You are planning a dive trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico? After coming across amazing pictures of the Cenotes and being stunned you want to see the caves with your own eyes and live the diving experience.
But you keep wondering: is Cenote diving for me?
What are Cenotes?
Cenotes are sinkholes distributed all over the Yucatan Peninsula. They are the window to the underwater caves and caverns and the main dive attraction in Playa del Carmen and a top dive destination in the world.
You will dive in caves highly decorated with stunning speleothems such as stalagmites and stalactites which makes them very unique.
Your first Cenote diving experience will probably be a cavern diving tour. You are not required to have a cave diving certification as you will not be technically entering the cave.
What is a cavern dive?A cavern dive is the exploration of a natural overhead environment while remaining within sight of natural light.
When diving in Cenotes you will always see natural light and have a sight of a direct way out of the cavern. However, do not underestimate safety even if it seems like an easy dive. And here are some thoughts to consider before going for a cavern dive.
Will I dive in tight places?
No, you won’t!
It is a requirement for all cavern dive in the Cenotes to go through areas where two divers can fit side by side at all time. You will not swim in any tight areas.
Should any problem arrize you will be able to swim side by side with your guide to exit the cavern.
Can accidents happen while diving in the Cenote?
Yes, they can happen…
Your cavern guide should be a qualified and experienced instructor and a certified cave diver. Of course, a more experienced guide can better recognize and react in case of a bad situation. And the better they know the site, the better they can handle the situation.
Cavern diving by the book is really safe. The dive conditions are optimal: shallow dives, no current, great visibility, group size limited to 4 divers maximum per guide and all divers should be experienced.
We recommend you choose carefully your dive operator or guide. And remember the most experienced the guide the better he/she can show you around and yet commit to safety and conservation.
Are we diving in the dark during a cavern dive?
Yes you do!
Some parts in the Cenotes are very dark and darkness can alter your sense of orientation, and you a feeling you could get lost easily. This is why everyone is diving with a dive light.
Your guide should be carrying all his/her full cave gear that includes a bright and long-lasting primary light used for showing you around and for communication as well as 2 backup lights. And you should carry at least one dive light.
The waters in the Cenotes are crystal clear, and will stay that way if all divers follow the basic rules: maintain good buoyancy, swim using non-silting kicking techniques, and follow the guideline.
Will I be able to find my way during the cavern dive?
Yes, as long as you follow the Guide Lines
One of the main safety rules in cavern diving in the Cenotes is referencing the guideline at all times. Your guide will explain how to identify and use it, and where to position yourself. The same guideline will show you the way out. You should also be able to rely on your guide and follow them at all times.
We strongly recommend diving the Cenotes. It is a unique and magical experience. Always make sure you dive well within your limits and remember the golden rule: anyone can call the dive, at any time, for any reason. So, do not hesitate to do so whenever you don’t feel comfortable.
When you are ready to book your dive tour in Cenotes, remember that safety is important. Cenote diving is for advanced divers who ate sharp on their dive skills, so don’t hesitate to refresh them with a few ocean dives before you head for the cenotes.
Enjoy your Cenote dive 🙂
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