OPEN WATER DIVING:
Water temperatures vary between 26C in winter to 29C during the summer.
(79F – 85F) We use a 3mm full or shorty wet suit but we often see
people from colder climates who are very comfortable with nothing
more than a T-shirt.
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boat dock is located in the village center a short 10 minute walk
from Brisa Caribe or any of the other Puerto Aventuras rentals that
we represent. The reef starts as soon as you leave the marina
and continues up and down the coast so you never have a long boat
ride to the dive sites. There are 3 main reef systems in front of
Puerto Aventuras. The shallow
reef, which runs at around 8–10 meters depth (25–33 feet). The
middle reef, at about 15–20 meters depth (50–65 feet), and the outer
reef/wall starting around 30–40 meters (100-135 feet), then dropping
off well beyond the limits of even the most advanced techie diver.
With the sites being so close, the dive operators normally only go
out on single tank dives. If you want to make two dives, you can be
dropped off at a restaurant between dives. Most dives
are drift dives in mild to medium strong current.
At the other rentals we represent outside of Puerto Aventuras you will
still be very close to diving but need a car to get to the nearest dive
shop. There are dive shops in Akumal, Tankha and Tulum offering
both ocean and cenote diving as well as training.
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can make shore dives from in front of Brisa Caribe. However, we restrict
this to more experienced divers and insist on providing a Dive Master/Guide
since the entry/exit, currents and navigation can be tricky at times.
If you are planning to do some shore diving, a full wet suit, open
heel fins with booties and a pair of gloves, are recommended.
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At night the ocean looks completely different. Not only does
exploring this world through a flashlight change the colors, but many
sea creatures are nocturnal and so only come out of hiding at night. You
will also discover that some of the fish, which are active during the
day, are sleeping at night and so sometimes more approachable. Most of
the dive shops require a minimum number of divers to run night diving so
check in with them early in the week.
Deep Diving (Technical)
Ever wanted to try mixed gasses, a rebreather, planned decompression?
We will put you together with a very qualified instructor with all
the equipment necessary to walk you safely through every step of the
learning curve. The deep diving programs he can offer will prepare
and lead you on both deep ocean walls and fresh water sink hole dives.
With our warm, clear, tropical waters, fabulous cenotes and walls
that never end, you will be hard pressed to find a location to experience
deep, technical diving any better than this.
The open water diving in Cozumel is spectacular. Most of the diving
is within a National Park so ocean life is greater than you will find
on the mainland side. You will also find many coral formations to
swim through and much stronger currents because of the island’s position
to the trade winds. With over 100 dive operations running out
of Cozumel the level of safety and service varies greatly. We have
checked out over 20 operators and come up with a couple we think are
safe, competent and fun to dive with. We are happy to
recommend them to our guests.
CAVERN & CAVE DIVING:
This is something the Yucatan Peninsula is famous for and the main
reason we attract divers from around the world. While visiting the
Mayan Riviera you must try at least one cavern dive. There are numerous dive sites very close so drive
times are usually under a half-hour. The water temperature is normally
around 24C (76F). We recommend the use of a full 3mm – 5mm wet suit.
(see Area Attractions, Heading South
for more information on some of the cenotes.)
ABOUT DIVING IN CAVES & CAVERNS:
You may have heard the terms cave and cavern used while discussing
diving and are wondering what the difference is. In diving circles,
a “cave” is the term used to describe an underground passageway which
is flooded. The “cavern” zone is the word used when describing the
area within a cave that is visible to natural light and/or no further
than 60 meters (200 feet) from some where you can surface and breath
air without the aid of scuba equipment. The most obvious difference
between diving in open water and in a cave or cavern is the overhead
environment. Without the ability to surface any where or any time you
choose, safety, planning, navigation and the ability to see where
you are going, become of paramount importance. For all of these reasons,
additional training and equipment are required when diving in an overhead
Wanting divers to safely experience the wonders of this underwater
world without the rigors and expense of becoming fully cave certified
and equipped, the diving community has made the “cavern dive” distinction.
In the Mayan Riviera, instructors who are fully cave certified divers,
have been trained to lead open water trained divers into the “cavern
zone.” These cavern guides in addition to showing you this wonderful
underwater world, will provide you with a short safety orientation
and briefing on diving in an overhead environment, how not to disturb
the cave and the use of lights to communicate.
If you are open water certified, have good buoyancy control and are
comfortable under water, then you qualify to explore this exciting
world under the supervision of a certified cavern guide.
If you like diving, then you should not miss the opportunity to try
a cavern dive. If you really like it you may even want to take a cavern
or cave certification course.
ABOUT CENOTES (say-no-tays)
Cenotes are doorways to the underground caves and river systems common
to this area and therefore very important to the scuba diver wishing
to explore this marvelous underworld. Besides being a source of fresh
water, many of these were considered sacred to the ancient Mayans
who believed that their gods lived within them. Xibalba (she-ball-ba)
was the name the Mayans gave to their underworld and the entrance
to it was through a cenote. Some Mayans still believe that their god
Kukulcan will rise again from the depths of a great cenote. The word
cenote is derived from the Mayan word 'Dzonot' which means sacred
well. Perhaps the most well known cenote to non-Mayans is “The Sacrificial
Well” at Chichen Itza where evidence of human sacrifice has captured
You may note as you explore the Riviera Maya area of the Yucatan,
that there are no surface rivers. All of the fresh water flows from
inland to the sea through underground caves or rivers. To understand
how this came about, you need to understand a little about the geologic
history of the Yucatan.
At one time the entire Yucatan was under the sea. There is evidence
today of this everywhere in the form of dead coral and limestone outcrops.
During the last Ice Age, water levels of the world's oceans were on
average 100 meters or 330 feet lower than their present day levels.
This receding of the oceans is what exposed the corals and limestone.
Rain water, as it falls from the sky upon the limestone bedrock, mixes
with carbon dioxide to form a weak solution called carbonic acid.
As this mixture seeks the water table below the surface, it dissolves
the limestone. Over the course of many thousands of years caves and
passageways are formed. The same beautiful passageways and formations
that one might encounter in a dry cave such as stalactites, stalagmites,
columns and halactites, are all present here in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The difference, is that most of the ones here are under water.
With the passing of the Ice Age, the planet warmed up, rivers and
lakes were created and the oceans eventually rose again until they
reached their current level. Some of this additional water migrated
beneath the surface and through the porous limestone rock raising
the water table and flooding the caves and passageways.
The actual cenotes or openings are created when the limestone ceiling
of the cave collapses, thereby exposing the cavern, or cave chamber
to the world. The crystal clear water, stalactites and stalagmites
make them beautiful to explore and easy to understand the Mayans respect
As you head south from Puerto Aventuras there are numerous cenotes
scattered along the coast and into the jungle. All of these are interesting,
some are beautiful to swim and snorkel in, while others are better
suited to visit as a scuba diver on a guided cavern tour or as a fully
certified cave diver.
Please remember to help protect the fragile eco system by not wearing
sunscreen lotion or mosquito repellent into the waters or touching
the formations. You are not allowed, nor should you even contemplate
entering a cenote with scuba equipment unless you are with a certified
cave or cavern guide.
Discover Scuba Diving:
Designed to permit individuals to experience scuba diving in the ocean
under direct supervision. The program requires approx. 1 hour of theory
followed by a similar time in the pool learning and demonstrating basic
skills prior to entering the ocean for a dive. Gives a temporary
certification valid for 2 weeks, allowing you to dive with an Instructor
or Dive Master, to a maximum depth of 12 meters (40 feet). Min. age 10.
Course includes use of all equipment.
individuals who do not have the time to complete the full “open water
diver certification” but want to begin their training and start diving.
Approx. 4 hours of classroom work, plus 4-6 hours of pool work, followed
by 2 ocean dives where you demonstrate your skills. Upon successful
completion you will receive a permanent certification allowing you to
dive to 12 meters (40 feet), under the supervision of an Instructor or
Dive Master. Valid for 1 year towards “open water diver certification”
Min. age 10.
Open Water Diver:
This is probably the most popular diving course in the world. It will
provide you with a permanent certification to dive with a buddy, independent
of supervision to a maximum depth of 18 meters (60 feet). A minimum
of 31 hours of classroom, pool and open water training is required.
If you want to save some your precious holiday time for diving and
other activities, the classroom and pool work can be done with your
local PADI school who can make a “Direct Referral” to have your open
water training completed here. Or you can do the classroom work at home
at your own leisure and then do the tests, pool and open water training
here with us, which will get you in the water sooner after you arrive.
Min. age 15.
Junior Open Water Diver:
same course curriculum and training as the “open water diver” but
available to a Min. age of 10. Restricted to dive under direct
supervision of a Dive Master or Instructor and to a maximum depth of 12
meters (40 feet). It is recommended that a legal age family member
accompany the student by taking the course with them.
Advanced Open Water Diver:
Provides the novice diver with a structured, supervised means to gain
additional experience by participating in various underwater tasks
that broaden awareness of the environment and diving capabilities.
The course is comprised of 5 open water training dives that orient
students to fundamentals of advanced diving.
Each student is required
to complete a dive that focuses on underwater navigation and deep
diving, and is then given a selection of electives from which to chose
3 specialized dive activities (night diving, boat diving, multilevel
diving, drift diving, peak performance buoyancy, search and recovery,
photography, underwater naturalist, etc.) Prerequisite of “PADI open
water diver or equivalent”.
Minimum of 15 hours of training including theory, some pool work and
5 open water dives focusing on the various specialized diving activities.
Min age 10 with depth restriction, Min age 15 without the restriction.
to develop the necessary knowledge and skills for individuals to effectively
perform diver rescues and assists, manage diving accident situations,
render proper first aid and qualify for PADI Dive Master training.
A prerequisite of “PADI advanced open water diver” or equivalent is
Minimum of 25 hours training including at least 5 open water
sessions. Plus “medic first aid” or other sanctioned CPR certification.
Min. age 15
Is a basic training course in emergency care and CPR for the diver
and non-diver alike. Requires approximately 8 hours.
Photography, Boat, Equipment, Underwater Naturalist, Peak Performance
Buoyancy, Night, Deep, Wreck, Enriched Air etc.
Pre requisite of “PADI rescue diver” or equivalent. Plus proof of
20 dives or more to begin the course and a minimum of 60 dives to
complete the course. Plus proof of CPR and First Aid
the past 36 months AND clearance from Medical Physician stating fitness
to dive within past 12 months. Min age 18. Requires a minimum of 50
technical diving courses offered in this area with some of the best instructors
in their area of specialty. Contact us if you want more information
on these courses and/or the instructors providing them.