What are Cenotes?
The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzonot and means "sink hole".
What we have here around Tulum are many miles of underground rivers mostly freshwater. These systems are diveable by certified Open Water divers because they are what are called caverns, where there is always natural sunlight clearly visible. Caverns are basically the entrances to caves.
Is Cenote Diving Safe?
Yes, 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 where divers can enjoy a cavern diving experience without specialized training. Around Tulum, many cavern interiors have been made safe for novice divers. You can scuba dive in cenotes safely and comfortably, our team will ensure that a full and accurate briefing is carried out for 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 DM
Don't hesitate to ask to see his/her credentials.
Guides dive in full cave equipment, ie 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 2divers can easily pass side by side.
The maximum distance to a surface should be no more than 60 linear metres.
No decompression limit obligations.
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 sea bed rose up and the water levels dropped, leaving the coral exposed in the air eventually turning it into limestone, which you can still see today. Around 66 million years ago the Chicxulub asteroid hit a few 100 Ks 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, through erosion they ended up in 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 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 are now flooded, the collapses are the entrance and exit the stalagmites and stalagmites are still there as are animal and human remains trapped therefrom when the caves were dry.