Casa Cenote is a popular dive site located near Tulum. This stunning cenote is an open water cave, meaning it has no roof and the entrance resembles a sinkhole. What makes this particular cenote, so special is its abundance of colorful life – you can find anything from fish to turtles, barracudas, and crocodiles.
Casa Cenote is a unique, expansive, open body of water surrounded by the Yucatan Peninsula’s mangrove field. It provides divers and snorkelers with an incredible experience as you’re enveloped in the jungle below you. What makes this cenote even more special is its connection to Sistema Sac Aktun (partially Nohoch Nah Chich), one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world. With its spacious areas, Casa Cenote offers both diving and snorkeling opportunities that few other places can match.
About the Casa Cenote dive site
Casa Cenote presents itself in a fascinating and winding “L” shape, snaking its way through the dense vegetation of the jungle for an impressive 250 yards.
The glimmering, emerald-green waters and the tropical mangrove forest will give you beautiful memories that last a lifetime. You can explore hidden natural caves in the jungle while admiring Mayan flora and fauna – making Casa Cenote an excellent destination for diving or snorkeling all year round.
Casa Cenote, more commonly referred to as Cenote Manati (Manatee) in Tulum, earned its moniker from the manatees that frequently visited it many years ago. Though sightings of these creatures are now quite rare, you still may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse today.
The dive site Casa Cenote is located on Tankah Tres Bay in Mexico,10 km north of Tulum. It can also be reached from the 70 km distant Playa del Carmen.
There is an entrance fee of 200 pesos per diver.
What’s to see at Casa Cenote?
An ideal destination for those who adore aquatic life, this long and thin cenote is renowned for its hundreds of little fish like guppies, platys, and mollies. The mangrove forest is the perfect habitat for these species.
The warm seawater and the cool fresh water of the cenote create a unique blend known as halocline, which is visible at different depths. Moreover, this heavenly amalgamation allows for an astonishingly plentiful array of marine life to flourish – from blue swimming crabs to green moray eels and barracudas. Even snapper and tarpon fish are found in abundance! It’s no wonder that diving enthusiasts flock here often; it truly offers one-of-a-kind sights like nowhere else on Earth. Majestic rocks, laden with lush mosses and vibrant green algae, adorn the bottom of the cenote. But there is much more to behold outside its waters too!
One special encounter for most recreational scuba divers is crocodiles. Casa Cenote is home to Moreletii crocodiles. One croc in particular – Panchito is the mascot of this dive site.
Crocodiles at Casa Cenote in Tulum
Casa Cenote is also renowned for its mascot, Panchito. This Moreletii crocodile, who measures almost two meters in length and loves to bask in the sun, can be spotted living among the mangroves of this cenote. Juveniles often seek out shelter from predators by residing within densely covered areas; interestingly enough, coastal brackish waters found at many cenotes are just such an ideal habitat for young Moreletii crocodiles.
This species can be found in the eastern coastal regions of Mexico, from the Yucatán Peninsula to Belize and Guatemala. Their scales are equipped with specialized sense organs that allow them to detect changes in salinity, pressure, and vibrations. They have a maximum lifespan of up to 65 years and usually go hunting during the night. Younger individuals feed on primarily fish as well as some invertebrates, while more mature specimens consume a wider range of prey including turtles, birds, lizards, etc.
It is safe to dive with the crocodile here, but keep your distance and follow the safety instructions from your scuba dive master and guide.
Dive site brief: Casa Cenote, Tulum, Mexico
The dive at Casa Cenote is a single-tank dive with a maximum depth of 20 feet (8 meters), which makes it great for all levels of scuba divers. Divers must obtain the Open Water certification to dive at Casa Cenote, or can book a discovery dive with your scuba operator. You won’t need a cavern specialty. Casa Cenote is an open cenote, meaning it has an open sky. In fact, many open water courses take place at Casa Cenote for training.
However, it is recommended to have good buoyancy. The difference between salt and fresh water has its impact on divers’ buoyancy.
Beyond the marine life and scenery in itself, experienced divers can take advantage of multiple swim throughs including mangrove tunnels and rocky overhangs.
The water temperature is on average between 25 – 30 C, making it ideal for a shorty wetsuit dive.
The visibility is usually very good between 10 – 20 m.
The dive usually starts at one end of the “L” shaped formation and takes about 40 – 60 minutes.