The Cenotes of the Maya Riviera
I recently got a sweet
assignment for Sport Diver Magazine to spend a week
diving the Yucatan region known as the Riviera
Maya--an area south of Cancun. It has some very
nice reef diving, a lot like Cozumel except without
the walls. It also has something incredibly
unique...cenote diving. Basically, cenotes are
places where the ground has fallen in to reveal
underground rivers. The Yucatan has no rivers above
ground. All the water in the region flows under the
surface of the Earth. Without light, nothing grows
in the water, and the visibility exceeds 200 feet.
It really is just like diving in air.
I have always wondered what
could possess anyone to become a cave diver. It's
dark, dangerous and claustrophobic! But it's
beautiful beyond words and pictures. My first
glimpse into Dos Ojos cenote convinced me that
there was something to this cave diving
I would love to tell you all
about it, but you will have to wait for the Sport
Diver story. I'll keep you posted.
Chris Stanton, my dive guide to Dos Ojos, swims
through a room. The vsibility is so good that it
seems like air.
Here, Chris illuminates stalactites hanging from
the ceiling. The slightest buoyancy problem could
break hundreds of stalactites that took millions of
years to form.
Chris Stanton (L) and Cathryn Castle assist in
lighting the interior of a huge room in Dos Ojos. I
never understood why anyone would want to dive in
caves until I had the chance to see this
Chris examines some smaller stalactites.