Cenote Dives: 10 Best Sites For Cenote Diving Tulum Mexico

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These are the best Cenote Dives near Tulum Mexico!

Cenote Diving Tulum is an extraordinary experience. From twirling natural lights falling like laser beams into the water at The Pit Cenote Dive to gleaming white rock formation, stalactites & stalagmites of the Dos Ojos Cenote dive. Not to mention the eerie science fiction-esque underwater world you’ll find as you dive through “the cloud” at cenote Angelita Mexico.

If you’ve never been cenote cavern diving, then get ready to uncover a completely new type of scuba diving experience that is nothing like sea and ocean diving.

Ready to explore these cenote dives? Scroll down to see our:

 

Cenote Dives: What is a Cenote & Cenote Diving?

A Cenote is a naturally formed Mexican sinkhole in the Yucatan Peninsula. The word Cenote is derived from the local Mayan word “D’zonot”. Cenotes were considered sacred by the Mayan people. They were often sites for offerings to the Gods.

But a Cenote is just an entry point. The water arrives there through massive cave systems connecting cenotes eventually to the sea.

As the Yucatan Peninsula has no overland rivers, these underground water systems provided an essential supply of fresh water (which floats on top of the salt water that can feed in from the sea) to the local inhabitants. Almost every Mayan settlement was built near a cenote.

Cenote Dives: casa cenote tulum - cenote diving Tulum and snorkeling

Casa Cenote Tulum: An open cenote and one of Tulum’s easiest cenote dives for beginners.

It’s estimated that the Yucatan Peninsula has over 30,000 of these sinkholes. Most are not easily accessible to the public.

Why does the Yucatan have so many cenotes? Scientist believe that the dinosaur killing asteroid that hit Earth 65 million years ago, struck the North of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula. This impact played a part in the formation of the cenotes, as did millions of years of natural erosion, and rising water levels after the last ice age which led to the cave systems flooding.

The cenotes near Tulum are some of the best diving cenotes in Yucatan as they are easy to get to by road and feature a variety of stunning natural rock formations.

 

Cenotes Tulum: The difference between cenote cavern diving & cenote cave diving

Cenote cavern diving is when you never dive beyond a point where you don’t have direct line of sight to open water – and hence, air. Once you leave visible access to open water, you are cave diving.

If diving with an experienced and qualified guide you do not need to be cavern diver certified. But you do need to be open water or open water advanced certified to be taken into cavern areas.

If you have no certification there are some places like Casa Cenote (see below) where you can train for your dive certification safely while diving in non-cavern areas of that cenote with a qualified instructor.

Some cenotes, like Pet Cemetery Cenote and Gran Cenote, are currently only open to qualified cave divers and can no longer be visited by non-technical divers. These two cenotes have been re-classified over the last 2 years and some other websites do not have the up to date restrictions listed. Always check current restrictions with a qualified local guide before attempting your cenote dives.

Haloclines While Cenote Diving Tulum

A halocline is where the denser saltwater mixes with the less dense freshwater. Moving through a halocline can become a little disorientating as your vision can become blurred. If you become disorientated you should ascend or descend a little to get out of the halocline layer.

You’ll experience Haloclines when diving many of the cenotes near Tulum.

 

Best Sites For Cenote Diving Tulum Mexico

Get a taste of the scuba diving Tulum experience by watching our introductory video to see the cenote dives for yourself.


(VIDEO)

(Video not showing clearly? Click on settings in the Youtube box and change the quality to HD 720p – easy peasy)

Ready to go diving? Book your Cenote Diving Tulum experience in advance with our favorite guide duo Dom & Lia of Best Cenote Dives Tulum (Guiding in English, French & Spanish).

Request A Quote From Dom & Lia (Click Here) – Get A Great Discount By Booking in advance rather than on the high street.

Each Cenote has a different entry fee for divers – it’s more than if you are just going to swim. Approximate prices are below each entry in this article. It doesn’t include equipment or a guide – if you book your dive package with Best Cenote Dives they’ll take care of the entry fees – you just pay one price for the whole package. Easy.

Get Our Free Interactive Yucatan Peninsula Tourism Map

All the best cenote dives near Tulum are listed below – you can also grab a free copy of our interactive map which has every cenote listed with its correct location, plus other attractions in the region, restaurants, accommodation and more. It’s a simple and easy way to know where all the best food and fun is without having to do hours of research – we’ve done it for you!

Get the Free Interactive Yucatan Peninsula Google Map Overlay – works on any device.

 

The Pit Cenote Dive (El Pit)

Visiting The Pit Cenote on a day when the light is just right will make for one of the most incredible cenote dive experiences you can have!

Cenote Dives: Laser beams of light at The Pit Cenote Dive - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Dives: Laser beams of light at The Pit Cenote Dive

The Pit Cenote dive features a relatively narrow top opening entry point. You can pay one of the locals about 20 pesos to lower your BCD and tanks into the water to make it easier to get down the ladder to the water. Once below the water, at about 10 meters (30 feet) the Pit opens to be a wide cavern.

You should dive during the middle of the day (Between 11 & 2) when the sun is overhead – then you will get the best twirling laser light effect in the water. May / June / July are the peak months for the best light. The Pit Cenote dive will not have the amazing natural light show if it is a cloudy day.

The Pit Cenote dive has options for a deep dive and also a double tank cave dive. A halocline melds into a hydrogen sulfide cloud at around 30 meters (100 feet) depth. Here you can see tree branches sticking out of the eerie cloud – though Cenote Angelita is a better dive for this effect.

You can dive below the cloud into the darkness to over 40 meters (130 feet).

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Advanced Open Water Certified. This is a deep dive in a large open space.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 250 pesos (Get a combined ticket with Dos Ojos for a discount)

 

Dos Ojos Cenote Diving Tulum

Dos Ojos is Spanish for “Two Eyes”. An aerial view of the Dos Ojos cenote reveals two eye sockets sunk into the ground. And from these platforms, you can access various entry points to the underground cenotes for swimming.

Cenote Dives: Dos Ojos Cenote Diving Tulum - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Dives: The main entry area for diving Dos Ojos Cenote

Diving entry begins only from East Eye and you have a choice of two lines to follow on a shallow dive (deepest point 7 meters) through openings, stalactites and stalagmites.

The two routes for regular cenote cavern diving – The Batcave Line & The Barbie Line. Crystal blue water and bright white rock formations make Dos Ojos Cenote Diving a visually stunning experience.

Cenote Dives: Dos Ojos Cenote Diving Tulum route map - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Dives: Dos Ojos Cenote Diving Route Map: Barbie line & Batcave

Underwater rivers connect the Dos Ojos cenotes with The Pit cenote and eventually to the sea. The cave system is one of the longest in the world. The total length when combined with the nearby Sac Actun system is 198.25 Miles (319KM).

Water Temperature: 25 Celsius (77F) year round.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. This is a shallow dive with some confined sections. Both dives on this site have a pre-laid line to follow.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 250 pesos (approx) for both dives total. (Get a combined ticket with The Pit for a discount)

 

Cenote Angelita Mexico

If you decide to dive at Cenote Angelita Mexico you are in for one of the most surreal dive experiences of your life!

Cenote Dives: Cenote Angelita Mexico - debris & hydrogen sulphide cloud - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Dives: Cenote Angelita Mexico – debris surrounded by a hydrogen sulfide cloud you can dive through.

I would best describe this eerie cenote dive as feeling like you are diving in space – it’s like something out of a science fiction movie.

At about 35 meters depth, a layer of hydrogen sulphide, created from rotting vegetation, forms a cloud under water. Dead trees and branches stick through this dense cloud and you can dive around them. You can also pass through the cloud into the pitch black below.

Cenote Dives: Cenote Angelita Mexico - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Diving Tulum: My Dive Guide Dom from Best Cenote Dives, hovering above the cloud.

You can watch other cenote divers rise and fall through the cloud, with their flashlights glowing through the haze.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Advanced Open Water. This is a deep dive. Diving through the cloud can be disorientating.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 300 pesos

 

Cenote Dives: Carwash (Actun Ha)

Carwash Cenote is a combination of cavern and open water. The open water section features fish, small crocodiles, turtles and a rich and colorful layer of plant life on the bottom of the cenote.

Cenote Dives: The Strange Underwater Landscape of Carwash Cenote Tulum - cenote diving Tulum

Cenote Dives: The Strange Underwater Landscape of Carwash Cenote Tulum

At one end, a cavern extends to a depth of 16 meters and you can move through this open cavern easily seeing rock formations and even some old pottery.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. This dive has 2 parts – a cavern that is mostly non-confined and an open water section. The cavern section involves laying a line – which can be done by your guide. Max depth 16 meters.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 150 Pesos

 

Cenote Dives: Calavera

Of all the cenotes near Tulum, Calavera is the closest. Also called the “Temple Of Doom”, Calavera is a cylindrical cenote with a small central opening and ladder for access.

Cenote Dives: The exit ladder at Calavera cenote (Temple of Doom) - cenote diving Tulum Mexico

Cenote Dives: The exit ladder at Calavera cenote (Temple of Doom)

The cenote cavern dive consists mainly of looping around the outer wall of the cenote where you will see rock formations and some animal bones. The best part about cenote diving is often looking back towards the open water and seeing how the light plays through the entrance into the water.

Calavera has excellent visibility.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. A 3 meter jump for entry is optional but easier than getting down the ladder with gear. We did however have to climb the ladder in full gear to get out. It’s recommended to have dived in an easier cenote before Calavera.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 200 pesos

 

Cenote Dives: Casa Cenote Tulum

Many of the cenotes near Tulum are experienced for the geology rather than the aquatic life. Casa Cenote Tulum, however, has a good selection of fish, occasionally turtles and most definitely, some tiny crocodiles.

Cenote Dives: Megsy in her sirensong springsuit, Casa Cenote Tulum - cenote diving Tulum - cenotes tulum

Cenotes Tulum: Megsy in her sirensong springsuit before diving Casa Cenote Tulum

Casa Cenote is very close to the coast and so is noticeably affected by the tide. It’s also quite a busy cenote for both divers and swimmers, so these factors contribute to more disturbed particles in the bright green water.

Cenote Dives: Looking out from the cavern to open water at Casa Cenote diving Tulum - cenotes tulum

Cenote Dives: Looking out from the cavern to open water at Casa Cenote Tulum

Arrive early (9am) to get in the water before the rush.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. This is a shallow dive rarely past 10 meters. This is a tidal cenote and the halocline occurs at a much shallower depth than the inland cenotes.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 150 Pesos

 

Gran Cenote Tulum

Gran Cenote (sometimes written Grand Cenote in English) is part of the Sac Actun cave system – the second longest in the region. Gran cenote is one of an estimated 130+ cenotes connected to this system.


Expect colorful views back to the light of the entry area, and the potential to see a turtle near the lily pads. White stalactites and stalagmites are also present. The cavern has a permanent line to follow.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: As of late 2017 this site is now open for technical divers only. You can request more info using the quote form below.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 200 Pesos

 

Cenote Dives: Tajma Ha

Cenote Tajma Ha is the furthest away of the cenotes near Tulum. It’s actually closer to Playa del Carmen.

Cenote Dives: Tajma Ha Cenote diving Tulum - cenotes tulum

Cenote Dives: Tajma Ha Cenote

Like with The Pit Cenote, Tajma Ha features twirling natural light in the water if you visit between May & September. The cenote is located at the end of a 2 mile dirt track.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. Max depth is 12 meters (40 feet).

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 200 pesos

 

Dream Gate Cenote Tulum

In Dream Gate Cenote you’ll find many delicate rock formations – including soda straw formations, which are the preliminary stage of stalactite and stalagmite formation.

Cenote Dives: Dreamgate Cenote Tulum - cenotes tulum

Cenote Dives: Dreamgate Cenote Tulum

The shallow water and delicate formation mean excellent buoyancy control is essential. Photography and videography are typically only allowed at special request.

There is an air dome in the middle of the cenote where stalactites drop from the ceiling into the water.

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Open Water Certified. But this is a demanding dive and you are advised to have gone cenote diving in easier sites first. Max depth 7 meters.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 200 Pesos

 

Pet Cemetery Cenote (Sac Actun) Tulum

Pet Cemetery cenote got its name because of the many animal remains that have been found, and are still on display, under the water.


Although the entrance is close to Dos Ojos cenotes, Pet Cemetery is part of a different underground river system which runs parallel to the Dos Ojos system. (UPDATE MAY 2018: We’ve heard that a cave diver has recently found a link between the two river systems – meaning it could be one massive network after all!)

Dive Difficulty / Requirements: Currently Pet Cemetery cenote is for qualified cave divers only. So we didn’t get to dive there. Max depth is 7m, but a lot of the dive is very shallow and perfect buoyancy is required to avoid collisions.

Cenote Diving Entry Fee: 600 Pesos (Opened at special request only)

 

Every cenote near Tulum and others from around Yucatan are listed on our free and easy to use Google maps overlay. The map also includes our picks for accommodation, restaurants, attractions and more. Get Our Free Interactive Map

Book Your Cenote Diving Tulum Experience

Hiring a local expert guide will help you get the most out of your cenote dives. We dived with Dom & Lia from Best Cenote Dives. We met them diving in Cambodia in 2013. Since 2015 they have been working full time as dive guides in the cenotes around Tulum along Riviera Maya.

They are both fully qualified instructors and cave diver certified. They treat your safety as a number one priority as well as making sure you learn about the nature of the cenotes & the history. Expect detailed briefings before each dive so that not only can you be fully prepared for a safe and fun dive, but also you’ll know exactly what to be looking out for on each cenote dive and won’t miss anything from the amazing underwater landscape!

Best Cenote Dives Guides: Dom & Lia - cenote diving Tulum

Dom & Lia Our Instructors & Guides From Best Cenote Dives – Enjoying a beer after a big dive day!

Dom & Lia offer a personalised service and itinerary – as well as set packages. They are qualified to help you get additional training and certification to. Let us know in the form below if you are looking for professional certification and to which level.

The below packages are some of the most popular options for visitors to the region. If they don’t fit your needs, please use the quote form below to detail your specific requirements.

Packages are designed for Advanced Open Water divers, but can be adjusted for regular open water divers – just let us know!

Package 1:

3 Days / 9 Dives

Package 2:

5 Days / 10 Dives

Package 3:

7 Days / 14 Dives

Duration: flexible pickup 8:00am – 11:00am, return 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Dive times: 35 – 50 mins, gas allowing.
Depth: 6 – 40m max
Certification: Advanced Open Water Diver
Medical: Must be medically fit to dive
Dive sites: The Pit, Dos Ojos, Angelita, Casa Cenote, Calavera, Car Wash and Dreamgate.D1 Pit & Dos Ojos (3 dives)
D2 Angelita & Car Wash & Calavera (3 dives)
D3 Casa Cenote & Dream Gate (3 dives)
Duration: flexible pickup 8:00am – 2:00pm, return 12:00 – 6:00
Dive times: 35 – 50 mins, gas allowing.
Depth: 6 – 40m max
Certification: Advanced Open Water Diver
Medical: Must be medically fit to dive
Dive sites: The Pit, Dos Ojos, Angelita, Casa Cenote, Calavera, Car Wash,
Dreamgate and the secret Cenote.D1 Dos Ojos (2 dives)
D2 Casa Cenote & Calavera (2 dives)
D3 Angelita & Car Wash (2 dives)
D4 Dream Gate (2 dives)
D5 The Pit & Secret Cenote (2 Dives)
Duration: flexible pickup 8:00am – 11:00am, return 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Dive times: 35 – 50 mins, gas allowing.
Depth: 6 – 40m max
Certification: Advanced Open Water Diver
Medical: Must be medically fit to dive
Dive sites: The Pit, Dos Ojos, Angelita, Casa Cenote, Calavera, Car Wash,
Dreamgate and many more.D1 Dos Ojos (2 Dives)
D2 Casa Cenote & Calavera (2 Dives)
D3 Angelita & Car Wash (2 Dives)
D4 Chac Mool & Kukul Kan (2 Dives)
D5 Tajma Ha & Choken Ha (2 Dives)
D6 The Pit & Secret Cenote (2 Dives)
D7 Dream Gate (2 Dives)

 

 

 

* Divers must be deep trained to dive in The Pit and Angelita (Min. Advanced Open Water Certified). Deep training for these dives can be arranged through Best Cenote Dives. These packages are for private guiding – you will not be grouped with other people unless you select to do so. Max 4 divers per guide.

Why book online in advance?

  • Save money: Up to 25% discount depending on the package you book and number of people in your group.
  • Guaranteed Quality: The guide you book is the guide you get (health permitting). Reserve our top pro guides, rather than whoever is available in the shop the day you walk in…
  • Save Time: Spend your trip enjoying yourself, rather than visiting dive shops looking for information.

Reserve your dates and request a final price:

Where To Stay In Tulum – Our top picks for accommodation

Need accommodation in Tulum? These are some of our top picks!

* DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links. They generate commissions for us if you make a purchase after clicking – the final price you pay is not increased due to this, some of our links even offer discounts. This helps fund our blog and allows us the time and freedom to create guides like this one to give you a better vacation. Please support us by using our links rather than searching google.

Luxury

Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotels – Adults only

Beach Chic design in every room. Pillow Menu. Seconds away from the sand! Check out The King Master Suite.

Area: Beach Front

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Be Tulum Beach & Spa Resort

All suites. Beautiful dark woods, brushed concrete. This place oozes luxurious and contemporary combined.

A post shared by Be Tulum (@betulumhotel) on

Area: Beach Front

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Looking for something else in Luxury? Search more options on: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com

Mid-Price

Hotelito Azul – (High Mid Price)

Cabin style beachfront property. Expect hammocks & thatched roofs. Mayan style meets beach hippy.

A post shared by Celia Thorne (@celiathorne) on

Area: Beach

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Elements Tulum Boutique – (Low Mid Price)

Quirky boutique hotel with a pool. On the edge of Tulum (On the way to the beach).

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Area: Tulum South East

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Looking for something else mid-price? Search more options on: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com

Budget

Hotel Ginger

Private rooms. Each has a different art work / mural as a room feature.

Area: Central Tulum

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Tubo Tulum Hostel

Quirky private pod rooms or tents. The whole place is designed around tubes – it’s all very strange, in a good way!

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Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Looking for something else budget? Search more options on: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com

Vacation Rentals & Air BnB

Azura Boutique Hotel Tulum Apartments

Apartments in central Tulum. 1 & 2 bedroom available, and family suites.

Check Latest Prices & Availability: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda

Or, stay in an Air BnB – Find your perfect short break or long term apartment or room. Get $25 to $35 off your first stay using our link.

Didn’t find what you are looking for? Search more options on: Expedia | Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com

Or compare multiple booking sites on Hotels Combined

Map – Tulum, Riviera Maya & Yucatan + Cenotes

Every cenote in this article, plus many more, are listed on our interactive Google map overlay.

 

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Cenote Diving Tulum: The best cenote dives in the world are in Yucatan, Mexico! Come discover cenote cavern diving on your next scuba diving vacation. Cenote Diving Tulum: The best cenote dives in the world are in Yucatan, Mexico! Come discover cenote cavern diving on your next scuba diving vacation. Cenote Diving Tulum: The best cenote dives in the world are in Yucatan, Mexico! Come discover cenote cavern diving on your next scuba diving vacation.

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