Cenotes in the Yucatan are an underwater wonderland in Mexico, particularly enticing for cave divers. These beautiful places are adorned with stalagmites, stalactites, and stalagmats, displaying a variety of colors. The water is warm and mostly crystal clear. Depending on the depth of the dive, fresh water transitions to heavier saltwater. Between these two types of water, the diver can observe the fascinating mirror-like interface called a halocline also. Additionally, the diver can perceive the distinct temperatures of colder fresh and warmer saltwater. Therefore, experts refer to this unique interface as a thermocline.

Described Cenotes on this webpage:

Cenote Xulo – underwater wonderland, Tulum

Cenote Xulo is easily accessible by car as the cave is only about 200 meters from the highway. The water entry is just 20 meters from the parking area, and the surrounding land is well-maintained for easy access to the cave also. There are also facilities available for the convenience of divers. After paying the entrance fee, the car will be looked after during the dive.

A short walk down a few steps from the parking area leads to a fairly large, dry, decorated chamber opening onto a network of excavated tunnels. Additionally, large steps facilitate access to a shallow pool consisting of pristine water surrounded by pure white stalactites. Tied to one of them, the main cave line surfaces from the restricted entrance. The enchantment peaks a few meters down as a swims through to a huge, decorated cathedral-like room.

In other words, Cenote Xulo is a pretty unique Mexican underwater wonderland.

Mexican underwater wonderland of Cenote Xulu, Tulum, Mexico

Mexican underwater wonderland of Cenote Xulu, Tulum, Mexico

Cenote Otoch-Ha (Nariz) – underwater wonderland, Tulum

Cenote Otoch-Ha (also called Nariz) is located on Nohoch road but is more offset and into the jungle. A sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle is necessary to reach this location, and the road is very bumpy. The walk down to the entrance of the cave is a little dicey but thankfully very short.

The mainline extends all the way out to open water. Additionally, Otoch-Ha features a “T” crossing at the very beginning of the cave, leading one line upstream and the other downstream. Moreover, Otoch-Ha is truly amazing and stands out as one of my favorite caves and Mexican underwater worlds. It offers a little bit of everything, including decorations similar to the Nohoch mainline, smaller areas, large boulders, and furthermore numerous jumps to explore.

Cenote Nohoch-Nah-Chich – underwater wonderland, Tulum

Sistema Nohoch-Nah-Chich connects to Sistema Sac Actun, thereby making Sac Actun the longest surveyed underwater cave system in the world. Dedicated cave divers have extensively explored this system for over ten years, commencing their exploration from Cenote Nohoch-Nah-Chich.

Accessible via a bumpy road not far from the highway, Nohoch-Nah-Chich offers excellent infrastructure for the convenience of divers also. Furthermore, it is more of a shallow cave closer to the entrance, adorned with beautiful stalagmites, stalactites, and stalagmats in various colors. Highlighted by the white-colored Heavens Gate, as depicted in the second image below, this area serves as a hotspot within the cave.

Cenote Nohoch-Nah-Chich underwater wonderland

Mexican underwater wonderland of Cenote Nohoch-Nah-Chich, Tulum, Mexico

Cenote El Toh, Tulum

Cenote El Toh is situated in a more remote location, where a music festival is held once a year. At this captivating site, a staircase, colored like a rainbow, guides visitors to the cave entrance. Inside, the cave unfolds with nicely decorated and exceptionally colorful formations, contributing to the creation of a beautiful underwater wonderland in Mexico.

Cenote Jailhouse, Tulum

Cenote Jailhouse is located a little south of Tulum and is an excellent destination. The entrance to the cave system is a muddy lake, which is very unusual for Mexican cenotes. However, once you have entered the cave, you get the sense of diving in two different caves. Firstly, the shallow area with fresh water is dark and tannic, offering plenty of small passages. Secondly, the deep area with saltwater passages feels like arriving in a different world. Impressive white formations and an intense blue color, caused by salinity, enhance the experience.

Cenote Dos Pisos, underwater wonderland, Tulum

Cenote Dos Pisos is located in the Mayan jungle area, 15 minutes southwest of the city of Tulum and close to the highway also. A two-floor cave system adorns itself with white stalagmites, stalactites, and stalagmats. The cave entry is on the left side and is more suitable for sidemount style, but can also be done with doubles. Furthermore, it offers areas where the roots of jungle trees are visible, making it a unique and special feature. It is an underwater wonderland of Mexico, and I appreciate it greatly due to its diversity.

Cenote Dos Pisos entry area

The combination of white stone with roots from jungle trees is not only very nice but also particularly rare to see. The pictures below were captured in a side passage, accessible via a jump. This jump, specifically to the right, is indicated by the third red arrow in the cave.

Cenote Mayan Blue, Tulum

Cenote Mayan Blue is located a little south of Tulum and is a beautiful place frequently visited by tourists for swimming. It offers good infrastructure and two different entries to access the cave (tunnels A and B). Well-known for its crystal-clear, beautiful blue water and consequently white walls within the saltwater section. Accordingly, the fresh water part above the halocline is more brownish.

Cenote Mayan Blue entry area

At tunnel A, the first red double arrow indicates the jump to the right towards Death Passage. It descends through the halocline and consequently leads to this beautiful, white-decorated huge hall.

Cenote Mayan Blue Death Passage

The diver is exactly in the halocline within the white channel of tunnel A. Crystal clear water is below the diver, and it’s a little cloudy above due to the halocline phenomenon.

The freshwater section of tunnel A has a more brownish color.

Cenote Tortuga, Tulum

Cenote Tortuga, located west of Tulum, is renowned for the tortuga shell within the saltwater area. The freshwater section boasts vibrant colors, ranging from yellow to orange and green. To explore the deeper saltwater section, divers can navigate left and down at the first “T”. Beyond the halocline, the water transforms consequently into a mesmerizing blue, complemented by pristine white walls.

As you enter the cenote’s open water, bones become visible at a depth of 4 meters, adjacent to the cave line. Additionally, smaller “cleaning” fishes can be observed, displaying a curious habit of nibbling on your fingers. Explore the underwater wonders of Cenote Tortuga for an enchanting experience.

Cenote Tortuga entry

Cenote Nai-tucha, Tulum

Cenote Nai-tucha is more secluded and nestled in the jungle also. Therefore, you need a sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle to get here, as the road is very bumpy. However, the short path to the cave entrance is in good condition.

Cenote Nai-tucha entry area

Cenote Dos Palmas, Tulum djungle area

Dos Palmas Cenote, situated close to Tulum, is a popular destination frequently visited by day tourists seeking a captivating cenote swimming experience. This colorful cave presents numerous opportunities to explore jump areas. Along the cave mainline, divers have the option to navigate to the right upstream or left into the downstream section. Consequently, there is a noticeable current, enhancing the adventure for enthusiasts exploring Dos Palmas Cenote. Discover the vibrant underwater world and unique features this cenote has to offer during your visit near Tulum.

Cenote Sushi, Tulum djungle

Cenote Nai-tucha is more secluded and tucked into the jungle also. Therefore, you need a sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle to get here. The infrastructure is brand new, and furthermore you can access the cenote via a wooden spiral staircase.

Cenote Sushi within the djungle

Cenote Sushi within the djungle

If you are interested in exploring more than just the underwater wonderland of Mexico, check out picture galleries of Hungary, France, Italy and Germany.