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Experience Scuba Diving in Tulum: 20 Awesome Cenotes and Reefs

the best diving in tulum

Your tropical adventure in Mexico isn’t complete without scuba diving in Tulum. This tourist hot spot is one of the best places in the world to dive because of its amazing cenotes and reefs. While diving in Tulum, you can explore hidden caves and wildlife, making it an unforgettable experience. covers the 20 best spots in the city for different types of diving and tips to help you make the most out of your trip. Let’s take a look at the best places for Tulum diving. 


Check out our Mexico travel guides too, from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and many more. Enjoy your trip!

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Experience Scuba Diving in Tulum: 20 Awesome Cenotes and Reefs
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What Kind of Diving Can You Do in Tulum? 

Tulum has some of the world’s biggest and best underwater caves and diving spots. There are different types of diving that you can try out while in Tulum.

In this district, you can go cenote diving. A cenote is a naturally formed sinkhole that can be completely underground, completely open, or partially open. You can go scuba diving at these cenotes, as there’s a spot for every level.

Another exciting diving activity in Tulum is reef diving. Several reef diving sites allow you to view colorful marine life, from little crabs to bull sharks.

Our guide covers Tulum’s best places for cenote, scuba, and reef diving.

Tips for Tulum Diving 

Before you go Tulum diving, there are several tips that you should keep in mind. These include:

  • Avoid diving 12 to 18 hours before your flight. Nitrogen bubbles from the water can build up in your body and should be released before you get on your plane. If you fly soon after a dive, you risk decompression sickness.
  • Wear comfortable clothes for swimming. Diving wetsuits are usually very tight, so if you can avoid them, you should stick to a bikini, one-piece swimsuit, or briefs. This makes it easier to enjoy your diving experience.
  • Stay hydrated before and after diving. Drinking a lot of water can boost your blood pressure and clear your sinuses, making your Tulum diving experience more enjoyable. Without hydration, it will be difficult to equalize underwater.

20 Best Spots for Diving in Tulum

El Gran Cenote

One of the best places for cave and scuba diving Tulum is the El Gran Cenote. This gorgeous cenote is part of the Sac Actun cave system, the second longest in the region, featuring over 130 cenotes.

El Gran Cenote offers colorful views with the semi-open structure, and you can even see turtles near the lily pads while diving. The stalagmites and stalactites are incredible structures in the cenote. 

The cenote also offers great visibility and will cater to all your diving needs. The location has lockers, showers, and changing rooms to take advantage of. But, you need to have your certificate before Tulum diving here.

scuba diving in tulum

Cenote Dos Ojos 

Another one of the exciting diving cenotes in Tulum is the Cenote Dos Ojos, where you can enjoy caves and scuba diving. The cenote’s name means Two Eyes, and you can notice the two holes in the top that look like two eye sockets in the ground from an aerial view.

Through these spots, you can access the cenote for swimming and diving. The diving route in Dos Ojos starts from the East Eye, and you can follow the shallow dive through different openings, stalagmites, and stalactites.

Aside from the fun of diving, Dos Ojos is also a visually attractive cenote and is connected with other cenotes to reach the sea. You need an Open Water Certification to dive here.

Casa Cenote

New scuba divers in Tulum should check out the Casa Cenote, which is popular for aquatic life. You can come across colorful fish, turtles, and on some rare occasions, tiny crocodiles. 

When Tulum diving in Casa, you should keep in mind that it’s close to the coast so the water movement will be affected by the tide. The bright green water might also have some particles, as this cenote is a popular diving and swimming area.

To avoid the rush, you should visit the Case Cenote early. You need an Open Water Certification, although the dive is shallow, at about 10 meters. 

Cuevitas 

If you want to go reef diving in Tulum, one of the best places to do so is in Cuevitas. Meaning Little Caves, the site has many swim troughs that you can enjoy diving in. The maximum depth in Cuevitas is about 10 meters, but most divers stop at 8 meters because of the swim troughs.

In this Tulum diving site, you can explore their fish, corals like giant stars, turtles, and in rare cases, stingrays. The calm sea allows you to enjoy extremely good visibility to see the aquatic life.

Cenote Dos Pisos 

Next is a top Tulum diving spot for cave diving, and you need a diver certification and some advanced skills to enjoy Cenote Dos Pisos. The entrance of this cenote is narrow, but there is a side mount that divers can use to get through.

While in this cenote, you can see the Room of Roots, an underwater cavern tangled with roots from overhead trees. It looks like a wooden curtain. Further down, divers will also see two tunnels on top of each other, which gave Dos Pisos its name: two floors.

One of these passages extends to 24 meters, so you should avoid going that far. There are many other shallow places to explore.

Cenote Chan Hol 

Your Tulum diving experience won’t be complete without a visit to Cenote Chan Hol, a fantastic place for cave diving. This diving spot is slightly different from the other options in Tulum because it was a more recent discovery in 2004. 

The name means ‘small hole’ as it’s one of the smaller Tulum cenotes for cave diving. Since Cha Hol was first explored, they have recovered a pre-ice-age skeleton and some ancient Mayan water pots, which you will see just outside the entrance.

the best diving in tulum

Cenote Carwash

If you’re new to cave and scuba diving Tulum, Cenote Carwash is a good spot to try out. The cenote combines open water with a cavern, so there is much to explore. As you dive, you can see the colorful plant life, with gorgeous fish, turtles, and even small crocodiles.

The cavern has a depth of 16 meters, and you can move through it easily. In the cavern, you can view old pottery and rock formations. The cave is mostly non-confined, so you should follow your guide’s lead.

Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich 

The Giant Bird Cage, the Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich, is one of the most beautiful Tulum diving spots you can check out. It used to be the biggest underwater cave system in the world until they discovered Sistema Ox Bel Ha. 

In this cenote, you can enjoy cave diving to its fullest. There are tons of stalactites and stalagmites in the underwater cenote, with crystal clear waters offering great visibility. If you enjoy photography, this is also a good spot to check out in Tulum. You need a cave diving certification to explore the cenote.

The Stingray

A good Tulum diving spot for those new to reef diving is The Stingray. It gets its name because you can see stingrays below the coral formations, offering an exciting experience. The reef diving spot is right before the Tulum Ruins, so you can enjoy both sites in a day.

This diving site is pretty shallow, which makes it easy for beginner divers to explore. There are different kinds of fish and corals, although you can only go diving when the sea is calm. If you’re new to diving, it’s best to follow your guide’s lead.

Cenote Angelita 

Cenote Angelita is one of the top Tulum diving spots that will give you a surreal underwater experience. It’s better suited for advanced divers, as it goes up to 35 meters deep. Underwater, you see a layer of hydrogen sulfide caused by rotting vegetation. It looks like an underwater cloud.

You will see dead trees and branches sticking out through this cloud, and you can dive through them. If you’re confident, you can also pass through the cloud, although it would seem pitch black. If diving through the cloud, you can expect it to be a bit disorientating. 

Cenote El Pit

Cenote El Pit is one of the best cenotes for Tulum diving. As the name implies, it looks like an underwater chamber or a huge pit that advanced divers will enjoy exploring. You shouldn’t check this spot out if you’re new to diving. 

This spot is one of the deepest cenotes in Quintana Roo, going as deep as 121 meters. But, you can only dive as deep as 40 meters to stay safe. The Tulum diving spot offers impressive visibility as the light rays shine through the water. You can easily spot the different corals and aquatic life.

Cenote DreamGate

Cenote DreamGate is a top Tulum diving spot for open water certification divers. In this cenote, delicate rock formations, especially soda straw formations. These formations are what stalactite and stalagmite are before evolving.

DreamGate has shallow water and delicate formation, so you can enjoy excellent buoyancy control while diving. You can make a special request for photography and videography too. In the middle of the cenote, you will see an air dome where the stalactites drop from the ceiling into water. 

where to dive in tulum

Cenote Nicte-Ha 

You can find Cenote Nicte-Ha while in Dos Ojos Cenotes Park. The open-water cenote is an underwater garden diving spot and a carven line. Although it’s one of the less popular Tulum diving cenotes, it’s the perfect choice to visit for a short and exciting thrill. 

The maximum diving depth is 8 meters, and Nicte-Ha is suitable for beginners. The underwater garden is something that you will never forget while diving.

Coquitos

You should also check out Coquitos for exciting reef Tulum diving. The name of the reef diving spot means coconuts because of the palm trees in front of the site. Coquitos is a part of the Great Meso American Reef, so you can find a wide range of coral and fish. 

The coral structures you will see in Coquitos are large, including the brain, giant star, Elkhorn, cactus, and gorgeous. There are also different kinds of fish, stingrays, turtles, and reef sharks. You can enjoy diving through the swim troughs and the visibility when the sea is calm.

Cenote Escondido 

Cenote Escondido is a fantastic scuba diving Tulum spot that you can check out. The site is a large pool-like cenote located in the jungle. It’s just outside Tulum to the south and is ideal for swimming and snorkeling aside from diving.

You can combine a visit to Escondido with Cenote Cristal, which is great for jumping, snorkeling, and swimming. These two cenotes are ideal for a one-day trip.

Piscina 

Another fantastic place for reef diving Tulum is Piscina, which you can find in front of the Tulum Ruins. Since it’s also a part of the Great Meso American Reef, you can expect different fish, corals, and a variety of life. The coral structures are also pretty big.

One of the best parts of Piscina is the sand channels in between the coral formations. It appears like a coral city underwater, with sand avenues. The visibility is up to 30 meters when the sea is calm but goes down to 10 meters when it’s rough. 

Tankah Deep

We also recommend Tankah Deep for Tulum diving. This amazing reef diving spot is close to the Tulum Ruins and has a deeper coral range that divers can enjoy. You see a lot of sand and corals when you get to the bottom. The shallow side of the diving spot is up to 22 meters, while the deeper parts go as deep as 38 meters.

In Tankah Deep, you can see different kinds of sponges, deep water corals, big predators in the wintertime, and even bull sharks. The visibility in this Tulum diving site is always great too. 

Cenote Calavera 

If you’re looking for another fun place for scuba diving Tulum is Cenote Calavera. This is a fun place to visit, known for its skull shape. There is one big hole and two smaller holes that make it look like a skull, hence the name.

At first sight, the Cenote Calavera looks like a large swimming hole you can jump in. You can also access the Sac Actun cave system from Calavera. This diving spot has amazing cave formations and a cloudy halocline layer at the bottom. There are a few dark and narrow spots in the cenote, so it’s recommended for advanced divers.

Cenote Tajma Ha 

The Cenote Tajma Ha is a bit further from Tulum, but it’s still worth the visit. It is close to Playa del Carmen and has a medium depth of 12 meters. The Tajma Ha Cenote requires you to be Open Water Certified before you can dive.

The Tajma Ha is a semi-open cenote, so you can see a gorgeous twirling natural light in the water when you visit between May and September. You will have to drive down a 2-mile dirt track to get to the end. 

Cenote Kukulkán 

Cenote diving in Kukulkán is a great way to round up your Tulum diving trip. The cenote has a beautiful ray of light, with brightness and curtains of lasers from sunlight during the day. The cenote has a sharp layer of haloclines, captivating when you get to the bottom.

You need an Open Water Certification to explore the cenote diving spot. It is an ideal spot for beginners and advanced divers and is a popular dive destination in Mexico. You can even use it to practice your technical diving skills and buoyancy underwater.

Tulum Diving for Everyone

If you’re thinking of Tulum diving in this exciting Mexico city, these are the top spots to get started. From cenote diving and cave diving to reef diving, there’s so much you can enjoy in Tulum. You can enjoy scuba diving in Tulum as a beginner or advanced diver and enjoy other fun activities in Tulum. 

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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