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Cenote comes from the Mayan word D’zonot which refers to a place of water access.


The Yucatan peninsula is the top location in the world to dive caverns and caves, having the world’s largest underwater cave system which extends for more than 368.6 km. Nestled within the jungle there are over 7000 cenotes.


Come with us to explore these natural wonders. With crystal clear waters, dense jungle, magnificent rock formations and mesmerizing haloclines.

Cavern or Cave


For most of you, we will enter what is called the cavern zone. The mystical place where the darkness and light meet joining the two worlds of the open water and the underground cave system. Whereas those who are trained in cave diving can dive fully into the darkness.



The term cavern zones means we will always be within 60m/200ft of an exit, though it may not be the one we entered by: it could be another cenote we passed by or an underground air dome. We will also always be able to see the natural light from the entrance and swim along a permanent guideline, as an extra assurance that we can easily find our way back to the surface.



Cave diving goes past the point of being able to see the natural light and enters into the darkness beyond. This form of diving requires specialized training and equipment to safely navigate the maze underneath the jungle floor.

What certification do I need?


To explore the cavern zone an Open Water certification is the minimum requirement. Though some deeper cenotes require an Advanced certification.


We will be heading into an overhead environment with four fragile walls to avoid rather than just the reef below, so buoyancy can be a challenge.  We therefore require that you have dove within the last 6 months for your own safety and the preservation of the cave. If it’s been a while for you don’t worry, we can always hop into the ocean for a quick warm up.

We also offer cave diving courses and guided dives, if you are ready to search further.

What is there to see?


Speleothems – spectacular rock formations


Better known as stalagmites and stalactites, speleothems form as rainwater seeps through cracks in the cave ceiling. As the water passes through the rock it picks up small particles of sediment, leaving behind a tiny deposit as it drips off the cave roof and also a deposit on the floor below. This slowly forms into a stalagmite above and stalactite below, which will eventually form a pillar as they grow towards each other.


These formations only grow about 0.4 inches every 1000 years, showing the immense history stored in these rocks and cave systems shaped by water. (Visit our history of cenotes page) The floor also shows the history of the water’s path in the ripples of a long ago riverbed or the ridges of calcified rock pools.

Amazing and spectacular decorations await you inside, covering many of the floors and ceilings. There are stunning pillars some the width of massive tree trucks, others small and dainty. Stalagmites and stalactites are suspended indefinitely in the water, some nearly having reached their partner only millimeters or centimeters apart, maybe one day to meet again when the water levels sinks and the cave is once more dry.


Some caves have ceilings covered in tiny decorative stalactites, like a massive chandelier or walls which look like solidified waterfalls. Some parts of the cenotes which are still dry are carrying on this slow process of new rock formations.


A fun way to remember which is which, is the rhyme: Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling and Stalagmites might one day reach the ceiling.



See the fossilized skeletons of million year old corals, huge conch shells and other amazing shells embedded in the rock of a long ago reef. Dive over beautiful rippled floors of once flowing river beds forever trapped in time.


You may even glimpse some bones of animals once trapped by the steep cenote walls or Mayan pottery left as offerings to the gods.

The Halocline Phenomenon


These flooded cave systems that connect cenotes are underground rivers taking the rainwater out to sea. However many are located below sea level, meaning that salt water has also entered in.


These two types of water stay separate from one another because of their differences in density and temperature, the heavy warm salt water on the bottom and the lighter cool fresh water on the top. The place where the waters meet is called the halocline.


The stunning visual effects made by the two waters needs to be seen to be fully understood. At times the water layers appear as a shimmering ripple giving the effect of flying over a second river in the water below.


Moving between these layers feels like a movie flashback as the scene blurs and blends before your eyes. The waters do not readily mix and as you disturb them your vision is distorted, though if you turn your head slightly out of the area that was disturbed all is crystal clear again. You can even move slowly up and down watching the layer move past your eyes. The depth at which the fresh water turns to salt depends on the sea level relevant to its distance from the ocean.


In Cenote Eden the temperature change as you move through the halocline can be very distinct, up to three degrees Celsius warmer as you enter the salt water!

Mysterious Sulphur clouds


As a result of bacteria decomposing leaves and branches that have fallen into the cenote, hydrogen sulfide is produced. This gas dissolved in the water creates a smokey cloud or mist held in place by the depth or change in water type. It can create a thick looking cloud as in Cenote Angelita obscuring all light from above if you descend through it or fantastic swirling smoke trails through the water.


See fallen logs protruding eerily from the mist and watch it swirl as you pass through. Sometimes you can even smell the Sulphur, though don’t linger too long as this gas is corrosive.

Awe inspiring light beams


Depending on the size of the cenote entrance, you can experience many different captivating lights entering the water. From the “Mexican northern lights” in Cenote Eden, and Cenote Kulukan; dancing beams splitting off into rainbows or the one huge penetrating beam into the depths of The Pit.


Even the smaller or more sheltered entrances like that in Cenote Dos Ojos provide eerier green or vivid blue light backdrops to silhouette amazing rock formations.

Underwater Life


Although connected each cenote’s aquatic life can vary as the path in between is long, winding and dark. Impossible for some fish to cross.


Most of this life stays in the open areas where the sun shines down feeding algae and other small plants on which the fish, crustations and turtles can feed. Watch the small bubbles of oxygen float up as the plants breathe. Cenote Carwash has some amazing water lilies.


Witness Mollies perform flamboyant mating dances in Cenote Eden, shiny Ciclids swimming in Cenote Kulukan and curious catfish which can survive the long underwater journey from cenote to cenote. Mesoamerican turtles can be seen sunning themselves on quiet mornings and even a few cenotes like Casa Cenote are home to a Mexican crocodile.


As you dive into the darker areas there is less life because of the lack of food though still life survives. Deep cave dwelling creatures can occasionally be seen, such as pure white shrimp and the fascinating blind fish with its concaved eyeless sockets.

Jungle life above the water


There is also a fascinating array of life on land in the surrounding jungle, massive Iguana sunning themselves, swallows nesting in rock crevasses, bats sleeping in dark corners and the famous Motmot bird with its distinct colors and pendulum like tail.


You will also see trees growing through small cracks in the rock right into the water below.

Preservation and Conservation


Cenotes house millions of years of history, ancient reefs, ice ages and remains of past cultures. They are a fragile and delicate ecosystem that requires our preservation and conservation. Divers must respect the environment, follow responsible diving practices and avoid touching or disturbing the natural formations and fossils.

We have cavern rules in place to protect these cenotes such as no knives, no gloves, no snorkels, no trailing equipment, no touching (it is a federal offence) and no drawing on the rock or sediment.


As the only freshwater source to the whole of the peninsular we also don’t allow the use of any kind of creams, sprays or protectors on your skin that could contaminate the environment (even the so called “eco-friendly” products).


By preserving the cenote’s pristine beauty, future generations of divers can continue to appreciate its wonders.

Divers safety


Cenote diving is completely different to anything you will have experienced before, stunningly beautiful but with its own unique set of challenges and so your safety is of the utmost importance to us.

There are some important safety guidelines we follow for you to keep in mind.


Always stay with your guide

In Mexico it is mandatory that you have a guide that is both a scuba instructor and full cave qualified. Your guide will help you navigate these complex caverns, ensuring you see all the highlights on a safe and enjoyable dive.


The rule of thirds

In cavern and cave we follow this rule to ensure there is enough air for any unexpected situations. We enter with a full tank and start to make our way out once we used one third of our air, leaving one third as a reserve.


Stay within your limits

Cenote diving can be challenging so it is important to stay within the limits of your training and your own personal comfort. We will always take you to cenotes within your skill level and gradually work our way up to more challenging dives. Remember anyone has the right to cancel a dive at any time no questions asked.


Be familiar with your equipment

As most divers rent equipment make sure you know where everything is and it is in good working condition. We will also be using torches which your guide will teach you some new signals using them.


Buoyancy control

Good buoyancy control ensures a fun and safe dive. It conserves your air supply and the delicate underwater environment around you. This can be challenging in cenotes as there are a lot of ups and downs swimming through the passages, it can really test and improve your skills.


Trim and kicks

Your trim is the position in which you lie in the water. If you dive in a flat position your buoyancy will be easier and you will avoid kicking up any silt. Now is a good time to learn to use your shoulder and back dumps to avoid any turning when releasing air from your BCD. The frock kick is also a good technique to avoid disturbing the floor and will help to improve your buoyancy.



The use of cameras is allowed in most cenotes, though there may be an entrance fee. However, for your very first cenote dive we do not allow the use of cameras, entering a whole new challenging environment and getting accustomed to the new way of diving is challenging enough.

Cameras can be distracting and your safety and cave preservation come first, so you must maintain good buoyancy and awareness when using one.

Clarence H
Clarence H
Excellent dive outfit! Liz and Andres provided a seamless, safe, and incredible dive experience. From the moment i reached out, Liz was very responsive and knowledgeable about diving in the tulum area. She was also very accommodating to all of my requests. Andres was an amazing extra pair of hands to help with equipment but also to talk to during those pesky surface intervals. If and when i am back in Tulum, I’ll definitely be diving with Jaguar Divers!
Sarah A
Sarah A
TWO gorgeous dive days with Jaguar Liz is a fantastic dive master and guide! She is friendly and descriptive about the local environment and wildlife. We chose to dive with Liz and Jaguar Divers for 2 days, first a 2-dive boat trip out to the coast of Cozumel and a second day with 2 dives in Playa area cenotes. My husband had just finished his SCUBA open water certification and the Cozumel reef was a beautiful and exciting first day of diving for him. It was also my first drift dive, and following Liz's guidance and observing her calmness under the water helped to keep me calm as the strong current pushed us along the reef. In the cenotes her relaxed demeanor continued to be a great example to follow as we cruised quietly through the caverns. I will absolutely look up Jaguar Divers again when we return and recommend to anyone visiting along the Riviera Maya! Thank you for the great memories Liz!
Lora W
Lora W
Great dive shop - highly recommend We had an awesome experience with jaguar divers/Liz! We hadn't been diving in several years so we did a refresher session in the morning then two dives in the Playa area in the afternoon. Well organized, clean and well equipped. Liz is so knowledgeable and a great guide. She went above and beyond to make our day great (and even recommended the best tacos we had all trip!)10/10 experience, highly recommend using jaguar divers!!
Got my open water license with them, amazing experience! I did my open water diving license with Jaguar Divers and it was absolutely amazing! I started my diving license in Egypt but I didn't have time to finish it there so I decided to finish it in Mexico. I am allergic to chlorine so I could not do any pool dives and Jaguar Divers offered an option to do it in cenote which was just perfect and sooooo beautiful! Demian was very patient and nice, and it felt like I made a friend 🙂 I will be coming back to Mexico next year and cannot wait to do more dives with them and maybe even continue my certification! I definitely recommend Jaguar Divers to everyone, don't even think of any other place 🙂
Megan Z
Megan Z
Best experience!! Absolutely wonderful experience with Jaguar Divers!! Liz is very knowledgeable and passionate about diving and the region! Would definitely recommend
A great day in the Cenotes with Jaguar The whole experience with Jaguar divers was 5 star from start to finish, Liz was wonderful popped down to the hotel to explain everything day before.My Son Harry went on a two dive Cenotes day with Mariamma, he really enjoyed it and he would have gone again had we had enough time.Harry said that the Mariamma at jaguar is a great guide and really knowledgeable,whilst making the whole day fun Instructions were given on dos and don’ts in order to preserve the ecology of this natural wonder whilst diving there.I should be returning the Playa in July, Harry will be going diving again with this great team Thank you all especially Liz and MariammaIan from Uk (I now have wise 😂😂 )
Mick S
Mick S
Awesome dive trip We had 6 amazing days diving with Liz and the team at Jaguar Divers. Very professional team, arranged everything and took us to some stunning locations.Can’t wait to dive with them again
Ready to book our next adventure with Jaguar Divers Just came back from a 4-day company retreat to Cancun. One of excursion options was the ocean guided two-tank scuba diving with Jaguar Divers, which we selected due to their 5.0 rating on Google and Tripadvisor. We had a group of 14 (9 non-certified and 5 certified divers) which was probably too many for Jaguar Divers to handle in one day. Liz and Nicole did an amazing job of making sure all the non-certified divers felt comfortable in the classroom and backyard pool before hitting the ocean. Looking back after the day, I was so glab both were English speaking so there was not any issues with understanding the trainings. They were so patient fitting 14 divers with gear, working with smaller groups in the pool, getting us on the dive boat and helping us set up our tanks before our first dive. We had a couple of things go wrong at the first dive: 1) my flipper fell to the ocean floor as soon as I stepped of the back boat deck and 2) two non-certified divers quit after stepping off due to thick mustache allowing water in the mask and the other couldn't equalize ear pressure after multiple attempts. Nicole was a rockstar in grabbing my flipper and then assisting with getting it secured and then did everything she could with the other two issues before the divers finally threw in the towel and went back to the boat. Once under water the experience was a highlight of my life. We all felt so calm and remembered our training because I imagine one freak out may have shortened or ended the dive for the entire group. Our group highly recommends Jaguar Divers. Thanks Liz for sparking all our enthusiasm to become certified divers and come back for another adventure with Jaguar Divers. 🤿💙
Daniella Silva-Jensen
Daniella Silva-Jensen
Unforgettable experience Liz and Maryama* are amazing guides to the cenotes. I loved every minute of the two days we spent with this dive shop, and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to explore the caverns.
The best place to dive! I've always wanted to try cenote diving but have been too afraid of the darkness (and cold 🥶). Liz was very comforting and reassuring and made me feel very comfortable throughout my two dives.I highly recommend diving with Liz and her team. They're professional every step of the way and are amazing divers so I always felt like I was learning something new.