July 10, 2016 Cenote Zacil Ha Diving Zacil Ha through the Room…

July 10, 2016 Cenote Zacil Ha

Diving Zacil Ha through the Room of Tears is one of the finest cave dives I’ve ever done. To get there take 109 out of Tulum toward the Coba ruins. You will pass signs for Gran Cenote and Vaca Ha on the right. After about 7-8 km watch for the sign to Car Wash on the left. Just past Car Wash, slow down: The sign and the driveway for Zacil Ha is just a bit further on the left. Drive down the road to a little turn-around where you will find the mini-resort. There is a hut on the left where you buy your ticket: 150 pesos.

The attendant may direct you to drive through a small gate and park behind the hut for easier access to the water. Or not…

On my map, and when you observe the cenote, you will see that the best entry are the stairs on the far side of the water because there is a rope at the bottom of the stairs to tie off your tanks. The cave is found under the far wall–the wall with the statue that is down and left. Enter the cave here. The cave line is perhaps 15 feet down the slope and easy to find.

Follow the line to the left not more than one minute before coming to the unmarked jump. In fact, be vigilant because you can easily swim right by this jump–there is no arrow marking this intersection. The rabbit hole is down and left and is round with white edges from tanks bumping the entrance.

Spool out forty to fifty feet of line through smallish twists and turns to the new line. The Room of Tears is obvious when you enter it: it is very beautiful. As you can see on my map I turned left at the first intersection and then turned right at the second intersection and came to my thirds at a third intersection.

The dive is like a combination of Xulo and Caterpillar combined with white walls and stunning formations punctuated by occasional restrictions. The passages also move up and down–70 foot max, 46 foot average depth. Like always, mark your intersections well. I passed one jump that potentially could be misread coming the other direction meaning that you could make a blind jump and not realize it so stay on your business.

Watch for more info on this dive because I’ll be taking a stage along next time and exploring much more of Zacil Ha.

June 14, 2016 Don Lucio Compilation of two dive days at Don…

June 14, 2016 Don Lucio

Compilation of two dive days at Don Lucio

At ProTec pay 150 pesos per person admittance fee and get the key to the gate. Drive south of Tulum on 307 for about 7 miles. Watch for Rancho Loma Linda (red sign) on right side of road. Pass this rancho (Chan Hol) and begin watching the left side of the road (slow down). About 1 km south of Loma Linda look for a sign, Rancho Pax Chen. Turn left into a driveway just pass the Pax Chen sign. The gate is chain link on one side and wood on the other. Drive into the rancho. Pass by the buildings on the left and proceed another 50-75 feet until you are next to a palapa (left side of car). Park here. There is a faint trail by the palapa that leads into the cave which is sort of back and right. There is a red sash hanging by the mouth of the cave.

Take a back-up light and a prepped tank and enter the cave. Careful of the bats. Move in, and right somewhat until you can see the pool in front of you. To avoid the mud, hug the left side of the pool staying on the limestone. You will see the cave line on the left side of the pool and you should be able to look down into the actual entrance.

Don Lucio is a fresh cave and is in the process of being explored so be very careful to carry and use a lot of cookies. Some jumps come very close to the main line–close enough that somebody unaware could jump unknowingly onto another line.

The main line is an awesome dive with several smallish restrictions, low ceilings and highly decorated. Careful movement is a must.

Twenty to twenty one minutes in on the main line there is a jump to the right off an arrow marked, “Ich Will”. We followed the passage to a T and turned. The passage to the T is small, fins extended, head sideways type movement–the visibility was bad for the second and third diver and zero for a large section coming out. I loved this dive because I love small cave.

If you are lucky you might get to meet Don Lucio. He is a great guy and very friendly.