Cenote El Pit

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The Dream Dive – Deep Diving in The Pit Cenote

The name might be uninspiring. But the dive is anything but that. Diving in the Pit Cenote in Mexico is one of the best dives on the Yucatan Peninsula. With a stunning 100-foot pillar of light illuminating the halocline and gas cloud layers, the effects of the illumination in this underwater cave really have to be seen to be believed. There’s a reason why it’s known as the “Dream Dive” around the diving community. On sunny days, the light show in the vast cenote is absolutely mesmerizing.

The Deep Exceptional Dive in the Pit

Cenote Diving in El Pit with Ko’ox is a 1-tank dive and the temperature of the water is a cool 78°F / 25°C. We will go down to 100 feet, approximately 30 meters. It is suitable for advanced divers and most often combined with 2 dives in Dos Ojos – Barbie line & Bat Cave as 3 Cenote Dives Full Day Adventure.

How to get to The Pit Cenote

El Pit Map

El Pit Cenote is located 15 minutes’ drive from the Ko’ox Diving Shop. It is around 22km north of Tulum and 54km south of Playa del Carmen along the road which links the two towns. The cenote itself is located in Dos Ojos Natural Park, itself well worth exploring. All you need to do is follow the signs for Dos Ojos Cenote along the highway and turn when indicated. Once you’ve signed in and paid, carry on into the park along the road past Dos Ojos Cenote (although this is also definitely worth checking out if you have time) until you see the sign for “The Pit”. After this, the road becomes more of a track than anything else, but don’t worry – you’re going the right way! Around 10-15 minutes further on you’ll reach the small facilities around the opening down into the first cavern. Here you can park and there are dive tables for each parking space so you can put your gear together.

Scuba Diving in The Pit Cenote

A closely guarded secret until quite recently, access to the cavern is becoming easier all the time. As recently as 2010 there was very little support for anyone other than the most intrepid of divers. A hike through the jungle was necessary to reach the entrance, whereupon you’d have to swing down a rope or go through a short but difficult climb to get into the water. Today, however, there is greatly simplified access and increased facilities.

Check the prices for Cenote Adventures

Cenotes – from Tulum Price Duration Get this tour
👌🏼Full Day Adventure: Best of Tulum Cenotes – 3 Dives🌴 267USD 8am – 4:30pm Book Now
2 Cenote Dives from Tulum 204USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
1 Cenote Dive from Tulum 174USD 1:30-4:30pm Book Now
🌿Tulum’s Best for certified divers: 1 Cenote Dive + 1 Ocean Dive 🐠 174USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
🌿Best for non-divers: PADI Discover Scuba Diving Casa Cenote + Snorkel Dos Ojos 🌿 204USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
PADI Discover Scuba Diving 2 dives: 1 Cenote + 1 Ocean Dive from Tulum 184USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
Full PADI Open water course: 5 Dives + E-learning from Tulum 564USD 3 days Book Now
PADI Open Water Diver Course + 2 Dives in Dos Ojos from Tulum + E-learning 684USD 3 days Book Now
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course from Tulum + E-learning 534USD 3 days Book Now
1 Cave dive from Tulum 204USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
2 Cave dives from Tulum 264USD 8am – 3:30pm Book Now
2 Cenotes Snorkel: Dos Ojos & Casa Cenote from Tulum 124USD 8am – 12:30pm Book Now
2 Snorkel Locations from Tulum 124USD 8am – 12:30pm Book Now
1 Cenote Fun Freedive from Tulum 144USD 8am – 12pm Book Now
2 Cenote Fun Freedives from Tulum 214USD 8am – 2pm Book Now
SSI Discovery Freediving – 1 dive 154USD 8am – 12pm Book Now
🐊Crocodile Night Dive Cenote Tour from Tulum🐊 214USD 6:30pm-10pm Book Now
🐊Crocodile Night Snorkel Cenote Tour from Tulum🐊 164USD 6:30pm-10pm Book Now
Cenotes – from Playa del Carmen Price Duration Get this tour
2 Cenote Dives from Playa 204USD 8am – 2:30pm Book Now
3 Cenote Dives from Playa 267USD 8am – 4:30pm Book Now
🌿PROMO: Playa Del Carmen’s Best for certified divers: 1 Cenote Dive + 1 Ocean Dive🐠 174USD 8am – 1pm Book Now
🌿Best for non-divers: PADI Discover Scuba Diving Casa Cenote + Snorkel Dos Ojos🌿 204USD 8am – 2pm Book Now
PADI Discover Scuba Diving: 1 Cenote Dive + 1 Ocean Dive from Playa 184USD 8am – 1:30pm Book Now
Full PADI Open water course – 5 Dives + E-learning 564USD 2-3 days Book Now
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course from Playa + E-learning 534USD 3 days Book Now
2 Snorkel Locations Tour from Playa 124USD 8am – 12:30pm Book Now
1 Cenote Fun Freedive from Playa 144USD 8am-12pm Book Now
2 Cenote Fun Freedives from Playa 214USD 8am-2pm Book Now
SSI Discovery Freediving – 1 dive 154USD 8am – 12pm Book Now
🐊Crocodile Night Dive Cenote Tour from Playa🐊 214USD 6:30pm-10pm Book Now
🐊Crocodile Night Snorkel Cenote Tour from Playa🐊 164USD 6:30pm-10pm Book Now

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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 from our dive shop in Tulum or Playa del Carmen
High-quality dive equipment rental: full dive gear set and torches
Free GoPro & video lights rental – upon request – please mind that there might be Go pro usage charge for some cenotes
Prices are fixed, regardless of the number of people in the group.

We will provide you with all the necessary equipment for this dive: a full dive gear set and if you need a Go-Pro camera, to record your adventure, please let us know in advance. Please mind that there might be a Go pro usage charge for some cenotes.

Certification: you need to have an advanced open water certificate or show proof that you have done deep dives.

The Topography of El Pit Cenote

From the surface, The Pit is an oval-shaped hole in the ground with steps leading down into the water. While still on or near the surface you can see stalactites on the ceiling beneath the overhang and make out where a waterfall may have flowed through the wall when the water level was far lower than it is now. You can also see some small remains left behind by an archaeological team that found some bones and a skull in the cave dating to around 10 000 years ago.

Underwater, El Pit is one of the deepest cenotes in the area – it’s the deepest part of the huge Sistema Dos Ojos, which is the third-largest underwater cave system in the world. Shaped something like a giant hourglass, the first cave drops to around 120 feet in depth. It’s been remarked many times that you could fit an entire jumbo jet inside this first cavern with room to spare. When you’re down there, the empty space feels truly immense. After you pass through a narrower section, you reach another chamber – the Wakulla room – which falls away to nearly another 300 feet below the surface. This isn’t usually part of the dive which you’ll have with us, though – the main points of interest are in the first cavern:

The halocline layer

Diving in the Pit

Around 40-60 feet down in the first chamber is the halocline, the line where the fresh water and saltwater meet. Here your view gets very interesting because of the way the light beams break apart in different ways as the waters meet.

You might have some difficulty taking pictures when you’re actually inside this layer as camera lenses don’t seem to handle the effect well, but if you’re looking up from beneath the halocline, it’s easy to take a beautiful image or three – or a dozen.

The light show in El Pit is one of its biggest draws. And to the naked eye, the play of the light is wondrous.

The cloud layer

Below the halocline, around 100 feet down, is a cloud of hydrogen sulfur. This makes for a murky, eerie sight as you pass through it, made even more so by the floating detritus-like branches and fallen rocks that can loom out of the gloom. A small distance beneath this layer is the rocky bottom of the first cavern.

The light show in El Pit

The halocline and acid cloud layers lend some serious interest to the dive. But the light which penetrates the cavern from the top right down to the cloud layer 100 feet beneath is truly awe-inspiring. Best seen on sunny days and admired from some distance below the surface, the view is one of the best to be found cave diving in Mexico.

FAQs

Q. How long is the dive?
A. Around 40 minutes.
Q. How deep will we go?
A. Though the cavern stretches some distance beneath, we will go down to 100 feet. This is deep enough to see the stunning pillar of light which is one of the most talked-about features of El Pit, as well as the intriguing halocline layer and hydrogen sulfur cloud.
Q. How far can I see when we get down there?
A. Visibility in El Pit stretches to around 100 feet and often more.
Q. Is there an entrance fee?
A. Yes, and it’s already included in the tour.
Q. Can I park?
A. Yes, there are parking spaces.
Q. Are there a bathroom and showers?
A. Yes, there is an ecological bathroom and showers.
Q. Can I buy food and drinks there?
A. No, there’s no shop at the cenote.
Q. How easy is it to get into the cenote?
A. Very easy. There are some nice stairs leading down into the water and a small area of decking to enable easier access. A rope and pulley system ensure that equipment can be raised and lowered out independently. It’s considered polite to tip the person providing this service.

Recommendations:

Dive time: 40 minutes
Dive Depth: up to 100 feet / 30 meters
Temperature: 78°F / 25°C
Tanks: 1 dive
Certification: Advanced open water or show proof that you have done deep dives.
Bathrooms: Yes, ecological
Parking: Yes
Entrance fee: Yes
Snorkeling: Yes
Visibility: 100 meters +

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