«One thing I know for sure, when we dive into these prehistoric springs,
we feel that we are living a real life»
CAVERN DIVING | CENOTE XPLORE DIVE CENTER MEXICO
Diving in cenotes. The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its underground rivers, which form a vast labyrinth of passages and tunnels. From the very beginning of the existence of mankind, caves have been fraught with a special charm. The uninitiated often viewed them as dark, dangerous labyrinths leading into the bowels of the Earth. The ancient Mayans considered them to be a water window through which the dead go to another, underground world. The Maya consider the cenotes as the entrance to the abode of the god of rain – Chak.
Hundreds of millions of years ago, Yucatan was a huge sea reef covered with salt water. It looked very similar to what we see reef diving today – coral gardens, platforms and marine life.
It is assumed that the level of the world’s oceans fell, exposing the reef about 66.5 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period, as a result of the impact of the asteroid Chicxulub with a diameter of about 10 km. This is how the Yucatan Peninsula began to form. The destructive activity of the Ice Ages (exaration) took a direct part in the formation of the Yucatan cave systems. The coral reef died, a shroud first appeared on the porous limestone platform, then the selva began to grow. It has rained here for centuries, mixing with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to form a weak solution of carbonic acid. Carbon dioxide seeped through the porous limestone, forming amazing formations.
Dissolved limestone flowing down in dry caves, drop by drop for thousands of years creating stalactites, stalagmites and columns.
After the end of the Ice Age, the ice began to melt and the ocean level rose, flooding the cave systems. Caves with ceilings above sea level were only partially flooded, and the ceiling in some of them collapsed, creating natural windows to the underworld – cenotes.
Mysterious Mayan cenotes
Cenotes (Spanish: “cenote”) were the unique source of fresh water in the jungle, and were considered sacred by the ancient Maya. “Dzonot” in Mayan means “sacred well”. This word was changed to “cenote” by the Spanish conquerors. There are more than 6,000 cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, of which about 2,400 are registered and mapped, but not all of them are suitable for recreational diving.
We offer you an immersion in this amazing ancient world, where you can see stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates (columns) with your own eyes. In some places where salt water meets fresh water, haloclines are formed – another wonderful natural phenomenon that will not leave anyone indifferent.
Diving conditions are very comfortable: water temperature ranges from +24 to +26 C, average depths are from 5 to 15 meters. The required minimum level of training to dive in most cenotes is OWD PADI (or the equivalent of another certifying organization) plus good control of neutral buoyancy. Since the cenotes, where recreational cavern lines are laid one after another (for example, the cenotes of El Eden, Chiken Ha, Tajma Ha) can be safely and far removed from the entry point when traveling through the flooded underground labyrinths of the kingdom of Xibalba.
Our experienced and friendly guides will explain all the features of local diving, help you to safely plan and execute each dive, so that you have a bright, lasting impression and positive emotions.
… and of course they will tell you about the history of the Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula, hydrospeleology and some legends 🙂
|CHAC MOOL||CHIKIN HA||EL EDEN||TAJMA HA||DOS OJOS|
|EL PIT||ANGELITA||KUKULKAN||NIKTE HA||CASA CENOTE|
|ZAPOTE||TAAK BE LUM||DREAMGATE||CAR WASH||CALAVERA|
|MARAVILLA||KIN HA||KAAN LUUM||SIETE BOCAS||TAAK BI HA|
Rules for cenotes diving
|We follow the following rules on all recreational cavern dives:|
– the presence of a constant source of daylight within sight
We organize cavern and cave diving tours in the cenotes – this is much more than just diving. We choose diving cenotes together with you based on your current experience and capabilities. Entrance tickets to the cenotes are paid upon the fact of the visit. Have a good dive!