While travelers know this area for its beaches, Yucatán cuisine and small boutiques, divers specifically PADI-certified cavern specialty divers know it for much, much more. Cenotes, portals to underground rivers, are where divers explore the Yucatán underworld. Some require jungle hikes to enter, but once you're in the water, where spears of light pierce water so clear it might as well be air, the consensus is that it's well worth the trip. Flooded caverns, such as the aptly named Gran Cenote, were "live caves" in the distant past, and cavern interiors are often decorated with delicate stalactites and stalagmites, and beautiful ribbon formations. It's as if Mother Nature decided to show off her geological side.
Likewise, the Great Maya Reef the world's second-largest barrier reef offers more than a mask-full of things to look at on every dive. Sites such as Pared Verde offer pristine queen angelfish, schools of yellowtail snappers and curious green morays. Hints of the past can be found all over the Riviera Maya it's in the underground rivers of the jungles and the waters of the sea, the relics of ancient civilizations, and now, in the stories of its diving a history that grows day by day.
Average Water Temp: 75-85°F
What to Wear: 3/2 mm fullsuit or shorty
Average Viz: 40-100 feet
When to Go: Year-round