What are Cenotes?
The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzote 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's called caverns, where there is always natural sunlight clerly visible. Caverns are basically the entrances to caves.
Cavern Diving here in the Tulum area has a very good safety record.
The guide has to be a Full Cave Diver and DM
Dont 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 guide line 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.
Maximum distance to a surface should be no more than 60 linea metres.
No deco obligations.
How do Cenotes come to be in this part of the world?
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 feww 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, the water levels in the underground rivers dropped as the water went to the North and South Pole as ice, in places the ceiling collapesd as there was no water to support it making more sink holes. During this time when the caves were dry, rain water again passed through the lime stone but now drip by drip it formed the stalagtites and stalagmites,when the Ice Age finished the water levels rose again as the ice melted, the caves are now flooded, the colapses are the entrance and exits the stalagmites and stalamites are still there as are animal and human remains trapped there from when the caves were dry.