The road is long and winding, through dense Yucatan jungle from which emerges the occasional iguana or small indigenous mammals, such as a coatimundi or a fox. Finally appears a discreet right-hand turn.
There deep in the jungle is a literal pit; a hole in the ground with the water’s surface about 7 meters below.
The Pit is the deepest known cave in the Yucatan, with a maximum depth of 119 meters, though the typical recreational dive is held hovering above 30 meters.
Within this depth is a wealth of underwater treasures to behold.
My favorite way to dive the Pit is to really take it slow, fighting your adrenaline, sinking gradually along the wall of the cenote, slipping through the halocline into the salt water, and then settling just above the wisp of the hydrogen-sulfide cloud.
I then swim away from the open water, into the deep cavernous zone, only to turn around to catch the luminous light rays that pierce straight down to depth, causing a sharp silhouette of the impressive stalactites that reach down from the lip of the cavern ceiling.
This view provides a sense of the sheer scale of the cenote, which when seen from above provides very little indication of the massive amplitude that is found below. It rightfully earns a place on most divers’ best dives lists.
The Author: Sarah Pulitzer, dive instructor and cave diver in Tulum, Mexico.