The Double Underground...a day trip to dive the mainland cenotes.
During your stay on Cozumel, Add to the Adventure with a day trip to the world's best fresh water diving in the Akumal "cenotes," or natural wells. These world-renowned underwater caverns are located across the channel from Cozumel, on the Yucatan mainland, and offer an underwater experience like no other.
Cenotes are inland sinkholes linking to a vast network of underground galleries & passageways, containing breathtaking formations, including stalagtites & stalagmites.
The Double Underground day of cavern diving begins when you take the 9:00 am ferry ride from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. From there, Aquetch staff will meet you at the dock, and handle everything from that point on.
Transportation to the first dive site is provided in air-conditioned vans.
On arrival, you'll be completely briefed with an orientation to cavern diving.... then you get to see what this is all about.
The dives are conducted in fairly shallow water (generally 20-50 feet) in caverns such as PonDeRosa, Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote, Taj Majal, Temple of Doom, Carwash, and Naharon.
The water temperature is a few degrees cooler than the ocean, so you'll want to have at least a shorty wetsuit.
The excursion includes 2 cenote dives and snacks.
With crystal clear water (and virtually unlimited visibility), stunning geological formations, and beautiful jungle surroundings, cenote diving in the Yucatan is an unforgettable experience. Interested? Cost is about $160-200/person, depending on the number of divers. You pay for your ferry ride to/from Playa del Carmen (about $15 each way) and bring your dive gear (not tanks, weights or lights, which Aquatech will provide) - and we handle the rest..
Diving in the cenotes is a world apart from open water diving... divers often describe it as "awesome" and "one of the best dives I've ever done." This diving really is something very special, and we've put together a complete, guided, day trip package to show you what we mean.
We must emphasize that these are NOT cave dives - you'll always be within the cavern zone, meaning that you will never lose sight of natural sunlight.... and any diver with open water certification can participate in these safe, planned, and controlled dives, always accompanied by professional, certified guides (no more than 4 divers per guide).
In the package, we're including guided diving in two cenotes, tanks, weights, lights, and snacks, in addition to all transportation once you set foot on the mainland. The adventure is conducted by Aquatech - the most comprehensive and experienced cavern/cave diving facility in the area.
Here's a brief description of some of the cenotes you'll be diving --
CENOTE PONDEROSA Maximum depth: 55 feet. Average: 27 feet. Visibility: 300 feet+ Water Temperature: 77-79 degrees, freshwater and saltwater. Access: Very easy. Steps leads down to cement platform from parking area. This cavern dive is a 100 meter traverse from the Cenote PonDeRosa to the Cenote Corral. This passageway is 15 - 20 feet from floor to ceiling and eighty feet wide. Some speleothem decorations, a variety of five different freshwater tropical fish and an excellent display of geological and fossilized history. Located on private property with "sign-in" required. Excellent snorkeling. First divers to explore this cenote were Tony and Nancy DeRosa and Steve Gerrard during June, 1990.
CENOTE TAJ MAHAL Maximum depth: 48 feet. Average: 23 feet. Visibility: 300 feet+. Water Temperature: 77-79 degrees F. Access: Very easy. Cement walkway and platform from parking area to the water. The dive involves a 200 foot traverse from the Cenote Taj Mahal to the Cenote Sugarbowl including a very beautiful room with huge airspace involving three holes allowing beams of daylight to penetrate the cavern area. First explored by Nancy DeRosa, Wayne Nefzger, Tony DeRosa and Steve Gerrard during spring of 1995.
CENOTE CARWASH Maximum depth: 52 feet. Average: 29 feet. Visibility: 300 feet +. Water Temperature: 77 degrees F. Completely freshwater. Access: Very easy with wooden platform and steps. First dived during the early 1980's, this was the "original" cenote dive for the Akumal - Tulum area. Very wide entrance area over 150 feet with an assortment of tree limbs and branches. This "cavern zone" tapers to a shallower loft area turning into a cave dive. Warning signs installed to stop divers from going beyond unless cave certified. Spectacular exit view. During the warmer months a 5 foot layer of algae exists at the water surface. No permanent guidelines thus requiring a reel and line. Good snorkeling during winter months. Property owned by the Ejido Tulum.
CENOTES DOS OJOS Maximum depth: 26 feet. Visibility: 300 feet+ Water Temperature: 77 degrees F. Freshwater completely. Access: Located on the Ejido Jacinto Pat property. 125 meter hike from parking area to the water. Considered the best of all cenotes. These two giant collapses offer a huge passageway traversing 250 feet from Dos Ojos East to Dos Ojos West. Highly decorated with immense columns, stalactites and stalagmites.
GRAN CENOTE Maximum depth - 24 feet, average depth 18 feet. Water temp - 77F, all fresh water. Entry: 100 foot walk to a wooden step ladder, enter from a wooden platform. First explored in 1988 by Jum Coke, Johanna DeGroot and Steve DeCarlo. this is considered to be one of the prettiest of the cavern entries. It is hightly decorated with speleothems and columns. A second cenote can be reached by swimmers and divers who follow a calcite underwater to "beach" towards the north. Water clarity is exceptional.
CENOTE TEMPLE OF DOOM Max depth 58 feet, average depth 38 feet. Water temp - 77-79F, fresh and salt water. Access: requires a 400 ft. hike through the jungle on a rocky path. Entry: eight foot jump or galvanized ladder. First explored in 1986 by Mike Madden and Denny Atkinson. This cenote is a geologically unique 25 foot diameter hole with a huge undercut ledge. A sizeable debris mound slopes to a salt water layer at 33 feet. A 360-degree permenent guideline is installed, allowing divers to safely explore the entire cenote within natural daylight. Several cave passageways lead away from the cavern.