Diving in a dream: Scuba in the cenotes of the Yucatan

Last week, Dave and I had the opportunity to do something so magical it felt like we were in a dream.

We had the chance to scuba dive in a cenote.

Check out the video:

Cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

A cenote is an underground cavern, similar to a cave but with a natural hole in the ceiling that lets in light. The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is one of the few places in the world you can find these unique formations.

Because of the opening in the cave’s ceiling, when you scuba it’s called cavern diving rather than cave diving, and unlike cave diving you don’t need a special qualification to do it.

Yucatan Peninsula Mexico cenote Dzitnup Double-Barrelled Travel

One of the many beautiful cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula – Dzitnip

Yucatan Peninsula cenote Dzitnup Double-Barrelled Travel

Cenote Xkeken on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Scuba diving in the cenotes

We first heard about diving in the cenotes a few weeks back when we were in Cozumel Island. A fellow diver said he’d done it decades ago and it was one of the best experiences of his life. He’d trekked into the jungle with a guide and his gear, jumped into a hole in the ground and then explored the underwater cavern systems.

Dave and I could barely contain our excitement when we learnt about this type of adventure.

Yucatan Peninsula cenote selfie Double-Barrelled Travel

Cheesy smiles before a swim in a cenote

Cave obsession

We’ve both always had a fascination with caves. During our honeymoon in Margaret River we re-visited some of the caves we went to as kids, and then last year we went to a number of caves throughout the USA.

Scuba diving in an underground cavern, rather than simply walking through a cave, was taking our love of under-the-earth formations to another level.

And so we teamed up with Mexidivers to explore Dos Ojos – a cenote within the Yucatan Peninsula – and went on a two tank dive in the underwater tunnels.

Watch the video above to see what it was like.

Yucatan Peninsula Coba cenote Double-Barrelled Travel

Dave takes in the beauty of a cenote near Coba

What you need to know:

Cost: A two tank dive in the cenotes costs US$145 including equipment hire, transport to the cenote, and a guide.

When to go: Mexidivers has scuba diving expeditions to the cenotes twice a day – once at 9am and then again at 1pm.

How to get there: Mexidivers is located in the hotel zone of Tulum, at kilometre five. It is next to Hotel Zamas.

For more information, visit the Mexidivers website.

Yucatan Peninsula cenote Floating on air Double-Barrelled TravelYucatan Peninsula cenote Floating on air Double-Barrelled Travel

Floating in the crystal clear blue waters of a cenote near Coba on the Yucatan Peninsula

Video script:

Carmen: Ah, the ocean. A beautiful spot to dive. But that’s not where we’ll be diving today.

Nope, we’re going to be diving with Mexidivers and they’re taking us to a cenote called Dos Ojos, about half an hour north of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Carlos Solis, Owner of Mexidivers: Dos Ojos is actually a wonderfully cenote. It’s located north of Tulum. It’s about a half hour drive, including 5km into the jungle.

That’s what makes it a little more interesting because you’re driving into the jungle so you have a chance to see flora and fauna.

Then once you get to the cenote, you may have to walk for about five minutes with all your dive gear. You take the stairs to go down and there’s a giant sinkhole in the ground. It’s like a giant crystal clear swimming pool.

Dave: We’re going to go scuba diving. We’ve just walked through the jungle in all of our scuba gear. It’s pretty hot, and pretty difficult.

Carmen: I’m looking forward to it – I’m a little bit nervous – but this is going to be totally badass. Let’s go!

Carlos: So you follow the guideline as you go in then all the adventure under the water begins. Because the daylight is shining into the cave. So you are in the open area and the daylight is shining. So you see that the water with the daylight, the colours and the crystal clear of the water – it’s really incredible.

And it probably looks like a ballroom. That’s the thing that comes to mind when I go there. I look up, and it looks like a huge ballroom, perfectly decorated. And you want to go in, you want to go in and see what’s there.

So you follow your guide and he takes you through all of these passages and you just think ‘wow’. The Yucatan Peninsula was sitting under the ocean – that’s right. Millions of years ago.

Carmen: We surfaced within a cave. Bats flittered above us. Our guide explained how the cave had been formed over millions of years by the slow drip, drip, drip of water, forming stalagmites and stalactites.

Carlos: We currently have about 10,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. And that’s the main source of fresh water. We drink that. So it’s a lot to think about. We need to remember that Mother Nature is perfect and we depend on Mother Nature. We need to create that idea that we have to save the nature.

It’s incredible.

Thank you to Mexidivers for hosting us. As always, our opinions and comments are our own. 

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

2 comments on “Diving in a dream: Scuba in the cenotes of the Yucatan”

  1. jean brice Reply

    Wow!! Awesome guys!! I have watched your video. I also want to come that place with my family. Just fabulous!! 🙂 Absolutely worth to share!!
    Cheers!

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