Is there any difference between cenote cavern diving and ocean diving ?

Is there any difference between cenote cavern diving and ocean diving ?

Yes there is a difference between diving in a open water environment like the sea and overhead environment like cenote caverns.

The environment changes, the way of diving too:

  • The weight you carry changes

Because the water in more dense in the ocean than in the cenotes (which is clear water), the weight you carry won't be the same. Usually, you'll carry half the weight you use in the ocean

  • The technic changes

      • the buddy system doesn’t exist, 
      • the kick technique is different, 
      • the guide ratio is strictly 4:1 (4 divers /guide), 
      • the communication signs change and 
      • the “one third air consuming” rule is very important: 1/3 to enter, 1/3 to go out and the other 1/3 kept for any emergency (it’s easy to get lost). That means, the minimum tank pressure to exit cavern zone is 1000 psi or 80 bars.


For all these reasons (and many more), for your safety and to protect Cenotes’ formations, the diver, no matter how experienced he is, must pay attention to the guide’s briefing and to his indications underwater


  • The general rules and limits change  :


    •  NO snorkel, gloves, or knives
    •  max 4 divers per guide
    • no decompression diving max distance to open water : 67m/140ft-keep 
    • your light must be on during the entire dive
    • never pass under the guide line
    • no restrictions (area big enough for 2 divers to pass side by side)
    • always maintain a continuous guideline to the surface
    • follow the guide in a single line
    • keep your position and stay at least 1.5m /5ft from the diver in front of you
    • dive in horizontal position, bend your knees and use the frog-kick finning style


  • Communication is different as we communicate with light signs in cavern or cave dives

      • OK : circle
      • Attention: wave light slowly side to side
      • Emergency / Need Assistance: rapid waving of the light