The Pit Cenote
The Pit Cenote, also known as Cenote El Pit, is one of the most popular cenotes in Tulum, Mexico. It is most famous for the deep diving opportunity that many experienced divers from all over the world travel to Mexico for. In fact, many visitors have claimed that the name of the cenote simply does not do it justice.
The Pit Cenote
The Pit Cenote might be an ordinary-sounding cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula. But don’t let the name fool you – it is one of the most mesmerizing cenotes you will encounter, especially if you choose to dive it down. It got its name because of the topography in this cave that makes it a perfect spot to go to for diving enthusiasts.
The Pit is a massive sinkhole that is located in the middle of a deep jungle. This cenote is an upstream branch of the Dos Ojos river system. This is known as the deepest cenote in Quintana Roo state with a maximum depth of 119 meters. If you are seeking out adventure dives, this must be on your itinerary!
Also known as the “Sacred Cenote”, The Pit is part of the ancient Mayan civilization stories. According to Mayan mythology, the sinkhole is like a gateway to the other world. Ancient Mayans offered sacrifices to the 60-meter wide hole as a form of worship.
Today, The Pit Cenote is frequented by tourists who want to swim or go deep diving. But it is also flocked by geologists and speleologists who wanted to study the species and rock formations that are found within the cave and those underwater. The impressive geological conditions have resulted in the formation of numerous grottoes that are linked to each other.
The entire cave system that is part of The Pit Cenote is known as the third largest in the world. The entire cave system is about 319 kilometers long. Meanwhile, the bottom of the cenote is filled with sulphur compounds. The uppermost layer of water is crystal clear that you can easily see the vegetation and fish that swim around.
- Opening hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
- Entrance fee:
- Good for Scuba diving: Yes, great
- Good for swimming: Yes, but limited
- Facilities: Yes, limited
- Car parking: Yes
The most distinctive feature of The Pit Cenote is the 100-foot pillar of light that illuminates from the ceiling of the cavern. This light illuminates the halocline and gas cloud layers, which creates a picturesque scene, particularly those into underwater photography or deep diving. For this reason, many dive enthusiasts have called it the “Dream Dive”.
At the surface, The Pit Cenote looks like one large pit that is oval in shape and measures 10 meters in diameter. But deep inside, it is much bigger. It is a larger cylindrical cavern that features an overhang of stalactite formations. This is why many claim that the real beauty of the Pit Cenote can be seen underwater.
This is part of the reason why diving is recommended for those who are visiting The Pit Cenote. But depending on your training, only a diving depth of up to 40 meters is allowed (though it can be as deep as 119 meters). Make sure you book dive centers to provide you with the gear you need as there are no rental facilities in the area.
At 12 meters in depth, the fresh and salt water will start to mix. This means that there is poor visibility on this water level. This is because of the way light refracts as the two waters combine. Aside from being deep, the cenote offers multiple passages that can be explored to find other rooms that are connected to The Pit.
According to experts, the best time to dive The Pit is during sunny days. As for the time of day, late morning to early afternoon is recommended. If you bring a camera to the cenote, take note that small underwater cameras free. Meanwhile, there is an extra charge if you bring large, professional cameras.
The water in the cenote has an annual average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Pit Cenote is part of the Dos Ojos National Park. It is about 22 kilometers to the north of Tulum or 54 kilometers to the south of Playa del Carmen. You can hire a taxi cab or drive yourself to the cenote.
It is easily accessible because there are large signs along the highway to indicate where you need to go to find Dos Ojos Cenote. Turn towards the direction of the sign and follow the road until you reach the entrance.
WHERE TO STAY
Tulum is the closest tourist hub to The Pit Cenote. Therefore, this is the best place to find accommodations for when you want to visit the cenote.
There are also many other cenotes located near Tulum, which makes it an even better option if you plan on visiting more than one.
If you love adventure and culture, this tour in Riviera Maya will not disappoint. Enjoy this opportunity to explore the Mayan jungle to find important archaeological ruins that are linked to one of the greatest ancient civilizations in the world.
You will also get to explore and swim in the many cenotes that are linked to the underground Mayan river. It gives you the opportunity to cool off and marvel at the unique formations that the cenotes have to offer.
Learn about the history of the Mayan civilization. Embark on this tour that will take you through many important archaeological sites in Tulum. A certified guide is available to share some history about these sites.
Your tour will also include a visit to one of many sacred sinkholes in the area, which could include The Pit Cenote and other cenotes that are connected to it.