The Cenote Experience
Ts’o’noot -What on earth is that?? A new meditation system, a martial art form or a new life style?? No, it is the Mayan word for sinkholes in the jungle. And for us divers it means one of the most unique experiences you can get!
In no other diving area it is possible to go diving into a cavern without having at least the cavern license. But on the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico, it is possible. There are various different kinds of Cenotes, and also a speciality which is highly addictive: the Halocline. It is formed by salt and fresh water, and due to different densities the are well kept apart. When diving through you realize by a change of temperature that something is going on. Also when diving behind your buddy / guide, you will end up in a blur. If the protocol is followed though, it is absolutely astonishing experience. The reflections of your torch are projected to the ceiling of the cave, and there’s a magic game of lights.
What is understood by cenote diving?
To stay in the daylight zone, no further away from the entry than 60 meters. Following the line (!!!) and enjoying the incredible formations, which took thousands of years to build, already seen in this area of the cave. If you want to penetrate deeper, there is no problem if you have a proper cave training. Please do not try to bribe your guide to take you further in, as there is a reason for the cave diving course! It takes a minimum of 8 days, and explains thoroughly most of the emergency procedures and navigation. It was one of my favorite courses, but it consumes a lot of energy when done everything in one go.
The best thing about diving the Cenotes is that every cenote is different. Some are just deep (eg.: diving the Cenote Angelita), some have a very thick Halocline (eg : diving Chac Mool) or some are just beautifully grown with formations (eg : diving the cenote Dos Ojos).
There is also a difference inside the Cenotes depending on the time of year. In the Cenote Taj Mahal in the winter time you can see the finger point of god in form of light inside the cavern zone for example.
Article by Jörg Delacher