We did have a little bit of spare time and so on the way home we took our time as we drove through each little village. As we passed Tulum we kept our eyes out for the Dos Ojos caves that we had read about so that we could go swimming in these amazing caves. The entrance to these caves were just North of the Hidden Worlds caves that are part of the same underground river network.
When we arrived at the entrance of the Dos Ojos caves we were pulled over to check out their “information center”. This was simply a chance for them to upsell us on a snorkel tour as opposed to just taking a self guided snorkel in the caves. It was a joke. For 100 pesos ($10) per person we could snorkel in the caves or for 300 pesos ($30) we could have a guided tour of much the same caves. We did not fall for their “tour” which was a really good thing as I cannot imagine how a tour would have been any different.
The Dos Ojos caves were amazing, especially when we put on our snorkel gear and masks. The water in the caves was crisp, turquoise and cool with a nice platform for us to jump into the water from. The first cave was rather small being only 75 feet by 250 feet. It wasn’t too interesting until we actually saw what was under the water. As we peered in we could see that the portion of the cave under the water had stalagtites and stalagmites. The cave also opened up much larger under the water than above. A few minutes after getting into the water we even saw a light shining from below. It seemed to be coming from under the water from below the back wall of the cave. Within a minute or two we could see that it was the flashlight of three scuba divers who had come to this cave from the next cave over. They had descended from the cave opposite this one a few hundred feet away to get to this cave.
After a few minutes we quickly moved on to the second larger cave. This cave was slightly deeper than the first cave but much longer. It ran in a horseshoe shape that must have been over 1000 feet from one end to the other. I jumped into the water with my four oldest kids and started to explore the interesting formations on the walls and below the water’s surface. On the back wall of the cave as I peered below I could again see where the cave opened up into a larger space and could this time see light in the distance below the far wall. I could see light coming from about 300 feet away in the distance from the first cave we had explored. This was the route that the scuba divers had taken, but much too far a distance to be covered by a snorkeler.
I continued along with my amazed children along the horseshow shaped cenote (sinkhole) under the shelter of the cave. I think that my kids were absolutely thrilled to be swimming in and exploring caves fed by underground rivers. They felt like they were living the dream of an Indiana Jones adventure without the attackers coming after them. There was not more than one or two fish that we saw but the point of these caves was not the fish, but rather the amazing rock formations. It was truely an experience they will never forget and an experience I would recommend taking any adventure bound kid on.
The sun was starting to set and mosquitoes were starting to buzz around 5 pm and so we decided it was time to head back for our resort. We made our way down the bumpy road back to the highway. There were so many small potholes that we found it much more manageable to speed over them as opposed to go slowly down and up the opposite side.
Within an hour we were back in Playa del Carmen and ready for a buffet dinner before a well needed night’s sleep. It was an exhausting day filled with history, culture, crocodiles, swimming and caves.
2007 Dos Ojos Caves Cost:
Community Entrance – 100 pesos ($10) per person over 10 years old.
(Hidden Worlds and other commercial entrances cost more to this network of caves)