Before we settled in for the long haul flight to Mexico’s Cancun I Googled about the natural phenomenon that stole my attention a few years ago. I was never close enough to the area of cenotes to reach them, but this time my boyfriend and I were going to spend some time in Tulum. We started planning on trying to find some hippie beach spots to relax at while knowing the cenotes are basically going to be in our backyard. I just had to investigate and learn a bit more about sinkhole diving knowing that we have the cenotes so nearby.
Two divers staying in Tulum not doing any diving wasn’t an option
During our first days in Tulum we visited one of the cenotes called Gran Cenote for some snorkeling, but the divers who were carrying their equipment around had caught most of our attention. The next day we walked into some dive shops in downtown Tulum to hear what they had to offer and we were both sold.
We planned 3 dives with Motmot Diving for the following day starting with 1 deep cenote dive at The Pit and 2 other impressive cenote dives at Dos Ojos.
What is a cenote?
If you’re not familiar with a cenote than a term more common might be a sinkhole. Once limestone collapses it can expose the groundwater underneath the surface and create a cenote with massive underground cave systems. The word cenote comes from the Maya language. They used the word ts’onot, which refers to a place with accessible groundwater. The ancient Maya used the cenotes for sacrificial offerings because they believed that these pits were gateways to the afterlife. Knowing this makes diving into one of them seem a bit spooky, doesn’t it?
Diving at The Pit
From downtown Tulum the dive center took us to the area of Dos Ojos, where the Pit is also located. We were driving 20 minutes through the jungle to go diving, which sounds like a strange thing when you think about it.
The Pit is a great dive spot for deep-diving as it is the deepest sinkhole in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo at 130 meters. We descend to 32 meters to reach the best feature of The Pit – a foggy forest appearing out of a cloud of hydrogen sulphide. It reminds me of a scary movie when I see the branches sticking out of the thick foggy layer. Below the cloud you should be able to find some fascinating objects like bones of a mammoth. Unfortunately the other two divers who joined our dive had run out of air causing that all of us had to end the dive earlier for safety measures. We might go back to the pit another day to finish our own dive, since we had plenty of air left ourselves.
Diving at Dos Ojos
The cenote of Dos Ojos is connected with The Pit through a cave system which is far too dangerous to cross while diving, so we took the car to our next dive site. The name Dos Ojos is Spanish for two eyes and refers to 2 neighboring cenotes which appear like two large eyes into the underground.
Our first dive at Dos Ojos is the Barbie line, referring to the crocodile at the end of the tunnel having a barbie doll in its mouth. Don’t worry, it’s a crocodile made out of plastic! Our second dive at Dos Ojos is the Bat Cave, named so due to the bat cave you reach at the end of the tunnel where plenty of little vampires are hanging on the ceiling, cuddling up, while you ascend to the surface to have a look at them.
Have you ever been diving in cenotes? Would you like to dive in a sinkhole?
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