Diver on a cavern tour, diving over a hydrogen sulfate cloud in Playa del Carmen
cenote diving with a lot of stalactites in the background
sunbeams entering the cavern zone with a cenote diver in front

Cavern Tour – Cenote Diving

Opening of a cenote in Mexico

Dive the highlights of this area with a cavern tour.

Playa Del Carmen  and the whole area of the Riviera Maya offer a lot of opportunities for different diving activities, such as diving in the sea, bull shark diving or diving in a cavern. But the cenotes, which are spread out over the whole Yucatan peninsula, are with no doubt the highlights of local diving. We have the honour to introduce you to the biggest and probably most beautiful cave systems in the world.

There are 2 different kinds of diving activities we can do starting from the cenotes: cave diving and cavern tours. Cave diving is a diving activity to be done exclusively by divers who have specialized training and equipment for this very specific type of diving.

In contrast to cave diving cavern tours are a diving activity for any diver who holds a scuba dive certification and all the dives can be done in normal scuba gear. Cavern tours are dives conducted in the entrance areas of a cave systems. Here you can find more informations about safety rules and regulations we follow in our cavern tours

big and wide open water area of a cenote in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Dripstone Diving offers guided tours for cave and cenote diving as well as diving courses and VIP tours.

Wikipedia links to: Dripstone, Stalactites, Stalagmites, Columns, FossilsHalocline

Entrance to a cave system in Quintana Roo, Mexico
What is a cenote?

The word cenote comes from the Mayan language and in earlier days it was called Dozonot or Xonot until the Spanish inquisitors arrived. Afterwards the word was changed into cenote and this is the word we still use today. The meaning of cenote is ‘a hole filled with water’ or also called a sinkhole.

In ancient times these places were very important to the Mayan people because it was their fresh water source. Besides the fresh water source, for the Mayan people the cenotes were and still are a sacred place. 

Today we got somewhat over 3000 cenotes along the whole Riviera Maya and spread throughout the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico.

diving along the stunning sunbeams in a cenote in Playa del Carmen
Why diving in a cenote?

Diving in the biggest and most beautiful cave system is something unforgettable. The visibility is one of the best in the world, we are talking about 100m+/300ft+. Each cenote is unique in it’s own manner and each one offers different highlights.

Some cenotes are really nicely decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and columnsOther ones have a halocline where fresh water from the underground rivers meets the sea water. 

There are also cenotes where we can see fossils like conches or corals which became stone throughout time. In the deeper cenotes we find another natural phenomenon, the sulfate clouds

Very popular especially among photographers are the lights entering the cavern zone. 

Amount of dive site’s:

  • The Riviera Maya offers 16 divesite’s which are suitable for cenote diving.
  • Dripstone Diving offers you 8 days of diving without being in the same cenote twice.


  • We usually do 2 dives per day (2 tanks) in two different cenotes.
  • At some cenotes we can do 2 dives, because the cavern offers two different lines.


  • A normal cavern tour takes around 6 hours from picking-up in Playa Del Carmen. This can vary due to the choice of the dive site.

Our tour starts from Playa del Carmen, pick up time is between 8.00-9.00am. From Playa del Carmen we are heading south along the Highway 307, where most of the cenotes are located. After arriving at the cenote we will inform you about the place, that everybody knows where to find toilets, showers and the entrance to the cenotes. Then we will start with the briefing for the actual dive site, on which we will provide all the necessary info about the following dive. When the first dive is completed we do a little break and will then drive to second cenote, where we will inform you about the new place, including the briefing for the new dive site. After we have completed the second dive it is time to pack everything together and to refresh ourselves with a sandwich and water. We will then drive back to Playa del Carmen, arrival time is approximately between 2.00-4.00pm.

What to bring:

  • Dive equipment
  • Towel
  • Dry clothes for changing after the dives
  • Sunglasses/ Hat
  • Personal belongings
  • Money (at some places you got the chance to buy souvenirs, t-Shirt’s or photos)
  • Mexican Pesos for the cenote park entrance fee

What not to bring:

  • Valuable items
  • Jewelery
  • Sunscreen (we want to conserve the cenotes as much as possible, please do not use sunscreen)
  • too much money (please do not bring more money than actually needed)

Included is:

  • guiding
  • tanks
  • weights
  • lights
  • transport (Zone 0 is included in the tour, additional fuel fee applies only for the Zones 1-3)
  • sandwich
  • water

Dive equipment for a cavern tour:

  • Wetsuit, we recommend 5mm or thicker (Temperature 24°C/ 77°F)
  • Hoodies (optional but recommended)
  • BCD
  • Regulator/ Adapter (DIN or Yoke)
  • Fins / Booties
  • Mask
  • Computer (or a time device, depth gauge and table)
  • Standard 80cft/11.2ltr Aluminium tank (is provided)
  • Weights (is provided)
  • Divelight (is provided)
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