Diving in Tulum, Jumping into Cenote Calavera

Landed alright in Calavera Cenote

Pesky little fishies in Cenote Calavera

Better tie the line off, it looks dark in here

Awesome light effects in Cenote Calavera

More impressive light effects in Cenote Calavera

Interesting rock in Cenote Calavera

Light beam from Cenote Calavera entrance in algae season

Photos by Will Fogo and Thomas Horst

Cenote Calavera or Temple of Doom

Mayan Head

Guided Calavera Dive: One of the Great Tulum Cenote Dives

Maya Diving has been providing guided Cenote Diving trips to Calavera since the year 2000. Come to Tulum and experience this underwater wonder of the Mayan world for yourself.

Maya Diving in TulumMaya Diving in Tulum

The Location

Cenote Calavera is located about 5 minutes drive west of Tulum and is surrounded by Jungle. Calavera is tha Spanish word for skull. There is a human skull deep inside the cave, thus the name. In English this cenote is known as Temple of Doom for the same reason I guess. Parking is almost right beside the Coba highway, just a few kilometers from town. We gear up and have a thorough briefing then hike about 100 M into the jungle along a rocky pathway.

The Dive

You're kidding me, I'm supposed to jump into that big hole. Ok, here goes, a three meter drop and crash splash. After a check it seems all your gear is in place and no injuries, I guess it's only water after all.
From the surface, looking down you can see rock and debris piled up in a roughly conical shape the top of which is less than 2 meters deep. Everybody does a quick buoyancy check checks all their gear and air pressure and the return pressure is set for everybody.
With an ok you begin your descent,at first it seems you are in a fairly small area, but as you follow your guide as he sets down the reference line you see that the cave angles out from the middle with the roof line roughly parallel with the floor.
We follow the floor and it drops off quite quickly and suddenly everything goes all blurry and you almost lose sight of the other divers and the line. Am I having a stroke or is something wrong with my eyes? No it's just the halocline messing up things, wow is that ever strange. We drop below the halocline and the water is noticably warmer and clear again. The guide points out some cool rocks and we continue on around a circuit of the cenote. Here and there we get more views of that awesome light beam from the entrance and get to play around in the halocline some more. Check out how the light refracts and bounces off of it and around. Remind me, what planet are we on?.
The guide gives the thumbs up and we head slowly for the surface. I check my computer and max depth was 52 ft and time is at 35 minutes. After a safety stop playing with the fishies we surface and clamber up the ladder and return to the truck.
Now that was another diving adventure that I will never forget.


No special qualifications are required for cavern diving.
Dive trips for the cenotes including Calavera leave the shop at 9:15 am and 2:15 pm daily.

Take a look at a sample some of the other cenote dives we offer, Cenote Dos Ojos or Cenote Angelita.
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