Cenote & Cave Dive Sites
The Cenotes are located within the Riviera Maya starting at Playa del Carmen untill South and West of Tulum. The five largest underwater caves of the world are located in the Riviera Maya. All caves are disolution caves with a depth of 20 feet / 6 meters - 70 feet / 21 meters.
The Halocline, the interface of freshwater on top and saltwater below is connected to the distance to the coast line. Close to the coast the Halocline is in 15 feet / 5 meters of water, most of the caves within the Riviera Maya do have the Halocline at a depth of 35 feet / 11 meters.
The year around water temperature is 78 F / 24 C with visibility in the 200 feet / 60 meter range. Most caves have very good access by car and walk to the water.
Please don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions or need assistance.
Chac-Mool or Jaguar Cave - GPS Coordinates
N20°30.191 / W87°14.128
Bathrooms: One at the cenote. Distance from gear up to water: just down the stairs at either entrance. Gear tables: many cement tables at both of the entrances along with plenty of parking place.
Cavern Dives - Chac-Mool: There are two water entries to Chac-Mool, both leading into the same rooms. The first room is relatively big with a lot of light entering from the opening. In the second room, a portion of the ceiling has collapsed under an air dome, in which divers can surface. This allows the diver to dive next to two levels of beautiful stalactites. Along the opening of the main entrance, there are some trunks and branches reaching into the water. Here you can experience a stunning laser light show on sunny days. Chac-Mool is one of the caverns where you will find a halocline. This is where salt and fresh water comes together creating fascinating visual effects. With its large rooms and maximum depth of 12m/45 ft , Chac Mool is perfect for everyone new in cavern diving.
Cavern Dives - Kukulkan: In this same system there is a different entrance to Cenote Kukulcan. You need to walk approximately 30m/100ft. As soon as you start the dive, a whole curtain of laser beams will take your breath away. Once you cross through this curtain you will be able to see it from a distance as you see the reflection of bubbles on the ceiling. If you look close into the walls you can find beautiful crystals and some fossils. The deepest area of the dive goes through a very thick halocline giving you the effect that the surface of the water is just above you. It is a great dive on sunny days.
Cave Dives: This cave system flirts between fresh and salt water zones. Halocline is at 9.6m(32ft). Saltwater areas consist of typical limestone. Any place fresh water exists features an array of speleothems. Maximum Depth: 30m (98ft). Permanent line in system: 9193m (30160ft).
Best Dives: Upstream mainline, beyond cavern zone there is a highly decorated dome room. Downstream mainline, to the Cauc Na (Monster House). The world’s longest underwater stalactite Xix Ha Tunich exists here. Ask your cave guide for more details.
Snorkeling: The larger of the two entries has more area to snorkel. The cenote is larger and offers a view to a large room as well as the entries to the cavern tour area. There are some hammocks and plenty of space to lounge around if you are waiting for divers or just taking a break.
Ponderosa / Eden - Hours of operation: 8:00-17:00 all week open except Saturdays. Bathrooms: Four at the cenote behind the house, modern styled bathrooms. Distance from equipment preparation to water is within easy walking down the stairs to a platform. Gear tables: two large tables in the parking lot.
Cavern Dives: Ponderosa is a very large and exceptionally beautiful cenote located near Playa del Carmen. The cenote is home to wide variety of fish, freshwater eels, turtles and aquatic plant life. The large opening appears much more nutrient rich as the rocks are covered with plants and mosses but still maintaining unlimited visibility. You can take a short walk from here to Coral Cenote just down a path and see another large collapse with just the sides underwater and a large island in the middle. The light penetration at Coral Cenote is loved by photographers as well as every diver that enters the water. Many different tours come here as a prime diving and snorkeling excursion and take a walk around the jungle. Keep your eyes open as there are fossil specimens of coral and shells throughout the jungle floor charting the history of the Yucatan peninsula.
Cave Dives: Maximum Depth: 15 m (50ft). Permanent line in system: 15019m (49274ft).
Best Dives: Many different ones and many that connect to nearby cenotes making fascinating traverses. Upstream to Cenote Chikin Ha, The River Run Circuit, To the Chapel Room, To Cenote Azúl.
Snorkeling: Excellent with plenty of area to explore. There are fresh water eels in this cenote as well as plenty of fish life in the open water zone. We can’t recommend it but many people have a great time jumping off the cliffs here where the water is known to be deep enough.
Taj Mahal - Hours of operation: 10-6 / everyday of the week. Gear tables: Two cement tables.
Cavern Dives: Cenote Taj Maha is one of the dives you must do while visiting the Riviera Maya. Guided Cavern dives take you down a string of light zones giving a dazzling underwater laser-like show as you cross 4 different cenotes. This dive site is a favorite for guides and customers alike who are constantly returning to see the changes in the dive as the seasons change (due to the angle of the sun). Haloclines in the deeper areas make interesting mirror like effects as divers penetrate into the layer of saltwater below the fresh. Keep your eyes open during this dive as it is decorated with stalagmites and stalactites. In addition you will find many shell and coral fossils amongst the rocks.
Cave Dives: Spectacular circuit on the downstream side not to mention the many options on the upstream side. Maximum Depth: 18m (60ft). Permanent line in system: 5361m (17587ft).
Best Dives: Mainline into the Jumma River and to Cenote Buena Vista. Downstream to Room of Cheers and Cenote Sagrado. The City of Agre room and Cenote Nachich. Upstream beyond the cavern area to the Chinese Garden.
Snorkeling: This is a more advanced snorkeling area spectacular shows of light can be seen very near the entrance.
Dos Ojos - GPS Coordinates N20°18.975 / W 87°22.022. Bathrooms: At the entrance and in the site. Distance from gear up to water: 2 min walk down stairs. Gear tables: plenty of wooden tables.
Cavern Dives: The name "Dos Ojos” meaning "two eyes”, originated because there are two circular cenotes which are located very close to each one. Dos Ojos is known for it’s multiple shallow dives, giving divers plenty of bottom time to enjoy this beautifully decorated system. Two very different caverns start and end in the same place.
The first dive called The Barbie Line leads the diver mainly along the opening of the second eye, containing plenty of daylight. It also gives divers a lot of space to swim around huge columns and stalactites. Be ready for some exciting surprises on this dive.
The second dive, called the Bat Cavern is the darker of the two due to the fact that it leads around an air filled bat cave with little daylight entering. It is worth ascending here to see the stunning decorations and the bats.
Cave Dives: Cave Divers can plan many different dives and head miles in either direction into this massive cave system crossing several cenotes. Maximum Depth: Not counting “The Pit” area that is 119m (391ft) has a more constant depth of 12m (40ft). Permanent line in system: 56803m (17587ft)
Best Dives: Downstream to the River Run and Upstream to the IMAX line where the movie “Journey into Amazing Caves” was shot.
Snorkeling: The two eyes are a perfect location for snorkeling and swimming close to these fantastic formations.
Calavera or Temple of Doom - The original name is Cenote Esqueleto but somehow ended up being known as Calavera. The real Cenote Calavera is at System Camillo. Hours of operation: 8:00-17:00 everyday of the week. Restaurant on site: no. Gear tables: none.
Cavern Dives: Calavera is not just an interesting "hole in the ground", but a cavern dive of a different type. To enter the water some courage is needed as the diver needs to jump 3m/ 10ft down or climb the steep ladder. The cavern area is a big room with a hill in the middle around which divers wind their way slowly up to the surface. Formations in this cenote are darker than in others and the halocline is stronger. There is a lot of light in the cavern and many fossils can be spotted.
Cave Dives: Half fresh water and half salt water. The limestone displays a snow white ambiance with crystal clear blue tint water. Several large rooms and a variety of passageways with cave formations located in several areas. Maximum Depth: 19m (63ft). Permanent line in system: 6060m (2000ft).
Best Dives: The Madonna passage, The Hall of Giant Rooms and the Coliseum Room, The Tanic domes circuit.
Snorkeling: The most interesting part for a snorkel would be jumping from the ledge. Besides that is not a great place for it.
Grand Cenote - Its name says it all... Grand Cenote! This cenote is part of the System Sac Aktun which means white cave in Mayan. Hours of operation: 8-5 / everyday of the week. Restaurant on site: yes. Gear tables: yes, several wooden tables.
Cavern Dives: The cavern dive is circular around the edge of the cenote which has beautiful lotuses growing on the surface. Has a maximum depth of 10 m / 35 ft and plenty of Iight falling in, this is a good dive for inexperienced cavern divers. Perfect buoyancy is required because the cavern area as well as the caves are highly decorated with beautiful white formations like stalactites, stalagmites and columns everywhere around.
Cave Dives: It is considered one of the best cave dives in the entire area. Highly decorated everywhere. Constant formations no matter where you go. 95 % of cave is 12 m (40ft) or less. Impressive Cave. Maximum Depth: 15m (50ft). Permanent line in system: 79,617 m (261,211 ft)
Best Dives: The Cuza Nah loop, the Paso de Lagarto main line, the Cenote Calimba traverse, the Bosch Chen traverse and circuit.
Snorkeling: Snorkelers can view the formations of the cavern area without ever diving underwater.
Carwash or Aktun Ha - No longer used for washing taxis. The real name is Aktun Ha which means water cave in Mayan. Hours of operation: 8:00-17:00 everyday of the week. Restaurant on site: no. Gear tables: yes, several wooden tables
Cavern Dives: With the water level being just a few inches below ground level, divers find an easy entrance into the water. You will enter the water through the roots and fallen trees which like any good fairy tail takes you to a strange and different world. For the cavern divers there are upstream and downstream dives possible, though the upstream section with its large chestnut colored columns is the most popular for cavern diving.
The light failing through the roots create an amazing light show and the large room behind is beautifully decorated. During the hot season there is a spectacular effect created by over blooming from algae. This is visualized as a thick white layer on the surface. As divers descend they get the feeling they are crossing through mist to an unknown world. After 2m (7ft) it suddenly becomes crystal clear and the view is of tree branches and roots fading through this cloud and so now and then there is a turtle that disappears into it. To look at this cloud from inside the cavern area is absolutely breath taking as it tints the water emerald green.
Cave Dives: Most of the cave system is fresh water, the salt water begins at 21m (70 ft). Highly decorated with various rooms and several different passageways. Maximum Depth: 27m (90ft). Permanent line in system: 3,030 m (10,000 ft).
Best Dives: Room of Tears and beyond, Adriana’s room and the Cell Block, The White Room and the Chamber of Ancients, Satin’s Silthole and the Basement, The Drain.
Snorkeling: Not really recommended for snorkeling as in hot season the cloud doesn’t allow the snorkelers to see the bottom. Whenever the water is completely clear there is still not so much to see underneath. Though, the place is great to take a quick dip in the water to refresh and for bird watching.
Angelita - A once in a lifetime dive in all respects. Hours of operation: 8:00-17:00 everyday of the week. Restaurant on site: No. Gear tables: yes, they have like long wooden benches where you can gear up.
It is the furthest site visited from Playa del Carmen. Walking about 5 minutes through the jungle you reach this picturesque circular shaped cenote which does nothing more than to go straight down to 60m (200 ft). Descending through clear fresh water you will sink right into a mystical hydrogen sulfate layer at 30m (100ft) that looks like a big cloud with trunks and branches reaching through it. Passing through the cloud, the diver will reach the salt water. It is dark here, giving the diver the feeling of being in a forest at night.
Angelita is a dive for the experienced diver because of its depth. Most commonly it is dived to a depth of 40m (130ft). This cenote is visited as well, by technical divers for decompression dives.
Please don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions or need assistance.