Cenote Diving in Mexico! | Dos Ojos, Tulum
Updated: Apr 20, 2019
The last time I went diving was back in April in the Philippines. My first dive after 8 months living in Canada was the Dos Ojos cenote dive in Tulum, Mexico - I was quickly reminded just how much I love this sport as I descended into the turquoise waters of an ancient limestone sinkhole...
A cenote is a sinkhole that results from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes the subterranean rivers underneath. The water in a cenote is very clear as rainwater filters through the ground to reach the groundwater underneath. There are over 6,000 centoes in the Yucatan Peninsula and many were used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings. These sections of collapsed roof often reveal extensive flooded freshwater cave systems which are a haven for scuba divers to explore.
Suytun Cenote, Valladolid
While staying in Tulum, Mexico I booked myself in to do a double dive of the Dos Ojos Cenote (Two Eyes Cenote). Dos Ojos is one of the largest underwater cave systems. It has two large sinkholes connected by a 400 meter long passage. I did two dives: Barbie and the Bat Cave.
This kind of diving is known as cavern diving rather than cave diving as there is light coming through from above at all times. I am still a beginner diver and I hadn't dived in freshwater before so I was interested to experience the effect of freshwater on my buoyancy. Your buoyancy as a diver in freshwater differs from diving in salt water as objects in freshwater are less buoyant than objects in salt water because salt water is denser than fresh. But thankfully, aside from a weight adjustment, I felt completely normal and didn't have any struggles maintaining buoyancy while diving in the cenote.
The entrance to Dos Ojos
My first dive was 'Barbie'. I came to know the reason for this name later during the dive... Following a safety guiding rope, my guide and I floated through the cavern tunnels while admiring the mineral rock formations. Stalactites and stalagmites popped up everywhere as we swam through and I even spotted a freshwater shrimp! The max depth of the dive was only 7m, but I still felt like I was a fair way underground.
Descending into the cenote
'Barbie' dive site map
Beams of light from above
The reason why it's called 'Barbie' - there is a barbie doll being attacked by a crocodile at one point in the dive
My second dive - the Bat Cave was even better than the first! At around 15 minutes into the dive we emerged into a bat cave. We popped our heads up into the massive underground expanse filled with bats flying overhead.
Beginning the bat cave dive
Bat cave dive map
I dived with Agua Clara from Tulum and would highly recommend them. The coolest thing was that they head out earlier than all the other dive shops. It was just my guide and I the whole time and we had the whole place to ourselves! I talked to another traveller who had done the same dive with a different company and he commented on how crowded it was later in the day.
Plus they provided homemade cookies and sandwiches for a snack after the dive!
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