Looking to explore hidden secrets in caverns and caves around the world?
Two best known areas to do so are in Mexico and Florida. If you just want a peek you can take a guided cavern tour. If you prefer to go cavern diving with a buddy or want to venture into cave diving, you’ll need to get certified first.
The National Association of Cave Diving offers certification courses starting with the cavern course, then intro-to-cave after which you can move up to full cave and eventually become a cave diving instructor should you wish to do so.
PADI also offers only a Cavern Diver course. To take this program, you need to be at least a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (Advanced Plus or equivalent) and be 18 years of age.
- NACD (National Association of Cave Diving)
- National Spelelological Society, Cave Diving Section
Cenotes in Mexico
The vast Cenotes (caves) in the Yucatan Penisnula of Mexico offer divers a chance to enter history underwater. From cavern divers right through to cave explorers, the area is so rich in natural beauty you will find it hard to return without the area having a lasting effect on you. The cave formations here are some of the world’s finest. Several thousand years ago during the ice age, the Cenotes dried out and massive formations and flowstones formed.
The Stalagmite and Stalactites can be as thick as a tree and sometimes over 20 feet in length. Gradually as the ice melted the caves filled back up again. Mexico has a history dating back to around 50,000 BC, and evidence of the Mayan culture from 1000 AD is still being found. Large temples are prominent all along the coast showing signs of civilisation. The Cenotes were the backbone of the Mayan culture. They provided water and shelter.
With visibility in excess of 100m and some of the world’s largest rooms, this cenotes are pretty incredible to dive. With a minimum temperature of around 25 degrees, 5 to 7 mm wetsuits provide adequate insulation. Air temperature is well into the thirties most of the year round.
Florida Caves, USA
Florida is well known among cave divers for its classic deep water sites such as Eagles nest, Diepolder 1+2, and Wakulla Springs.
Dordogne Caves, France