terraces, equipped kitchen, living room. Sleeps 10
Special promotions and rates! Central Playa del Carmen| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 to 3 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Featuring 21 modern condominiums, 5-star service, and an impressive 70 foot long pool. Penthouses have private, spacious rooftop terraces with BBQ outdoor kitchens, heated Jacuzzis and panoramic views of the Caribbean.
Tankah Bay – Tulum| 4 Beds | 3 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
This is a big sunny beach house with 3 air conditioned bedrooms and a beach side swimming pool. Enjoy 2 double kayaks, great sunbathing by the pool or on the beach, grill, big kitchen, awesome ocean views, large living room, open dining room.
Playa del Carmen – City Center| 3 Beds | 2 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Spacious, modern and airy, each unit boasts a tasteful décor, an elegant open-floor living space, a fully-equipped kitchen, 2 beautiful king-size bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms. The entire wall of the living room is made of extensive glass sliders that welcome you to step onto the balcony terrace and savor the view.
North Akumal| 3 Bed | 3 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Located on the ocean inlet to Yalku Lagoon this lovely villa has a great view, with 3 air conditioned bedrooms, an ocean side swimming pool, living room, dining area, kitchen, pool patio w/ grill and 2 ocean side balconies. Sleeps 10.
Akumal| 1 or 2 Beds | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
Barefoot-luxury on a budget? Check out these air-conditioned rooms, equipped with full bathrooms, comfortable beds, ceiling fans, free Wi-Fi and compact refrigerators. Walk 2 minutes to the powdery Akumal Bay beach or claim your pool privileges at Hotel Akumal Caribe (100 meters away).
Tankah Bay| 6 Beds | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
It’s the picture postcard view that you will see when looking at Tankah Bay through the two-story high windows of Casa Paloma. This splendid four-bedroom beach front villa is a rare jewel that rises over the soft white sands of Tankah Tres.