When we first got to Tulum we were very excited for scuba diving because of all the cenotes around. We had NEVER dived in fresh water before and we had heard nothing but good things. We walked around Tulum a bit and Ricky saw Koox Diving, which had lots of reviews on Trip Advisor, they seemed really good so we decided to go with them straight away. It was by no means cheap to dive in Tulum (but we found that everywhere in Mexico).
Dos Ojos Cenotes
Meeting Time: 8am
Dive 1: Barbie Line
When we got to the site, it was pretty busy already. Lots of people snorkeling and at least a dozen divers. Ricky was a little nervous of the whole cavern diving thing, but I was pretty comfortable when we saw our instructors kit. We found out that all of the Koox diving crew are insane divers (most with Cave Diving Certification) and had 2 tanks at all times. It was really interesting seeing the stalactites and stalagmites. It was so much nicer than ocean diving, the visibility was insane, almost like looking through glass. We had torches, but you didn’t really need them. The only difficult part was maintaining neutral buoyancy.
Dive 2: Bat Cave
We had a short 15-20 minute break before heading into our second dive. The Bat Cave was a little darker, but our torches were really good. Formations are equally as interesting and we got to stop in one section to come up into a cave to see bats hanging from the roof.
The Pit Cenote
Cost: $140 (Includes Calavera Cenote)
Meeting Time: 8am
We were the first divers at both locations (The Pit and Calavera). We didn’t see any other divers until we were doing our safety stops on both, our instructor was very very happy, it made the dive so much more relaxing.
The Pit… was incredible, words can’t describe it. It was THE BEST scuba dive we have ever done. We were a little nervous because you go past 30m, but we were absolutely fine and came up with over 100PSI. You start going down and then about 15m you hit a blurry field that looks like frosted glass where the salt water and fresh water mix. When you go past that you drop down to around 33 m and you pass through a cloud of hydrogen sulfide gas and there’s a pile of rocks in the middle of the big cavern with tree branches and stuff and it’s all smokey everywhere, looks like a horror movie. At the end we saw the Maya artifacts hidden behind the rock which not everyone knows about. Would definitely dive this spot about 100 more times.
Our interval time was just the short drive between the dive spots. When we first arrived it looked like we had driven up to someone’s else… then our instructor told us it is in-fact someones house. Most of the cenotes are privately owned, so to get to Calavera, you park at the guys house, walk down his backgarden (Geese and all) and then you hit the spot.
It was definitely not as commercial as the pit (which itself isn’t very commercial compared to Dos Ojos).
Another awesome dive, the halocline in this one is definitely thicker and we spent more time going up and down through it. Little bit of a cloud like the pit but not much. Saw quite a surprising number of fish in this one. Awesome green effect while down there. It was different because the entry point you had to jump 3m, we felt pretty bad ass.
Overall the diving was expensive and the food was OK (nice but only ½ a sandwich), however the guides were awesome, there was only the two of us on each dive, and the equipment was really good so would recommend Koox Diving (and you get a GoPro if you don’t have one). We felt really comfortable with these guys and when we come back to Tulum, we will definitely go with them again.
Additional Notes on Diving the Cenotes in Tulum
DISCOUNTS: Ask for discount, you can get at least 10% off. The more dives you do, the bigger the discount.
OTHER DIVES/CENOTES: We were desperately wanting to dive with the Bull Sharks in Tulum or Playa Del Carmen, but unfortunately the season ended early. The Crocodile night dive, Koox quoted $200USD. Aktun-Ha aka Carwash Cenote is best dived during the rainy season as it has green layer on top and cool effect in water.
TAKING PHOTOS: Taking photos in the cenotes can be risky, our didn’t turn out for majority of the time (using a GoPro), so we would recommend using video mode.