Travel & Places Mexico

Dos Ojos Cenote, Quintana Roo, Mexico

What: Dos Ojos (meaning “two eyes” in Spanish) is the world’s third-largest underwater cave system, and a must-see for divers and snorkelers wanting to explore this fascinating world. It also contains the deepest passage in the state of Quintana Roo, an almost 400 foot deep hollow called “The Cenote Pit.” The name Dos Ojos  refers to the two neighboring cenotes connected by a large cavern, said to resemble a pair of eyes marking the entrance to the underworld.

The caves at Dos Ojos were featured in the 2002 IMAX film Journey Into Amazing Caves.

Where: Ten miles north of Tulum, on the Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo.

What to Do There: A safe, family-friendly part of the cenote is perfect for snorkeling, with access in and out of the water from large wooden decks. Cavern diving is the star attraction here though: the cave system is so vast and the underwater sights so extraordinary that many divers make this their must-do stop on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Along with incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, you’ll see bats (there’s an actual bat cave), small fish and a type of freshwater shrimp in the beautifully clear fresh water.

The southern entrance to Dos Ojos is used exclusively by Hidden Worlds, an adventure park operation. Divers wanting to explore the system should ensure their guide is a certified Full Cave Guide.  A host of dive shops and most resorts in the area offer various multiple-dive packages, some of which offer great value.

How to Get There: Dos Ojos lies between the towns of Akumal and Tulum, just off Highway 307. Driving is pretty much the only way to get here, so if you’re not planning on joining a tour (which ensures you’ll be picked up and dropped off at your hotel), consider renting a car or catching a taxi from town.

What it Costs: $100 pesos entrance fee. Depending on the tour outfit, two tank dives cost from USD $100 and up.

Facilities: Bathrooms, gear assembly tables, equipment hire and guides for hire.

Opening Hours: 8am-5pm daily.

Read more about the Yucatan Peninsula's best diving spots.

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