Best caves for snorkeling in Tulum and Playa del Carmen

Best caves for snorkeling in Tulum and Playa del Carmen

Pet Cemetery cave

Pet Cemetery gets its name from the animal bones that are spread out throughout the cavern. It is located within the Dos Ojos Park and is one of the shallowest sites in the area with maximum depths barely breaking 20 ft/6mt.

Visit the Blue Abyss is maybe one of the things that every cave diver should hope to achieve. This very deep pit is a long way from the Pet Cemetery cenote, but the swim is worthiness. The top of this cavity is very flat, but its bottom is beyond the 330ft/100mt mark. Once you are beneath the halocline found at 50 ft/18mt the cave's distant walls look a wonderful royal blue. Even though is logistically difficult, deep Trimix dives are possible here with the appropriate training. You can find 2 ways to easily get to the Blue Abyss: First is the Díaz Line and is suggested for divers using back mounted doubles, with a nice swim rate, it takes about 50 minutes to get to Blue Abyss. 
The other way to get there is using the X Line, this is a much shorter route that only takes about 35 minutes but is only competent for divers in a side mount configuration since there is a major handicap along the way. Both passages are hugely fascinating, very embellished, and contains restrictions. Due to the fragile nature of the decorations found here, this site is only suitable for experienced cave divers with outstanding resilience control and trim. Even if you can get very deep inside the Blue Abyss, the average depth for the remaining of the path is 40ft/12mt.

Xunaan Ha Cave

Xunaan Ha, or Goddess of Water, is a very popular cenote located a few minutes west of Chemuyil. It is best known for being the main cenote in the Xunaan Ha cave system, which is the fourth greatest in the Riviera Maya. The upstream border of the cave has a medium depth of less than 30 ft/10mt and most places are large enough to welcome teams in back mounted doubles quite easily. The downstream side however, is by far smaller and is best for advanced divers in side mount equipment. Depth is almost absent and during much of the dive, the cave is only partially filled with water. The entire system is extremely complex with many secondary tunnels that have only recently been explored.

Chan Hol Cave

Chan Hol was once the home to two prehistoric human skeletons that have since been removed for display elsewhere. There are also dozens of antique Mayans remains and animal skeletons contained within the site. A few minutes into the dive, you can find an area where a cenote existed during the times of the ancient Mayans. It has since been covered up, but there are some ceramics on display on a nearby underwater counter. Chan Hol has some enormous tunnels and beautiful decorations that are sure to blow your mind.

Dos Pisos Cave

Dos Pisos, or Two Floors, is an incredible dive site. It is found just south of Tulum, within the Sian Ka'an national park. The entry into the cave is a little bit small so we recommend diving the site in a side mount dive configuration. Once inside the cave, the paths become much larger. The site is stunning because the rocks and formations are very white, but the silt on the floor is a dark gray in some spots. Subsequently a very brief and nice swim, there is a secondary line that will take you to the Room of Roots, a very hollow room that has dozens of trees' roots coming down through the ceiling forming a wooden screen. By getting deeper into this cave, you can see how two distinct tunnels were formed on top of each other at different times throughout the history of the cave (hence the name). This dive is suitable for divers with excellent buoyancy and trim due to the fragile decorations and silt.

Jailhouse Cave

Jailhouse is a very spooky dive site just south of Tulum. The cenote is a tiny muddy puddle that does not seem like anything that could lead into a cave. Unlike most of the caves around the Riviera Maya, this very decorated cave is stained black. The dark walls absorb divers lights very well, so the overall feeling is that of a dark gloomy place, like an abandoned prison. The depths here range from 10ft/3mt to 80ft/24mt, so decompression may be an issue even if using Nitrox blends.

One of the highlights of the site is the Yaxbe Tunnel. It takes some complex navigation to get there but the Tunnel is spectacular. The cave here slopes downwards gently, going through the halocline and into the salt water. The change in the water is incredible. In the salt water passage, the walls are very white as they have not been stained black by the fresh water above. The light within the tunnel looks blue and the ground here is covered with tiny million-year-old shells. This is a very interesting place that allows us to peek of the kind of critters that walked around the ocean floor a few million years ago.

Chikin-Ha Cave

Chikin-Ha is located about 15 miles south of Playa del Carmen, just passing Puerto Aventuras spot. The cenote has a large, half-moon shape with a large sloping ceiling and crystal-clear water during the path. The diving will take you directly to Rainbow Cenote, where at the time of entering a depth of 30ft/10m you will see a stunning halocline, where you can witness the separation of fresh and salt water.

BlueLife is the safest way to snorkeling caves in Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Book your course now!