Cenote diving

The Cavern Experience
Eligible Open Water Divers can be safely toured using normal open water scuba equipment if accompanied by an experienced and qualified Cavern Guide.

About your Guide:
Cavern Guides are certified Full Cave Divers who are also Open Water Dive Masters or higher. These qualified professionals must be outfitted with complete Full Cave Diving Equipment, Oxygen / First Aid, have successfully completed a "Cavern Guide Program" and display authorized identification.

Safety limitations Divers must always remain:
  • Within the natural Day Light Zone of the surface open water pools.
  • A maximum distance of 200 feet (60 meters) from the surface.
  • No deeper than 70 feet (21 meters).
  • Minimum visibility 50 feet (15 meters).
  • In large passages where at least 3 divers can easily swim side by side.
  • Air management using rule of thirds.
  • Within No Decompression limits.
  • Following a guideline.
  • At a ratio of No more than 4 participants per Cavern Guide

The golden rule of overhead environment diving is:
ANY DIVER CAN CALL THE DIVE AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON.

Rules
  • Training: This Cavern Tour is NOT a certifying program. After completion of this Experience, divers may enroll in a Cavern Diver Course. Otherwise, all divers MUST be accompanied at all times by a Cavern Guide in this potentially dangerous Overhead Environment.
  • Guideline: During the tour all divers must follow and stay within Arms Length of a guideline that will lead back to the open water.
  • Lights: All participants must carry at least 1 underwater diving light and keep one turned on at all times.
  • Air Supply: Participants must exit the overhead environment with no less than 900 psi (70 bar) in an 80 cubic foot (11 liter) dive cylinder utilizing the Rule of Thirds.
  • Depth: The Cavern Tour must never exceed a maximum depth of 70 feet (21 meters).

Equipment
  • No Dangles: Submersible Pressure Gauges, Octopus Regulators, Cameras etc. must be secured and in an accessible manner that does not allow them to hang freely.
  • No Snorkels: The use of a snorkel is considered inappropriate for Cavern Diving and is not required.
  • No Big Knife: In the unlikely event that a diver was to become entangled in the Guideline, your Cavern Guide is equipped with all the necessary tools and training to assist you and ensure your safety at all times.
  • Less Weight: Because you will be diving in fresh water, less weight than diving in the Ocean is required. A pre-dive weighting check is performed prior to descending into the Cavern.
  • No Gloves: In the event of poor visibility, line following is made easier without gloves.

Signals
  • All normal Open Water hand signals apply in addition to Light signals.
  • OK Stop / Hold
  • Attention Distress
  • Silt Guideline
  • Turn around Exit the cavern
  • Techniques
  • Neutral buoyancy * Trim
  • Finning Techniques (silt) * Halocline

Leave only Bubbles, Kill only Time, Take only Memories.

Conservation
Please avoid the use of tanning oils or bug repellant as they damage the cenote's ecosystem. These Caverns are a very unique, fragile and an Un-repairable Environment. Please do not touch formations or disturb the silt on the floor. They may also contain artifacts from past Maya civilizations. Please, No Graffiti, handprints, or removal of any objects from the Caverns.

Before Each Dive
Your Cavern Guide will conduct a thorough briefing containing:
  • Site orientation.
  • Entry and Exit procedures.
  • Maximum Depth and Time.
  • Air Supply / Turn Pressures.
  • Buoyancy Check to ensure proper weighting.
  • Emergency Procedures.
  • Diving Procedures.
  • Course to follow.