Updated: Mar 8
If you have not yet dived in the cenotes, then what are you waiting for? Though the underwater sinkholes with little to no marine life to see, they do give you an out-of-this-world experience that is not comparable to an ocean dive. The crystal clear waters, stillness, the play of light, and the mineral formations: all create a unique atmosphere that every diver should witness at least once in a lifetime. Mexico is one of the best destinations in the world for cenote diving. There are options for all levels of divers. Here are some of our top picks for the best cenotes to scuba dive.
One of the most famous cenotes in Tulum and is part of the largest underwater system in the world. Its name means “two eyes” in Spanish due to the two sinkholes next to each other resembling two glistening eyes. It is a cavernous cenote but still suitable for beginners, where the light beams are dancing on the white limestone. The visibility of this cenote is so amazing that you feel like you are floating in the air rather than diving underwater.
El Pit is another deeper cenote where recreational divers go down to 120ft (40m). You’ll dive into a huge room, where you can observe a beautiful light beam entering the cenote. The light comes through the small entrance, and it is truly a stunning sight. It looks like the divers are floating in a halo, and their bubbles are finding their way to heaven.
While The Pit cenote is known as the dream, Angelita is known as the nightmare. It does not mean that it’s a horrifying dive site, but mystical. The lightning in the cenote is dim, and the color of the water is a dark blue-green, which is not so usual for a body of water. The most special part of the cenote, that adds this mystical, ghostly atmosphere to it, is the sulfur cloud. Divers can dive through the sulfur cloud to lose themselves for a moment and peek at what lies under.
This underwater garden filled with water lilies, adorable little turtles, and bright green algae will make you feel like you have entered a below-surface fairytale. What is spectacular about this cenote is that the color of the water can change depending on the weather. The best to observe this is by entering the cavern part and looking into the light. There are days when crystal clear blue sky looks at you or days when the opening of the cavern has turned completely orange. Don’t forget to look around in the cavern, and you might spot some Mayan artifacts!
This beautifully decorative cenote is suitable for advanced divers only. You do need to have good buoyancy not destroy any of the cave art built by nature. Many scuba divers consider it one of the most beautiful cenotes because it is filled with columns, stalactites, and stalagmites. Dreamgate is also part of the Sac Actun system, one of the largest underground river systems in the world.
Have you been diving in a cenote? Do you have a favorite? Let us know!
For another unique diving experience, check out the top reasons to dive the tectonic plates of Silfra in Iceland.
Read also: Top 11 Tips for Cenote Photography