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Are the cenotes of Tulum safe for recreational scuba divers??

First of all, what exactly are the cenotes of Tulum, Mexico?

They are crystal clear, fresh water sink holes in the Yucatan jungle that are the opening of Cavern zones and obviously appeal to inquisitive scuba divers. Here divers will see formations formed over thousands of years from dripping limestone, sun rays entering the water from the various collapses in the ceiling and aquatic life very different to what is seen in the ocean.

But are they safe for Recreational Scuba Divers?

The simple answer to this is "Yes"... if some very simple rules are respected.

First you need to be a certified diver.

You must also have decent buoyancy skills and ideally have been diving recently relative to your certification level.

Now for the Golden Rules of Cenote Diving...

Only go with a Certified Guide, they must be a Full Cave Diver plus at minimum a Dive Master, in Full Cave Diving equipment.

Follow the continual guide line that will lead you back to your entrance. This will also keep you in spacious areas, no going into tight areas known as restrictions. There are also STOP signs that you should not pass.

Use the Rule of Thirds for your gas management, which states use of 1/3 of your gas to enter, 1/3 to exit and 1/3 left as a reserve.

Stay within the sunlight zone of the cavern, this will give you a constant reference to the exit.

Maximum 60 linear meters to the surface.

Dive only to depths you are qualified, no decompression dives only.

Maximum size of a group is 4 divers plus the guide, the guide in front, divers behind in single file.

Preserve visibility for all other divers by careful use of your dive light, good buoyancy and fin kicking as not to disturb sediment from the bottom.

So to conclude, the Tulum area of Mexico has some amazing diving for recreational divers as well as Full Cave Divers and if done properly is as safe as any other type of diving.

Select your Instructors and Guides carefully and there is no reason you shouldn´t have an amazing and safe experience diving around the Tulum area.

By Marc Green 10/07/2023

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