Tulum Scuba Diving: A Detailed Guide For The Best Experience

Whether you’re a diving pro or a complete newbie, Tulum’s spectacular coastline and breathtaking cenotes won’t leave you disappointed. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first dive or your hundredth. There’s something for everyone. 

But where do you start? Which dive center do you go to, and which cenotes should you cover? Don’t Worry! I’ve got you covered.

Let me walk you through the various cenotes, dive schools, and shops, giving you the inside scoop you need to plan your first scuba diving experience in this beautiful town. 

Scuba Diving in Tulum- An Overview

woman with scuba gear

Situated on the Caribbean coastline, Tulum offers a unique experience to its divers. It is the perfect combination of reef and cenote diving, with options available for all skill levels. 

The scuba diving experience in Tulum has everything you could ever ask for. The world underneath the water is a sight to behold. You’ll be passed by schools of colorful fish, speedy yet elegant green sea turtles, and a variety of spectacular coral formations. 

And remember, no dive will be the same as the last. You’ll always see, explore, or experience something new. But the true uniqueness of Tulum lies in its cenotes.

Everyone who has had at least one diving experience in the cenotes won’t shut up about it. I’m no different. But for you to understand why you must experience it for yourself, so that you can also be one of us!

When is The Best Time for Tulum’s Scuba Diving Tours

Tulum is a favorite spot for most scuba divers for one simple reason – we can come here pretty much all year round. Unlike most hotspots in the world, diving in Tulum is not dictated by seasons. But how is that possible? 

Yes, it’s due to the cenotes. You can choose to dive by the reef during favorable seasons, and you can go for a swim in the cenotes pretty much any time of year. These ancient underground water bodies have existed here for thousands of years, serving the locals.

If you’re a solo diver or generally like to avoid crowds while diving, go during the rainy season, which is from May to November.

You can easily visit a covered cenote as the rain doesn’t have much effect on the visibility over there. This is because most of them have some form of shelter from the elements.

I’m extremely fond of the Tulum Reefs during the dry season from November to April, as nothing can hamper visibility during that time.

If you’re planning to go in the dry season, don’t forget to take a camera with you! The visibility can be as phenomenal as 30 meters (approximately 100 feet), and you’ll be able to get some really cool pictures. 

Is Tulum Scuba Diving Worth It?

scuba divers in boat

Tulum came up frequently whenever I spoke to my diver friends, but I never really understood why. The more I explored scuba diving, the more curious I became about this ancient seascape.

After sliding through a bunch of reviews online, I realized that this town’s fame with divers was totally on point. I had to go and see it for myself, and I was not disappointed.

The experience was beyond incredible! Anyone who loves diving will be blown away. Tulum Scuba diving can range from exploring underground caves to exploring the colorful coral reef, including everything you can imagine in between!

The town has a vibrant diver community that tends to go above and beyond to assist you, especially if you are a total newbie. And, if you are a seasoned one, you will fit right in! They will help you explore realms you never thought of. Just consider learning a little Spanish and you are good to go.

Best Part of Tulum’s Scuba Diving

Tulum is a paradise for all types of divers, regardless of experience level.

Whether you are an aquanaut or only prefer free dives, it is that must-visit destination for everyone who loves the deep blue. It doesn’t matter if you love unique rock formations, diverse and vibrant oceanic flora, or colorful sea creatures; you will find it all there!

If cenotes beguile you as much as it fascinates me, you are in for a real treat. You get coral reefs in various destinations all over the world, but unearthing these ancient subterrestrial waterbodies was ethereal. There is really nothing quite like it!

If you are a beginner, you will find the most patient instructors here, and if you are an expert, you may just find lifelong friends!

Things You Can See When Scuba Diving in Tulum

marine life in tulum
Beautiful underwater life

Do you like thrilling and rare diving experiences? I have the best news for you. You can go swimming along with whale sharks in Playa Del Carmen. These creatures are gigantic yet harmless and a mesmerizing sight to behold. 

Tulum has a spectacular diversity of marine life, including lobsters, manta rays, and turtles. There is a clear difference between the kind of biodiversity you can expect to see in the cenotes and coral reefs. If you dive into the reefs, you’ll enter a world that is very vibrant and colorful.

Try planning your trip between June and September so that you do not miss out on the chance to swim alongside sea turtles. During this season, Green and Loggerhead Sea Turtles make their nests along the Yucatan Peninsula and can be easily spotted in the part of the sea. 

On the other hand, each cenote has its own unique features. Some of them are pretty straightforward and not too deep, making them a great option for beginners and kids. A good example would be Casa Cenote. 

Some other cenotes are like underwater caves with lots of crevices, mysterious chambers, and hidden passages. But in all cenotes, you’ll be able to witness some of the local sea life and intricate aquatic flora.   

Is Scuba Diving in Tulum Safe?

scuba diving safety gear
Safety gear for scuba diving

Safety is one of my major concerns every time I travel to a destination, especially for scuba diving. Thankfully Tulum is one of the most popular diving destinations in all of Mexico, making it a hub for many certified expert divers who really know their job.

And when I say certified experts, I don’t mean the bare minimum certifications. I’m talking thousands of hours of experience that honed their skills and know-how of equipment to perfection. So they do teach their students adeptly and keep them safe.

Best Diving Spots in Tulum

The only way to know which scuba diving spots are the best is to experience them all. But it also depends on your level of experience, preference for depth, and level of navigational difficulty you like. Here are a few top options that are famous among divers visiting Tulum.


cuevitas tulum

The deep water of Cuevitas, or “Little Caves”, is one of the most magical dives you can encounter. Located 10 minutes away from the famous Casa Cenote, this is a great option for beginners and experienced divers alike. 

It’s about thirty feet (at its maximum), and as the name suggests, there are lots of little caves or arches to explore and see some of the most colorful fish. If you visit during the right season, you may also spot some lobsters and blowfish. 

cuevitas tulum under water scene

If you only have the time to do one dive while on your trip to Tulum, I strongly suggest you head straight to the Cuevitas, and I promise you won’t regret it. 

Casa Cenote

casa cenote tulum

This is the perfect starting point for someone who’ll be trying their first dive ever. With a maximum depth of 25 meters, it’s comfortable and extremely safe. Being a mix of saltwater and freshwater environments, you’ll be able to see a lot of fish and local aquatic fauna.   

Despite being in a long and winding shape, this cenote is very easy to navigate around with the help of a guide. They only allow a maximum of four participants per dive, ensuring that all the divers get attended to and are well taken care of.

Cenote Angelita

Cenote Angelita

This is one of the more advanced level cenotes fit for highly experienced divers. This is because, while most average dives are around 40 meters deep, Cenote Angelita is about 66 meters deep. 

This cenote is known for a hydrogen sulfide cloud that is at the entrance of the dive, which causes the decaying of trees and wildlife. The cloudy part looks as green as a pond!

tourist underwater of cenote angelita

Once you dive past this green cloud, there is pretty good visibility underneath. It almost feels like you’re swimming underneath the clouds. But keep in mind this is one of the tougher dives where things can get way more technical, and you will need to be more cautious than ever. 

Tankah Deep

tankah deepa tulum

If you feel like you’ve moved past the beginner stage of diving and are ready for something a little more adventurous, this is a great option. 

With a maximum depth of 30 meters, you’ll see a lot of unique flora and fauna. This is a beautiful dive site, and once in, you’ll see a lot of colorful coral formations and a lot of large fish. And if you visit during winter, you’ll also be able to spot Bull Sharks!

Dos Ojos

dos ojos cenote

A 20-minute drive from Tulum, Dos Ojos is one of the most famous cenotes in the area. It gets its name from the two eye-shaped holes that hide the whole system of caves and caverns behind it. 

Once you get under the water, there is a lot to explore, like stalagmites, stalactites, ancient fossils, and colorful fish. You will get to explore a lot of cave-like structures, caverns, and tunnels. Once you go through them, you’ll end up in beautiful open spaces with stunning visibility.

This is a great point for those who are on the brink of stepping above the intermediate skill set. It will give you a fairly advanced diving experience without being too technical. 

Recommended Dive Shops in Tulum

Being a famous scuba diving destination this town has plenty of dive shops. But that doesn’t mean that all of them are equally good. Here are my top picks based on experience, ratings, and reviews. 

Agua Clara Diving Tulum

Agua Clara Diving Tulum

A PADI 5-star center, Agua Clara Diving has to be one of the best, if not the best, dive shops. Known for their eco-friendly tours with a zero-waste approach, they only host small groups to ensure they deliver on these commitments towards nature.

If you’re looking to take a PADI-certified open water course or just go for a one-time dive, it is a great shop to visit. They offer scuba diving on the reef and multiple cenotes across Tulum.

You can also book one of their cenote tours if you’re looking for a curated experience. Agua Clara offers 2 dives for a price of $130.    

La Calypso Dive Center

La Calypso Dive Center

Another great option, their services are priced similarly to Agua Clara at $130 for 2 dives. But they are particularly famous among French tourists and other international visitors. This is because their diving instructors are known to speak English, French, and Spanish, among other languages. 

They offer dives at the reef and multiple cenotes. You can choose between PADI courses, beginner-friendly dives, and regular dives.  

La Calypso is also known for its beginner courses for first-timers, which cover all the basics of diving in an in-depth orientation. They will walk you through the process of diving, important techniques, essential equipment, and all the things a nervous first-time diver could think of, following it up with a dive at the Casa Cenote. 

Koox Diving

Koox Diving

Koox diving is a popular choice among experienced divers. Perhaps you’ll find most of the experienced divers flocking towards them.

Once you are past the beginners’ stage, they offer more intermediate courses at their diving school. They teach more advanced courses on deep sea diving and its technical aspects. As a result, they are more expensive than Agua Clara and La Calypso.

This dive shop charges around $174 for one dive and $204 for two dives. They offer to take you to multiple locations along Tulum’s coastline and the more advanced Cenotes. 

Koox diving offers experiences like freediving, swimming with whale sharks, Croc night tours, and fishing tours.



Like all the other dive shops I mentioned, Infinity2Diving also offers basic diving lessons, PADI-certified courses, and beginner dives. You can pick from a variety of cenotes and the coral reef. 

A unique thing they offer is their shipwreck diving tour. They take you to General Felipe Santiago Xicoténcatl’s, a wreck close to Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen’s Mama Vina wreck.

Meant for seasoned divers, these experiences are great options if you’re bored of your regular dives. Their price for one dive starts from $120, and for two dives, it starts from $170. 

Discovery Dive in Tulum – Best for Beginners

Imagine going for your first dive ever, and that too in one of the best spots in the world. It is sure to get you hooked on scuba diving for life!

If you’re considering trying scuba diving for the first time, this is your sign. The Discovery Dive experience is a true God-sent for beginners. These dives are carefully designed for beginners.

You don’t need to make any commitments to getting a certification. This is just to give you some exposure to the experience of scuba diving. 

Keeping your safety at the utmost priority, you’ll be given theory lessons followed by a test session in the pool. You will then be taken for a shallow water dive to learn all the basics. The good thing is that Tulum has a variety of diving spots, many of which are beginner-friendly.

You will always have an experienced instructor to guide you along the way, so you can take things at your own pace and learn at a speed that works best for you. 

This experience costs around $155 per person, including equipment. Once you’re done with this, you can move on to other, slightly more advanced ones based on what you like and want to experience more of. 

Scuba Diving Tours You Shouldn’t Miss

Every diving school offers some common tours. Here are my top picks for you if you’re visiting Tulum for the first time, based on my own experience. This should save you some time and research on the internet. 

Cenote Diving for First-Time Divers

cenote driving for firt time

Tulum is the diving hotspot in all of Mexico, so there is plenty of competition among locals and an abundance of diving tours being offered. So, to make it to the top of the list, they have to be really good. 

First, there is the discovery tour meant for small groups. They take you to the beautiful Casa Cenote for a 40-minute scuba diving tour. You are guaranteed a magical underwater experience, as you will be taken through lots of small caverns and caves.

During that time, you’ll be able to spot schools of colorful fish and mangrove roots twirling in the water, among other beautiful things.

This tour is limited to a batch of four participants at a time. This way, the instructors can give proper attention to each diver. This makes it ideal if you’re a beginner and are still learning the art of scuba diving. 

This tour costs around $145 per person. You don’t need prior experience for this one and can choose from their morning and afternoon schedules. Given that it’s a 40-minute tour, it is easy to accommodate into a tightly packed vacation schedule as well. 

Cenote Diving for Advanced Divers

This is for all experienced divers. If you have the required certifications, I can’t recommend this one enough. It is an extensive 5-hour scuba diving tour that will be unique from all your dives so far. It takes you to two incredible cenotes which are totally different from one another.

You’ll first be visiting the Pit Cenote. This one extends to a sulfur cloud at 25 meters deep. You will notice a lot of caverns and nooks in the wall. Every time I go there, I’m surprised by something magical and picture-perfect. And it’s never the same as the previous visit. 

Then, they will take you to Dos Ojos Cenote, which is nearby. This is as unique an experience as you can get! No two visits are the same. The underwater life over there is just breathtaking. 

This Cenote Diving tour for Advanced Divers costs about $187 per participant and is worth every cent. Make sure you have the correct certification while booking this experience. 

Yoga & Diving in Two Cenotes

This super rare experience is a five-hour yoga and scuba diving experience that’ll feel like it will be over in a matter of minutes. 

If you’re anything like me and chase the experience of feeling so relaxed that you lose track of time, this one is for you. It is designed to help you relax and be present in each moment. You’ll feel like you are one with nature and enjoy each moment that passes. 

You’ll get started in the middle of some lush and beautiful vegetation. You’ll be guided through some basic breathing exercises followed by a few yoga asanas (poses).

The instructors are very accommodating and will be happy to tailor these poses to suit your flexibility and mobility. So you don’t need to worry about it if you’ve never done this before.

Once your mind and body are ready, you’ll head out to explore two nearby cenotes. When I went for this dive, I felt more present at the moment and was able to enjoy the process like never before. I’d definitely recommend it to every diver. 

This dive tour costs around $137 per person. It is conducted on limited days of the week. Make sure to book your place in advance so you don’t miss out on such a wonderful experience. 

Tank Scuba Dive Casa Cenote & Barrier Reef (Including Lunch)

If you decide to dedicate a whole day to scuba diving, this experience is tailor-made for you. This two-tank cenote and reef dive is a treat not to be missed! This is an experience unique to Tulum, offering you the best of both worlds: cenotes and reefs. 

This tour included a beautiful Mayan lunch (don’t miss out on the delicious fresh fruits they serve!), a boat ride to the reef, and the experience of diving in both fresh water and salt water. 

They try to do the whole thing in 6 hours, so it may seem a tad rushed. But you can’t blame them. You’ll get to experience quite a lot in such a short span of time. Their schedules, arrangements, and other facilities work like clockwork.

This experience will cost you around $180 per participant, which is pretty reasonable for the amount of things they stuff into this limited-time tour. Make sure you book your spot well in time. 

Learning Scuba Diving in Tulum – Is It Possible?

Learning Scuba Diving

When you learn how to scuba dive, the location isn’t what matters the most. You’ll be able to find plenty of suitable diving sites for beginners worldwide. But there is something special about scuba diving in Tulum for beginners. Can you guess what that is? It’s the diving community.

Their diving community is one of the friendliest and most welcoming communities. Over there, you’ll always feel like a part of the community, whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver. The town has some of the best instructors. And there is also a variety of cenotes to explore.

If you’re looking to get a certification, then PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the most recognized one in the world. This is an open water certification, validating that you have the required skills and knowledge to dive up to 18 meters anywhere in the world. That sure is a fun thing to add to your list of accomplishments. 

There are plenty of amazing diving schools around town that’ll guide you through this process. Most of them offer a three-day course that costs around $400-$550, depending on the number of dives you choose.  

Is Scuba Diving in Tulum Suitable for Children?

scuba diving for kids

The minimum diving age in Mexico is 10 years. So kids under that age aren’t allowed to participate in any kind of dives. That being said, scuba diving is one of the best activities for children who love being around or underwater.

This helps them build a lot of confidence and exposes them to a whole new universe down there. Kids between the ages of 10 and 14 can participate in discovery dives and get their own PADI Junior Open Water Certification. This allows them to go for dives under the supervision of an adult instructor. 

However, even with certification, the permissible depth varies based on their age. 10 or 11-year-olds can dive up to 12 meters. While 12 to 14-year-olds can go up to 18 meters (that is the same as adults). 

For kids above the age of 15, there are no restrictions. They can get the full certification (like an adult). And trust me, these interests and hobbies will follow them well into their adult life!    

Scuba Diving Vs. Snorkeling in Tulum

This question never gets old. Scuba diving or snorkeling? I would say that it depends. This is a personal choice and will vary from one person to another. So there’s no correct answer.

Most scuba divers (including me) will always prefer diving over snorkeling because immersing yourself in water and experiencing the world beneath is an irreplaceable experience.

And when you’re in such an iconic location, you’d want to squeeze out time for every additional dive possible. But if I look at it objectively, snorkeling does have its benefits over scuba diving.

The two big ones are price point and skills. Scuba diving is definitely pricier than snorkeling. Diving has a long list of safety requirements, and you need to learn about the gear(Yikes!). And that isn’t necessarily everyone’s definition of fun.  

Snorkeling in Tulum is a great option for multiple reasons. First, it is suitable for most fitness levels, and you can do it from the get-go (no arduous training).

If you sign up for Cenote Tours, make sure to check if they offer snorkeling as a part of the package because that’s the most convenient way to do it.

In the end, the choice between scuba diving and snorkeling depends on how adventurous you’re feeling, your budget, and the amount of time you have, among other factors. Whichever you pick, you’ll still get to see some spectacular creatures and amazing views. 

Scuba Diving Tulum: Practical Tips

scuba diver under water

Here are four tips I’d like to give to beginners or first-time divers. Keep in mind that it is these little things that help keep you safe. They also help ensure that these beautiful diving sites stay protected from the aquatic flora and fauna that live there.  

Choose Your Instructor Wisely

There is nothing more important than your safety. So make sure you go to a well-reputed diving center (check their reviews and ratings beforehand). For that, you’ll have to decide a few things.

First is where you want to dive and whether you want to do the PADI course or a simple introduction to diving. You must choose your diving instructor carefully and make sure you have the correct certification required as per local laws. Don’t take this lightly, as such experiences can be very high risk if you’re not trained for them properly.  

Check With Your Travel Insurance

Before you get started on finding the diving location, center, gear, etc., there is something more important to be done. That is to check with your travel insurance! Make sure that it covers this kind of activity because most travel insurance policies do not include water sports and scuba diving.

If you know in advance that you’ll be engaging in scuba diving, try to buy an insurance policy that covers it. Or else you’ll have to buy an additional cover at the last moment, which can be a slightly expensive affair. 

If you do it while in Tulum, do not buy it from any local shop without verifying its validity. If possible, try to get the extra coverage from your trusted insurance company because these things are too critical to be experimental with. 

Don’t Touch Anything Inside the Water

Sometimes we end up doing the most stupid things when we’re feeling particularly excited and exhilarated. Though you’ll be given all these basic instructions from your diving instructor, I’m still sharing them, given their importance. 

Don’t touch anything inside the water. Your instructor will tell you if it is appropriate to touch any particular rock or sediment. And remember, no matter how beautiful any fish, aquatic animal, or coral looks, do not touch them! They can be poisonous, and you could also end up harming them too. 

Ascend Slowly After Your Dive

Once you dive in, make sure you go slow while ascending out of the water. This ensures that you do not bump into any caves or bends. Your instructor will give you these tips ahead of the dive, so make sure you listen to them very carefully.  

Please do not take these things lightly, as they are meant for your well-being. 


Every time you hear about Tulum it’s either about the town’s boho vibe, its famous restaurants, beach clubs and bars, or something like that. But there’s a lot more to Tulum and it’s kind of a secret.

If you ask me, the scuba diving experience there is not talked about enough!

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an undeniably beautiful world underneath waiting to be explored. And now you know how to go about it.

You can pick from the best cenotes, go to the best dive shops, and even get PADI certified with the help of Tulum’s experienced yet accommodating dive instructors. I can’t wait for you to get mesmerized by Tulum’s scuba diving experience!