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Cenote Diving in Tulum, Mexico: The Ultimate Guide

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The image shows a person diving through a cenote in Tulum.
The image shows the silhouette of a diver in the water.

Are you looking to do some cenote diving in Tulum? You’re in the right place!

Having been on two diving trips to Tulum myself, I can vouch for how unique and fun this place is.

The spot keeps you returning for more, with enough variety to fill weeks with new adventures. I absolutely adore the area, and my diving adventures here have been fantastic. 

Whether you’re into beautiful caves, eerie sinkholes, or something else, Tulum has covered you. 

So stay with me as we dive into the best of what Tulum’s cenotes offer!

If you’re tight on time, then here’s something you need to know:

🚗 Getting around: it’s mostly cheaper or the same price to rent a car, not a scooter in Tulum.

🎟️ My favourite cenotes: without a doubt, the best ones include:

🤿 Gran Cenote
👀 Dos Ojos
🏠 Casa Cenote
🐟 Cenote Calavera

Beginner or refreshers course: if you need to scrub up on your skills, then book a spot here: diving practice

📱Data: install an eSim from Airalo rather than buying a local sim – it’s much less hassle! Get $3 off with code ‘AMELIA2423’

🩺 Best travel medical insurance: at 80% cheaper with just as much coverage than what I was previously paying, I’ll never stop sharing how great SafetyWing is as a full-time traveller!

Where Is Tulum?

Tulum is a breathtaking beach town on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, part of the Riviera Maya.

It’s nestled about 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of Cancun, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy party city. 

Famous for its stunning beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and vibrant nightlife, Tulum also serves as a gateway to some of the most mesmerizing cenotes in the world.

It’s a spot that effortlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty – with fantastic diving experiences, of course.

Read more: if you’re considering a trip to Cancun as well, then you might find my 5 day Cancun itinerary useful.

Getting to Tulum

The easiest way to get to Tulum is by flying into the airport – Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport. It’s about 35 to 45 minutes away from Tulum, depending on which area you’re staying in.

If you’re heading to Tulum on a budget, then from the airport, you can take an affordable shuttle bus or if not, then you can jump in a taxi for a more comfortable experience at a higher price.

Or, for the ultimate freedom, renting a car is the way to go, especially if you’re keen on exploring numerous cenotes around Tulum. 

Plus, given the pricey taxis, it can be more economical if you plan to hit the beach often or explore extensively.

Tip: If you’ve already done some research on getting around Tulum, then you’ll see most people recommend renting a scooter. However, in my experience, these are often almost as expensive as renting a car and much less comfortable to be on during the hot and humid temperatures.

Extra tip: Regardless of which one you choose to rent, it’s easy to get around. Just know that the police are fairly corrupt and will try to fine you for pretty much anything. You’re allowed to make two mistakes when driving in Tulum before they can issue a fine, you just need to stand your ground.

🚗 You can rent a car through Discover Cars ahead of time for the best price!

What Makes Tulum a Great Diving Destination?

Tulum is a diver’s paradise, and it’s all because of these excellent natural swimming holes called cenotes.

Imagine a massive hole in the ground that leads to clear, fresh water you can dive into—that’s a cenote.

These spots are unique because they’re formed when the ground above limestone caves collapses, revealing a hidden underwater world.

The water in these cenotes is so clear it’s like diving into a giant natural aquarium.

You get to swim through caves and tunnels, surrounded by incredible rock formations and rays of sunlight that dance through the water.

It’s both chill and thrilling, perfect whether you’re just starting or you’ve been diving for years.

Tulum’s got loads of these cenotes, each with its vibe.

You can find everything from easy-peasy dives in open water to more adventurous dives in underground caves.

I’ve done a bit of both, and trust me, it’s an experience you will remember.

Plus, diving here means you’re not just stuck on the beach. 

Finally, I adore the Mexican food scene, and Tulum is a great destination to grab some delicious tacos and dangerous margaritas after a full day of diving. 

7 Best Cenotes to Go Diving in Tulum

Now that you know a bit about Tulum and why it’s such a special diving destination, it’s time to get into the good stuff.

These are the seven best cenotes for diving in Tulum for you to explore.

Don’t forget, if you need a beginner or refresher course, then book a spot here: diving practice.

Dos Ojos

Dos Ojos is one of the top spots for cenote diving in Tulum, and for good reason. It’s perfect for divers of all levels because you’re always close to an exit or the surface. 

This cenote offers two main routes for diving: the Bat Cave and the Barbie line that lets you decide how deep into the darkness you want to go.

I went for the Bat Cave route because it gives you that authentic cave diving experience. You get to see some fantastic rock formations, and the vibe is incredible. 

If you’re up for a dive that feels adventurous while still being pretty chill, Dos Ojos is the place.

Book a guided experience: Dos Ojos diving experience

Book a 3 in 1 guided experience: guided experience

The Pit

The image shows two divers in a Cenote called 'The Pitt' in Tulum. There is a beam of light coming through the water.

The Pit is another standout cenote in Tulum, famous for being a real test of your diving skills because of its impressive depth. 

What makes The Pit truly spectacular, aside from its depth, is the extraordinary light as sunlight filters through the water, creating surreal beams that illuminate the darkness.

Diving in The Pit is like nothing else. As you descend, the fresh and saltwater mix layers create a mesmerizing effect known as a halocline, which adds an otherworldly feel to the experience. 

It’s a bit more challenging because of the depth, but it’s worth it for the visuals alone. 

If you want to push your limits and experience some of the most stunning natural light effects underwater, The Pit should be on your list.


Angelita is my all-time favourite dive spot that is definitely worth adding to your Tulum itinerary, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve experienced it. 

Imagine descending 40 meters into what feels like a scene from a frozen underworld.

The dive here is unlike any other, thanks to the unique chemical makeup of the water and minerals that create an oxygen-free environment. This makes the water appear dense and thick, almost like you’re moving through another dimension.

At the bottom, there’s this eerie, sandy “island” with a solitary dead tree standing on it, creating a scene that looks like it’s straight out of a fantasy novel. Diving in Angelita feels like you’re visiting a quiet, mysterious world completely detached from the one we live in.

However, diving to depths of 40 meters isn’t for beginners. It requires specific knowledge and techniques to do safely. That’s why it’s crucial to dive with someone experienced or a dive master you trust. 

Angelita is truly impressive, offering an unforgettable adventure with the proper precautions.

Casa Cenote

The image shows three divers swimming into murky water.

Casa Cenote offers a unique blend of experiences, making it a fantastic spot for divers looking to practice their skills.

Its direct connection to the ocean sets it apart, with the beach just a stone’s throw away. This mix of fresh and saltwater creates an environment where you must be mindful of the currents, especially near the cave opening leading to the sea.

But that’s not all that’s unique about Casa Cenote. It’s also home to a local celebrity – a 1.5-meter crocodile named Panchito. While Panchito and divers have coexisted peacefully with no reported incidents, it’s a thrilling reminder that you’re swimming in a wild animal’s home. 

Seeing Panchito up close spikes your adrenaline, but respecting his space and keeping a safe distance is important. 

Diving here offers skill, practice, and an adventure that’s a bit out of the ordinary.

Book a guided experience: Casa Cenote

Book a 3 in 1 guided experience: guided experience

Gran Cenote

The image shows the top of Gran Cenote.

Gran Cenote truly lives up to its name. Widely recognized as one of the finest spots for snorkelling and scuba diving in the Riviera Maya, this cenote is a part of the Sac Aktun system, which translates to “white cave” in Mayan. 

The adventure begins at the edge of a circular-shaped cenote, plunging divers into a world with a maximum depth of 10 meters.

What sets Gran Cenote apart is the absolute necessity for perfect buoyancy control. The reason? 

Its caverns and cave passages are intricately decorated with white walls, crystal-clear waters, and stunning, mesmerizing formations

Divers are expected to navigate these spaces with care, ensuring the preservation of their beauty.

Cave divers have the opportunity to explore a variety of routes within the caves, each gifted with breathtaking decorations.

Meanwhile, snorkelers aren’t left out of the fun—they can admire the cavern area’s formations from the surface, making Gran Cenote a versatile destination that caters to both the experienced diver and the casual snorkeler looking for a glimpse into an underwater paradise.

Book a 3 in 1 guided experience: guided experience

Cenote Calavera

Cenote Calavera, also known as the Temple of Doom, offers an experience quite distinct from any other cavern dive. 

To get started, you’ll navigate through a circular hole on the rock surface, leading to an exhilarating jump of about 3 meters down to the water. This dive throws you into the adventure right away!

The cavern is a vast room dominated by a central hill of collapsed sediment and rocks. Divers circle this hill, exploring at various depths along the cenote’s walls. The cave is well-lit, revealing an array of fossils waiting to be discovered. 

When you look back towards the entrance, use a bit of imagination to see why it’s called the “Skull” – the way the light shines through creates the eerie appearance of two eyes and a mouth.

Cenote Calavera has stunning passages branching off in different directions for those interested in cave diving. Be sure to ask your guide to take you to “The Fang”, where you’ll find an incredible scene of giant stalactites and stalagmites

Plus, the halocline effects here—where fresh water mixes with salt water—add a layer of beauty to the dive. This cenote is a dive that offers a journey through a blend of natural artistry and adventure.

Pet Cemetary

Pet Cemetery, nestled at the end of a secluded dirt road, stands out as perhaps the most intriguing and challenging cenote for cavern diving on the list.

Its maximum depth reaches just 6 meters, but the shallow sections, some as little as one meter deep, test your diving skills.

This cenote is a part of the expansive Sac Aktun system, famous for its striking white marble-like appearance created by countless stalactites in various shapes. 

The sheer volume and diversity of stalactite formations here are impressive, making it a haven for those fascinated by these natural wonders. 

In Pet Cemetery, stalactites are abundant and exhibit unique growth patterns, with some even extending horizontally.

For divers interested in geology and natural formations, Pet Cemetery offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore and appreciate the intricate beauty of stalactites up close. 

The journey to reach this remote cenote adds to the sense of adventure, making any dive here a memorable experience.

Best Time to Visit Tulum For Diving

The ideal time to visit this Caribbean paradise is from May to September, when the weather is warm, and the water is at its clearest, offering exceptional visibility

This period also avoids the heavy tourist season, allowing for a more relaxed experience at the cenotes. 

However, Tulum’s diving spots are accessible year-round, with comfortable water temperatures

Remember that rainier months affect visibility but can also offer a more private diving adventure.

FAQ’s About Cenote Diving in Tulum

Can beginners dive cenotes?

Yes, beginners can dive in cenotes, but starting with easier, open-water cenotes is recommended, and always diving with a certified guide or instructor is recommended to ensure safety and guidance.

Is cenote diving in Tulum worth it?

Absolutely! Cenote diving in Tulum is a unique and unforgettable experience that’s hard to find anywhere else in the world. The crystal-clear waters, stunning underwater formations, and the thrill of exploring hidden caves and caverns make it a must-do for divers of all levels. 

Is it safe to dive cenotes?

Cenotes are safe if you follow guidelines, use proper equipment, and dive with a certified guide. Respect for the natural environment and adherence to safety measures is crucial.

What are the best cenotes in Tulum?

The best cenotes in Tulum include Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, Casa Cenote, and Cenote Calavera. Each offers unique experiences, from snorkelling to advanced cave diving.

If you’re looking for a great cenote to relax at, then in between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, there a cenote called Cenote Azul.

What do you need for cenote diving? 

For cenote diving, you’ll need standard scuba gear, a certified guide to become more experienced in cave diving, and sometimes special equipment like lights. Always check specific cenote requirements.

Explore more of Mexico

If you’re planning on exploring more of Mexico, then taking a flight over to Cabo San Lucas is fun. It’s pretty upscale, with plenty of beach clubs and epic activities to do.

Author Bio

Josephine Remo is a Danish travel blogger with a background as a flight attendant, turning her passion for exploration into a lifestyle. For the past ten years, she’s travelled extensively, spending the last three years living the digital nomad dream. Josephine loves sharing her adventures and tips on Pinterest and Instagram, inspiring others to embark on their own journeys.