What are Cenotes?
The word "Cenote" is a phonetic translation of the Mayan word "Dzonot", which means "Well". The cenotes are sinkholes formed by erosion of the soft limestone by rain and groundwater. This erosion, over many centuries, caused the ceilings to collapse, and gave us access to these magnificent systems. For the ancient Maya Civilization, Cenotes were considered to be hallowed/sacred areas as they were believed to be the entryway to the underworld where the ancient Gods who created the Earth and everything in it live. They were also the sole source of water for crops, drinking, etc.
Sacrifices were made in some of the cenotes in order to appease the Gods and make sure that crops thrived.
What is Cenote Diving?
Diving in the cenotes for the general recreational diver who isn't cave trained, involved cavern diving. Cavern diving, as defined by all major training agencies, means that the dive is always conducted within the "natural light zone", with no more than 200 feet/60 meters penetration into the overhead environment, and always following a continuous line with no breaks, gaps or anything else that could make navigation difficult.
This very popular activity is regarded as one of the cornerstones of diving in the Riviera Maya.
What do I need to do to go Cavern Diving?
Cavern diving in the Cenotes is available to all certified divers with a minimum of Open Water Diver (sorry no Juniors) Certification from any recognized training agency, and a minimum of 15-20 logged dives with good buoyancy control.
Cenote Dives are overhead environment dives, so it is very important that buoyancy control is maintained throughout the dives.
So this is not Cave Diving, then?
Absolutely not. Cave diving is a form of technical diving that requires specialized training and equipment. During your cenote dives, your guide should never take you into the cave zone, and should always be following the established route clearly marked with Gold Line and should not deviate from it.
- Basic Cenotes:
- Chac Mool USD$135
- Chikin Ha USD$135
- Tajma Ha USD $135
- Dos Ojos USD$155
- Basic “Double Entry” Cenote
- Tajma Ha+Eden (Ponderosa) Combination USD$150
- Special Cenote Combinations – 2 Person Minimum.
- Gran Cenote+Calavera $190
- Gran Cenote+Car Wash $190
- Calavera+Car Wash $190
- Deep Cenotes – 2 Person Minimum.
- Angelita + Calavera or Car Wash or Tajma Ha (2 Dives) $210
- The Pit+Dos Ojos (2 Dives) $210
- The Pit+ Dos Ojos (3 Dives) $245
- The Pit + Tajma Ha or Calavera or Car Wash - $245
- Extra Special Cenote – Once you’ve dove every other cenote, we can discuss the possiblity of Dreamgate.
- Dreamgate $160