These 2 Cenotes are part of the same cave system.
1. Cenote Taj Maha is called like this by the original explorers because this cave system reminded them of the beauty and splendor of the Taj Mahal in India. The name has since been “Mayanised” to Taj Ma Ha as “Ha” means water in Mayan.
Taj Ma Ha is located 5km/3miles south of Puerto Aventuras on Highway 307. From the turnoff, a 3km/2mile dirt road leads out to the car parking area 10 minutes into the jungle.
At the right time of year and the right time of day, Taj Ma Ha has one of the most spectacular light shows of any of the caverns. From March to September the laser-like beams of light entering the Points of Light room have to be seen to be believed.
However, no matter the time of year, this is still a must see cavern as it is so rich and diverse in character. The dive will lead you past three cenotes with impressive light effects along a “”trippy”” halocline tunnel and through some beautifully decorated areas with thousands of stalactite and stalagmite formations.
During the dive, you will be able to surface in cenote Sugarbowl and may see the sacred cenote bird of the Maya, the Turquoise-browed Motmot, with its unique racquet tail feathers. Listen out for its distinctive call.
If you look carefully you will also see many fossils in the walls and ceiling of the cavern.
2. Cenote Garden of Eden is located 10 minutes south of Puerto Aventuras on Highway 307 very close to the entrance of Chikin Ha. From the turnoff, a very good 1.6km/1mile dirt road leads out to the car parking area 5 minutes into the jungle.
Cenote Ponderosa or garden of Eden is a very popular site for snorkeling as well as Cavern and Cave Diving. It is also a popular training site and you might get to see a cave diving class being taught while you are there.
Ponderosa is a very large open cenote with crystal clear water and lots of life hiding among the large blocks of collapsed algae covered limestone. Look out for the Sailfin Mollies, Cichlids, freshwater Eels and Turtles. You will also see plenty of bird life in and around the cenote including Motmots, Cormorants, and Grebes. If you are lucky you may get to see the Grebes diving and chasing the brightly colored shoals of fish underwater.
The entrance of the Cavern Zone of Ponderosa is huge and the permanent gold Cavern Line begins a little way in, so your guide will run a Primary Reel from the open water to the start of the permanent line. Once at the start of the line you will be able to clearly see light ahead of you from Cenote Corral 90m/300ft away showing just how good the visibility is here in the caverns of the Riviera Maya.
A very large impressive tunnel leads from Ponderosa over to Corral so big you could fly a 747 through it. Once you reach cenote Corral, the Cavern Line skirts the edge of it giving you a great view of both the cavern below and jungle above with very impressive light shows. In several areas, you will encounter a strong and defined halocline that is great fun to dive in and out of. Look out for the ethereal wispy layer of hydrogen sulfide trapped in a density interface in the water column at the far end of the cavern zone.
Max depth 15 mts / 50 ft
It is important to do cavern diving with a certified and experienced local guide.
We choose the Cenotes based on the experience of the group.
We have small groups of 4 divers for each guide.
We recommend a refresher dive for beginners that have not been diving for over a year.
We go 2 times a day at 9:00 am or 11:00 am.
- Shallow dive.
- Cavern diving.
- Stunning light effects.
- Halocline layer.
- Underwater landscapes.
- Preserved cave formations.
- Similar to night dive.
- Small groups and private service.
- 2 dives.
- Full gear and dive torch.
- Open Water Diver Certification.
- We recommend a refresher dive for beginners that have not been diving for over a year.
- Rest well and do not drink alcohol the night before.
- Don’t fly 18 hrs after diving.
- Bring extra clothes and towel.