Tulum’s Hidden Gem: the Cenote Calavera Diving Hole

The Cenote Calavera in Tulum, Mexico is a sinkhole filled with water | © Culture Trip
Photo of Jason Palmer
3 September 2021

Cenote Calavera is one of the most popular diving holes in the world today. Located just outside Tulum in Mexico, this incredible swimming spot is the result of a naturally occurring sinkhole and is enjoyed by thrillseekers all year round.

Despite being one of the closest cenotes to town, Calavera Cenote is relatively under the radar, less busy than other tourist spots and a tad quieter. This means more time for peaceful exploring. After a short walk from the parking lot on the main highway, start your journey by cliff jumping to gain access to the sinkhole.

Cenote Calavera is one of the most popular diving holes in the world | © Culture Trip

What’s on offer when you get to Cenote Calavera

Once you’re in, a hand-painted sign attached to a tree tells you to jump here, along with an arrow pointing down. It’s as clear of a sign as you’ll get. This is where the fun really begins.

Apart from the main opening, there are a number of smaller holes that allow thrillseekers to drop into the water below. The depth directly under the entrance is 15ft-20ft (5m-6m). When you land, you instantly notice the beautiful turquoise hues and the water’s clarity. Wooden ladders are perched on the sides of the holes so that you can climb up and jump again to your heart’s content.

The lagoon, located just outside Tulum, is a popular site for divers, with a number of underwater caverns and tunnels to explore. It’s also a hotspot for swimmers chasing warm waters and a more relaxing time. Make sure you have your selfie stick and GoPro at the ready because it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Mexico. All that’s left for you to decide is who to take the plunge with.

Staying safe at Cenote Calavera

As with every natural wonder, a level of care and attention is required to get the most from your visit. Be warned that there are no lifeguards watching over the people who come to swim or jump. With no supervision, it can be a while before emergency help gets to Cenote Calavera, so be clever and don’t take any undue risks. If you have an opportunity to hire a qualified cave diver or instructor to be your guide, the whole trip will be even more rewarding (and safer).

Exploring Cenote Calavera requires a good level of physical fitness, so make sure you’re in the right shape mentally and physically before you take on the journey. When you are ready to jump, watch out for divers surfacing and others casually swimming in the water below. It doesn’t get too packed but because some of the holes are quite small, a few people can feel like a lot of bodies.

Some of the holes are quite thin, necessitating only one jumper at a time. Watch your head because it’s easy to knock into the rock face if you mistime your leap. Let’s hope you’re not claustrophobic either because Cenote Calavera is small in total area.

Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip to Mexico? Join our nine-day adventure through the Yucatán Peninsula – led by local guides to guarantee the most authentic experience.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"