El Pit is probably my all-time favorite for diving. There isn’t much for snorkelers here, and not much of a opening, but the diving in awesome. Huge light shafts beam through the crystal clear waters all the way to the bottom. It’s incredible. There is a half cavern indention to one side where you can follow the wall, and see the light beams from the surface. Great dive site.
For more cenotes, check out our comprehensive guide to 62 of the best Cenotes in Mexico. There you will see the most popular cenotes you can visit in the Yukatan, as well as a lot of lesser known yet still incredible ones.
How to get to Pit Cenote
The Pit Cenote is located near Dos Ojos cenote, about 22km north of Tulum. There are signs along the highway for “Dos Ojos Cenote”, and you should follow this road until you reach the entrance building. Here you can pay the entrance fee, and dive fee, for both Dos Ojos and Pit. If you are diving with a dive center, they will handle the fees for you.
Pit Cenote Information
- Opening hours: Pit Cenote can be visited daily between 8AM–5PM
- Entrance fee: $25 USD to visit Pit
- Good for Scuba diving: Yes, great
- Good for swimming: Yes, but limited
- Facilities: no
- Car parking: Yes
Want to see what it’s like diving into the Pit?
Exactly what is a cenote?
A cenote is formed, usually from limestone, when caves or channels are carved through the rock, forming underground rivers. As rain water seeps into the layers of sandstone, it slowely erodes channels toward the ocean. Eventually they grow bigger and bigger, and in some spots giant caves are formed, along with stalagmites.
In the Mexico, cenotes are only found in the Yukatan, and it is believed that is because a meteorite hit there millions of years ago, and created a thick layer of sandstone there. Since then water has been creating the underground rivers, caves, caverns and cenotes we see today.
After the ice age, these caves and channels that were mostly dry, filled with water, which is why we have vast cave systems through the Yukatan, and in spots deep underwater you can still find skeletons of long dead land animals. Such as the extinct North American camel and giant ground sloth.
Cenotes range from between 66 million years and 13 thousand years old. The actual cenote is formed when the roof of a cave or wide underground river caves in, exposing it to the sun, and letting us in. As you can see from the photo above, the whole system isn’t called a cenote, just the opening area from the collapsed ceiling.
So all “cenotes” you visit might be cenotes, but when you dive deep into them, you are diving into caverns and cave systems, not only the cenote itself. And for most, this is a memory of a lifetime.
Cenote Car wash