Cenote Diving

Diving Cenote Carwash: Everything SCUBA Divers Want to Know (2024)

Diving Cenote Carwash

One of my favorite activities as a Cenote dive guide in the Riviera Maya is without a doubt diving Cenote Carwash in Tulum.

This little underwater paradise features a colorful open area with lots of little fish, a unique ecosystem, and an impressive cavern area that invites divers from all over the world.

In this blog, we will explain to you why Cenote Carwash is one of our go-to dive sites in Tulum, some fun facts about this dive site, and what our divers enjoy most about it. 

Diving Cenote Carwash: Quick Facts! 

How Deep is Cenote Carwash? 

In the open area Cenote Carwash has a maximum depth of 5-6 meters, but during our Cenote dive in the cavern we reach a maximum depth of 15 meters.


15 minutes from Tulum towards Cobá
1 hour and 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen

Entrance Fee

300 MXN for SCUBA divers
200 MXN for snorkelers

Why do we call it Cenote “Carwash”?

Cenote Carwash has an original Mayan name, it’s called “Cenote Aktun Ha” 

Its modern name surged dozens of years ago local Taxi drivers took advantage of Cenote Aktun Has location next to the road leading towards Cobá. Being able to drive up to water level, this Cenote quickly became a hot spot for Tulum transportation professionals to keep their vehicles clean.

Fortunately, this practice lost use long ago, when locals learned about the Cenotes’ benefits and why keeping their freshwater clean was and is of utmost importance. 

Only the worldwide renowned name of Cenote Carwash reminds present visitors of the past purpose of this beautiful place. 

Minimum Diver Requirements

Minimum Open Water Diver Certified
Minimum 10 Logged Dives
Minimum 15 years old

Which Cenote Combinations are Recommended for Cenote Carwash? 

Mostly we combine diving Cenote Carwash with a first dive in Cenote Angelita.
As therefore participants are required to carry an Advanced Open Water Certification, this is not an option for every diver. 

We can combine this dive with nearly every Cenote dive located on the way to Cenote Carwash, contact us to create a unique combination that suits your experience and preferences. Divers can choose from Cenote Garden of Eden, Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Chikin Ha, or any of the others depending on their experience level and certification. 

What Can I See at Cenote Carwash?

At Cenote Carwash, you’ll see a colorful open water area decorated with countless water lilies, hogfish, lots of small fish, tortoises, trees fallen into the Cenote, and more to encounter.

Entering the cavern area you will see different speleological formations, some pieces of pottery and bones (do NOT touch!),  a blink into the cave-entry of this Cenote with its often-shared ‘STOP’-sign to mark the cavern limit, different fossils, and a unique view towards the cenote entry.

Especially in the summer months, Cenote Carwash is a true spectacle of colors and light to experience during your dive.

SCUBA Diving Cenote Carwash
A Diver admiring the water lilies and ecosystem in Cenote Carwash

SCUBA Diving at Cenote Carwash: Tour Details

You will meet the Cenote dive guide in the morning.
He will pick up tanks and equipment before passing for you at your vacation home.
From there the whole group heads towards Cenote Carwash.

Arriving with your Cenote dive guide and equipment at Cenote Carwash, we sign and pay the entry fee and ensure all participants know the location, bathrooms, Cenote Carwash, Do’s and Don’ts.
A proper dive briefing is required for every Cenote dive and we’ll ensure every doubt is cleared before the upcoming dive. 

Entering the water, you gather on the surface with your group towards the middle of the Cenote to start the descent.
Confirming everyone ready for the dive, the group of a maximum of four divers plus their guide makes their way towards the cavern entry, where the permanently installed guideline is installed. 

You will dive into a single-file setup following your guide through the cavern at a slow pace.
Giving you time to inspect and explore the area, looking at the features and formations pointed out by your cenote guide, you can dive along the ‘stop sign’ to have a look into the cave entry from the cavern area of the line. 

After completing the cavern portion of the dive, there’s usually a good amount of gas left for you to explore and admire this Cenote’s idyllic and colorful open area. 

We complete the dive hanging out with tortoises that inhabit Cenote Carwash, watching hogfish, and appreciating the seemingly endless water lilies growing in this fresh-water ecosystem. 

A unique spectacle can be witnessed accompanying the first rains after the year’s dry season.
The rainwater causing organic matter and dry leaves washing into the cenote cause tannins to dissolve into the cenote’s upper layer and create an otherworldly vision when diving through this layer.

This event only lasts for a few days each year, so if you’re lucky enough to be around at that time – make sure to not miss the opportunity and sign up for a dive at Carwash Cenote. 

Cenote Carwash diving
SCUBA Diver enjoying Cenote Carwash on a sunny day

Photography and Videography Opportunities at Cenote Carwash

There are several options to have dive memories frozen in time in pictures or videos, either taking your own camera on your dive or booking a professional Cenote photographer to accompany the whole day and underwater experience.  

Taking Pictures and Videos with Your Own Camera

Keep in mind that taking a camera on your dive will be subject to an extra charge by the Cenote administration, the amount depends on the type of your camera and if your photography is for personal use only (300-500 Mexican pesos) or will be commercialized (2000+ Mexican pesos). 

We highly recommend informing your Cenote dive guide if you bring a camera on your dive, to make sure to point out photo opportunities throughout the dive while keeping you, the environment, and everyone else safe. 

Due to the low light conditions in Cenotes and caverns in general, cameras have a hard time capturing contrast and details underwater with only the dive light used for Cenote dives.
You can bring your own video light on your dive or rent one to have the best possible results on your pictures and videos. 

Hiring a Professional Underwater Photographer

Booking a photographer for the dive may be the best option to enjoy the actual dive at peace and have the best moments captured in high quality and edited to be ready whenever you want to dive into your memories of Cenote Carwash. 

A professional underwater photographer makes sure not to disturb you during your dive and captures the best moments while using adequate lighting and equipment to obtain the best results. 

Here is our top recommendation we enjoy working with: 

Carolina Wells @divewells From divewells.com is a female underwater and cave photographer with multiple years of experience in the area. Working with recreational and technical divers alike, Carolina Wells joining your dive guarantees you some breathtaking shots and moments captured to create long-lasting memories.

Cenote Carwash: Snorkeling & More

For non-divers, couples, or families with kids, this Cenote isn’t short of options to spend a great day, connect with nature, and enjoy a fresh dip into the glass-clear water on a hot summer day. 

With a restaurant and massage options on-site, snorkelers can be sure to be entertained by choosing to spend their day here. Life vests are provided and snorkel gear can be rented to explore the shallow open area while snorkeling in Cenote Carwash. 

Cave Diving at Cenote Carwash 

The Aktun Ha cave system isn’t yet connected to any other cave systems in the area, although the cave exploration community is eager to find one. 

Cenote Carwash offers several different cave dives starting from the same entry, with interesting profiles for any level cave diver. This dive site is often used for cave diving training starting from side mount diver training all the way to CCR cave diving training.

Contact us or book a cave day if you are interested in cave diving at Cenote Carwash. 


Cenote Carwash Cave diving
Cave diver gliding through Cenote Carwash peacefully

Dive Cenote Carwash with DivePoint Mexico 

Already looking forward to gliding through the clear waters of Cenote Carwash? 

DivePoint Mexico operates daily trips to Cenotes for diving – book your Cenote Carwash & Cenote Angelita dives here or contact us for a bespoke diving package or itinerary. Check out our other top Cenotes for diving in Tulum too

Divers who vacation with their families can bring along everyone to spend a great day as a family including divers and non-divers alike.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post about “Carwash Cenote”.
Contact us to go diving in Cenote Carwash!
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