The DivePhotoGuide Sailfish Expedition unofficially kicked off today with a pre trip to the Cenotes, in Puerto Aventuras, which is just south of Playa del Carmen on the Rivera Maya. Cenotes, which are mostly found in the Yucatan Peninsula, are sinkholes containing fresh or brackish groundwater. The water is amazingly clear, and the surrounding jungle scenery is striking. Diving the cenotes doesn’t require a cave certification because many routes through the underground system have an exit visible within 75 feet of you at all times. So while stretches of the cenote dives feel like you are in a cave, technically you are cavern diving. Moreover, if you time your dives right, and catch the sun at the right hour, the light that peeks through the various holes in the caverns and creates spectacular shows. For underwater photographers this light is a beautiful subject, unique to cenote diving.
In order to dive the best cenotes at the right the times to catch the most spectacular light, we enlisted the experts of Dive Aventuras – Karen and Mike Doody and their staff. Dive Aventuras is located on the grounds of Omni Puerto Aventuras Beach Resort, where we decided to stay for the three nights we are here. The Omni is a boutique 30 room resort that was recently honored by being on Conde Naste’s gold list. It makes for a great base for your trip due to its proximity to the cenotes, its convenience for getting to the dive shop, and because it’s a luxurious place to return to after a day of diving.
Karen and Mike arranged for us to dive the Taj Mahal cenote for the first day. This was a great choice as we timed the light perfectly and had the cenote all to ourselves. Mario, our energetic guide, led us to a few of the openings that create the lightshows we came to shoot. It was a unique photography experience to solely shoot light and no other subject, especially in a cavern in the jungle. Tomorrow we try out two other cenotes, and hopefully get a similar experience as today.
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