Cenote Maravilla: diving, apnea, and technical diving
Heaven for photographers and free divers – By: Peio – No Limit Mexico, April 8th, 2020
The opening of Cenote Maravilla for scuba diving and free diving
Located in the famous “Ruta de Los Cenotes” (road of the cenotes), Cenote Maravilla is one of the newest spots for Scuba diving and free diving in the Riviera Maya.
After Vicente Fito’s exploration, a newly built road enabled easy access for vehicles and a platform to enter the water.
The owner quickly invited the whole diving community (guides and instructors) for a recon dive, and we started adding it to our excursion list.
Description of the dive site
This sinkhole cenote has the shape of a bell where the entrance is a hole in the middle of the top. In the deeper part, the thick sulfur cloud offers views from another planet.
Getting close to this cloud is necessary to observe the gorgeous living stalactites, the biothems often called “Hell’s bells.”
Hell’s bells formations
Those mysterious rock formations are alive and grow underwater thanks to extraordinary endemic bacteria. This type of speleothems, called “elephant feet,” has been found in only four cenotes in the Puerto Morelos area and is subject to ongoing scientific research.
You will find many fossils on the walls at a depth of around 50 feet/15M. We do a multilevel dive profile during our guided tour to see them. During the safety stop, the long stalactites from the ceiling, near the opening, offer a wonderful view. All the elements together, crystal clear water, bright sunlight, white stalactites, and the tree background, are mind-blowing.
The main reason for Cenote Maravilla’s success is the spectacular sunlight beam that crosses the canopy, hits the surface, and enlightens the center of the cenote until the cloud. The colors of this bright light beam vary regarding the season, between white, blue, and greenish.
Depending on the time, its angle changes and offers multiple features where the bright light meets the darkness.
Technical diving in Cenote Maravilla
We use it for technical diving training because of the good infrastructure, dive profile, depth, and space available in the water column. Within courses like TDI Advanced Nitrox, TDI Deco Procedures, TDI Extended Range or Trimix Diver, PADI Tec 40, or PADI Tec Deep, it is a great place to simulate an ascent following a deco schedule, how to stick to the Run-Time or to calculate a precise RMV or SAC rate.
Infrastructure on the dive site
The owner has made big efforts for sustainable and ecological use. Organic trash is collected in a compost area and used as a plant fertilizer. There are clean, dry toilets on the property, and a solar panel supplies enough electricity for the caretaker, Don Miguel, who has great knowledge about botanic and plants.
We have special thoughts for the free divers that practice their sport often in this beautiful place. They participate in Maravilla’s success by publishing amazing pictures and media.
Access and entrance fees at Cenote Maravilla
Cenote Maravilla is open for scuba diving all year around. It is great to combine it with Cenote Kin Ha or Cenote Zapote, among other beautiful sinkholes in the Puerto Morelos area, for a perfect dive excursion.
The entrance fee is 300 Mexican pesos (+/- 15 USD). Cameras are allowed, and rules apply.
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