Cenote diving in Mexico

Cenote diving in Mexico

A magical hidden gem found below the ground located in the coastal area between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is a thin limestone surface that allows rain water to filter through the ground creating a cenote.  It is one of the largest fresh water areas in the world and over the centuries, a system of underground rivers were created.  These water caves flow all the way to the Caribbean Sea.  In fact, there are no above ground rivers in the region, except the Hondo River which forms the border between Mexico and Belize.

Few experiences compare with  the sensations of semi-cave diving the cenotes in Mexico.

What is a Cenote?

A cenote is a natural swimming holes filled with crisp mineral rich water in magical caves or found in a jungle framed locations.  A magical hidden gem found below the ground located in the coastal area between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is a thin limestone surface that allows rain water to filter through the ground creating a cenote.  It is one of the largest fresh water areas in the world and over the centuries, a system of underground rivers were created.  These water caves flow all the way to the Caribbean Sea.  In fact, there are no above ground rivers in the region, except the Hondo River which forms the border between Mexico and Belize.

Anchialine Cave 300x164 Cenote diving in Mexico
Ik-Kil Cenote, Mexico is an example of a anchialine cave

This extensive water system has been used as an important source of fresh water since the days of the ancient Maya.  Some believe that ancient artifacts might be hidden in this system.  The cenotes are a cavern opening that leads to the caves and tunnels of the underground rivers.  The size and shape of cenotes vary greatly, from simple holes in the ground to wells and small lakes.  Get ready to explore this amazing aquatic system discovering the world of the underground.

Swimming, snorkeling and diving can be done in almost all of the cenotes.  The only requirement to dive in a cenote is an Open Water Diving Certification and not a special caving course since it is done without losing sight of natural day light, yet dark enough that each diver has a flashlight.  The depth is usually 30 to 50 feet (9 to 16 meters) yet visibility can be amazing up to 150 feet (50 meters).    The use of the flashlight gives the sight a different sensation as to see the incredible formations in the cavern.  Air in the diving tank is extended since the depth is not that deep.  Usually the trip will bring you into a cavern to admire the stalactites and stalagmites and some of the ancient geological history of the Yucatan.

A fully certified Cave Diver must supervise the group for safety reasons and since some sections are in a partially closed environment.  Diving in the dark and in semi-inclosed locations might not be for everyone.  Even thought you are usually within sight the entrance or another opening, but a few of the things to be aware of:

1. Tight Places

If you have never dove in dark and enclosed environment, it can be disconcerting if you have never been in a tight places like the inside of a ship during a wreck dive.   You could react in unexpected ways like feeling anxiety or thinking you are claustrophobic.

2. Getting lost

It is a very good idea to stay with the  group.  If you stray too far you might get on the wrong path.  The guides should be aware, but it is important to follow the group and go with a certified guide.

3. Poor Visibility

Even though  the water is crystal clear most of the time in the Cenotes,  silt can get kicked up to blur your vision as you explore through the caverns.

4.Dark

The darkness alters your sense of orientation and perception.  As long as you have a good guide and follow the guidelines, the dark adds to the beauty when features are highlighted with the flashlight.

The cenote diving is located near playa del Carmen, Mexico.  The area is the perfect spot to tantalize your taste buds for the adventure of a lifetime.  Cenote diving is one of those experiences that should be on anyone’s list of adventures.

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