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What are Cenotes?

The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzonot and means "sink hole".

In and around Tulum there are many miles of underground rivers (cave systems) with mostly freshwater. Open Water divers can dive these rivers/cave systems in the cavern zone which is where the natural sunlight is always clearly visible. Caverns are basically the entrances to the caves. Caverns are also known as cenotes.

Cenote in Tulum
Cenote in Tulum
Cenote in Tulum
Is Cenote Diving Safe?

Yes, Cenote/Cavern Diving is a safe activity while guided by an experienced cavern guide. The cenotes where you will be diving with Green Divers Tulum are chosen specifically for you and your experience level so you can enjoy cavern diving without specialised training. In and around Tulum the caverns have been prepared and made safe for novice divers, this includes permanent guidelines so you can scuba dive in cenotes safely and comfortably. Our team will ensure that a full and accurate briefing is carried out before each dive.

Are there Safety Rules For Cavern Diving?

Cavern Diving here in the Tulum area has a very good safety record.

The guide has to be a Full Cave Diver and Dive Master/Instructor 

Don't hesitate to ask to see his/her credentials.

The guide dives in full cave equipment, including 2 tanks

The maximum size of the group is 4.

You should always be following a guideline from the entrance to the exit.

Natural sunlight should always be visible.

The dives should be conducted only in areas where 2 divers can easily pass side by side. 

The maximum distance to the surface should be no more than 60 linear metres.

Dives are conducted within No Decompression limits.

How are cenotes formed?

The area around Tulum is very flat. There are no hills, mountains, or even rivers.  Many thousands of years ago the land where the cenotes are situated was under the sea and parts were a coral reef. Over many years the seabed rose up and the water levels dropped, leaving the coral exposed to the air, eventually turning it into limestone which you can still see today. Around 66 million years ago the Chicxulub asteroid hit a few 100km from Tulum causing cracks and sinkholes. Over many thousands of years the rain seeped through the very porous limestone into the cracks and formed caves, pushing its way into the sea. Underground rivers had been formed. Many thousands of years later the Ice Age came and the water levels in the underground rivers dropped as the water went to the North and South Pole as ice. In places the ceiling collapsed as there was no water to support it thereby making more sinkholes. During this time when the caves were dry, rainwater again passed through the limestone but now drip by drip it formed the stalactites and stalagmites. When the Ice Age finished the water levels rose again as the ice melted and the caves were flooded as they are today. The ceiling collapses are the entrances and exits. The stalactites and stalagmites are still there as are animal and human remains, trapped or left there when the caves were dry.

Turtle in cenote in Tulum


To start your dive adventure in the cenotes 

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Satisfaction delivered

"If you’re looking for an operator with knowledge, flexibility, and personability, look no further! Diving with Marc & Hannah was one of the best diving trips thus far - essentially a personally tailored couple days where they provided excellent guiding in and out of the water. Thanks again for the good times Marc & Hannah."

Dan C.

"Amazing diving today with Marc in cenotes Los Dos Ojos! Marc was super professional and friendly, I highly recommend to dive with him ! Thanks again."

Zoe L.

"Marc was incredibly knowledgeable and very friendly. We had an absolutely amazing day exploring the cenotes. I can't recommend him enough."

A. Gerrod

For more reviews or to write one, please click here

Sidemount diver in cenote
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