Mexico's Quintana Roo: Cave Diving on the Yucatán Peninsula

Diver in Cenote Zacil-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo by Pierre Constant
Diver in Cenote Zacil-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo by Pierre Constant

As a cave diver, you do not come back from the Yucatán and say, “I have done Mexico,” boasting with pride and glory. It takes more than one visit to fully appreciate the enormous potential the peninsula has to offer underground. That means having not only the guts for it, but also the necessary training and experience to be able to do so. “Rome was not built in a day,” as the saying goes.

Mexico's Socorro: Sharks, Dolphins, Mantas & More

Oceanic manta ray, Socorro, Mexico. Photo by Kate Holt
Oceanic manta ray, Socorro, Mexico. Photo by Kate Holt

We leveled off at 25m and the visibility was perfect. I could see my two buddies to my left—Kate adjusting her housing strobes and Dominic turning on his GoPro action camera. A group of silvertip sharks were casually circling a cleaning station, this one manned by bright yellow angelfish. They gave us a glance, but mostly, they were unconcerned. A few whitetip sharks emerged from the drop-off below to join us. More sharks—my favorite.

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The Pelagic Fleet is now the Pacific Fleet

Mon, 18/01/2021 - 23:13

While we have loved our brand The Pelagic Fleet, we see our rebranding as an evolution in continuing to create The quality and standards that we have will not change, in fact, we are working diligently on making your experience the most memorable. 

We still have the same incredible crews that will give you the best service in and out of the water. This combination of our incredible crews and the some of the most spectacular big animal diving anywhere in the world, makes us your premier adventure travel company.

Full Cave Navigation Protocols in Mexico

Guide line in Cenote Chac Mool, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Photo by Larry Cohen.

I started cave diving in Italy in 1990. At that time, the rules were very clear, codified and related to the kind of caves that were encountered in my region. Very often, they were resurgences with current (sometimes strong) or sumps inside caves, with water ranging from crystal clear to the color of coffee and variable visibility, depending on the rains.

Socorro Islands on Socorro Vortex

Go, go, go! At our skiff driver’s urging, we slipped into the water as quickly and quietly as possible, in hopes of snorkeling with the pod of false killer whales that was hunting in the bay. Again and again, we attempted to intersect their path, but our timing or positioning resulted in views of them in the fleeting distance or not at all.

Isla Mujeres: Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico

For me, the most spectacular encounter possible during the Afuera is the “Botello” of bottle feeding.

Every year, as the summer heat descends on the Yucatan peninsula, an amazing phenom­enon takes place in the waters to the northeast of the small holiday island of Isla Mujeres. Local fishermen call it the Afuera (Mexican for “outside”), in reference to those deeper waters offshore from the tip of the Yucatan where, come July and August, the largest known gathering of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) takes place.