Is it Cenote Taj Mahal or Tajma Ha? Actually, it’s both. The original nickname for this wondrous cenote was “the Taj Mahal” amongst local cave divers. The name stuck until one day, an enterprising soul realised that “ha” in Mayan means “water” – thus this brilliant bit of wordplay was born and Cenote Tajma Ha got its new name! There’s a reason why it got its nickname in the first place though:
This is simply one of the most stunning places to go cenote diving in Puerto Aventuras and the surrounding area. If you go at the right time of year, the light display is truly amazing. But at any time of year, the limestone formations, the maze of tunnels and huge chambers of this linked series of caves are a wondrous sight – even if you’re an experienced cave diver. You’ll find rocks which glow when light reflects on them, fossils, a mesmerising halocline effect and much more during this challenging dive.
How to get to Cenote Taj Mahal
You’ll find Tajma Ha on Highway 307, which leads from Tulum to Playa del Carmen. The turning which leads to the cenote is situated about 5 km south of Puerto Aventuras.
Once you’ve spotted the turning, it’s a further trip of around 3 km down a dirt track. You’ll see a small dirt parking lot surrounded by jungle about ten minutes down the track. This is where the cenote entrance is.
Cenote Tajma Ha – diving
This cenote is really recommended for advanced divers. It might be possible to do the entrance portion of the cavern with some open water qualifications. But to penetrate into the tunnels you’ll need proper skills – particularly as the walls have quite a lot of rough and sharp edges you can catch yourself on. There’s not much in the way of an open water or entrance part of the cavern though, so you’ll find plenty of more immediately impressive-looking cenotes if all you want is a dip in the water. Beneath the surface, however, the Taj Mahal has some real secrets for you to explore.
1-4 people small group visits – every day Cave diving certification is required for cave diving
For private tours, please contact us, so we can provide an exclusive offer for you. Prices include:
Transportation to and from the meeting point
High-quality dive equipment rental: full dive gear set and torches
Free GoPro & video lights rental – upon request
Prices are fixed, regardless of the number of people in the group.
Diving in Tajma Ha Cenote with Ko’ox is a 1-tank dive and often lasts somewhere around 50 minutes. The water is usually around 23-26°C in terms of temperature and visibility is generally very good. Your Ko’ox dive master will need to see proof that you have the required buoyancy skills in order to dive here. Certification: you need to have advanced dive qualifications to dive here.
Viewed from the surface, you won’t have much to see at Taj Mahal Cenote. There’s only a small entrance area with no real space for swimming or snorkelling. When you dive though, you pass through several remarkable areas, each with their own one-of-a-kind natural beauty.
First, is a large airy cavern filled with bats which flit through the beams of light which penetrate through holes in the jungle floor above. In the summer months, these beams of light are incredibly vivid. You move on through a natural maze of tunnels lined with the occasional fossil and eye-opening speleothems.
The next area is often called the “Sugar Bowl” – another cave where the light show from above will make you look twice and make you wish that you’d brought your camera. This part of the cave system might be home to the Motmot bird – it looks like a multi-coloured tropical bird with turquoise head feathers and a rather unique-looking tail – which was considered sacred by the ancient Mayans.
There’s also the halocline layer – where saltwater and freshwater meet – which, in Tajma Ha, happens in a tunnel, creating a very bizarre effect indeed! The so-called “Chinese Garden” is likewise reachable if you get far enough.
At the surface level, diving in Tajma Ha doesn’t have much to offer. It’s only when you get down deeper that this amazing cavern reveals its wonders.
The light effects
Come during the summer months – between March and September – to get the full effect of cenote Taj Mahal’s light shows. Most people refer them to as being like natural lasers. But whatever they look like to you, this is an effect which is present at many cenotes – yet it’s rarely as obvious and as beautiful as it is at Tajma Ha.
The bottom of the cenote
At the bottom of this cenote, you’ll find a great many stalagmites, stalactites and other rock formations which the cavern was named for – along with the fossilised remains of ancient creatures. Some of these rock formations have collapsed to line the cave floor, creating a unique effect when viewed from above.
Dive deep into Tajma Ha and you’ll find a subterranean web of passageways and bigger caverns to investigate. Those fossilised remains and rock formations – as well as the unusually thick halocline layer which you’ll find here – present opportunities for even seasoned cave divers to see something they haven’t yet come across.
Q. How deep is the cenote?
A. This cenote is 12 meters or 40 feet deep at its bottom. Q. What time of day is best to dive the cenote?
A. Any time during daylight is good in order to get the full effect of the light show. It’s the time of year which is really important at Tajma Ha. Q. Is the cenote freshwater or saltwater?
A. It contains both freshwater and saltwater which meet at the halocline layer. Q. Can I bring a camera into the cenote?
A. Definitely. The lighting effects, rock formations and various other stunning sights which Taj Mahal Cenote has to offer will leave you crying out for one otherwise!
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