With only 6 short days to enjoy on my recent trip to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula I was certain at least one of those days had to be spent scuba diving one of the many cenotes in the area. So After 4 days of diving and staying on the island of Cozumel, we awoke at dawn and took a shaky 40 minute ferry ride across the ocean to mainland Mexico’s touristy city 20 miles south of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen. Straight off the ferry we rushed our luggage down the city’s main street, 5th Avenue to our hotel. A short few block walk later we were on a bus to find our chosen dive guides in Akumal.

We arrived a short ride later to be greeted by friendly faces at Akumal Dive Shop. Our dive instructor for the day was Ismael, who is interestingly from Spain. He sat us down to explain what our first time cavern diving would be like, and we grew a bit anxious, but full of excitement. If you’re even a little bit claustrophobic or uncomfortable inside a normal cave, you can imagine diving in an underwater cave is definitely going to get your nerves going! At this point I’ve only been scuba diving for a little over a year, with roughly 45 or so ocean dives under my belt, but going inside a dark cave underwater is a totally new experience. The Akumal Dive Shop supplied us with all the equipment we needed (in excellent condition too, which isn’t always the case when you rent gear) and we were off!

After a 15 minute drive we arrive at Dos Ojos (Spanish for two eyes), which is actually two cenotes connected underwater. Dos Ojos features a bat cave, crystal clear freshwater, and a halocline where fresh and saltwater meet inside the depths of the cave. It’s shortly past noon and there’s already a few people snorkeling and in the water diving, but overall it’s not crowded. We suit up and head underwater for the first of our 2-tank dive. Following a yellow guide line and our small lights we slowly swim through the cavern and I’m instantly enjoying the cave’s immense beauty. After a short surface interval and some time spent getting to know Ismael we head back in for our 2nd dive and make our way to the bat cave.

On the way out I spotted an Iguana with a mouthful of frog legs!

After we arrived back in Akumal, we spend some time at the beach snorkeling before heading back to our hotel. All of the beaches I’ve seen in this part of Mexico have been beautiful, but on this sunny day Akumal’s was just stunning.

These dives are unbelievably beautiful and fun. Akumal Dive shop and divemaster Ismael did an outstanding job, and I would recommend them to anyone interested in a cenote dive.

A breakdown of the day’s costs:
Ferry from Cozumel to Playa: $13 USD per person.
Round trip bus ride from Playa to Akumal: $4 USD per person.
2 Tank Dive at Dos Ojos: $140 USD per person.