Sistema Chac Mool
The entrance to Sistema Choc Mool is located just south of the main Puerto Adventuras entrance, between Playa del Carmen and Akumal. It is the northernmost of the cave and cavern diving sites described in this section.
The main cavern entrance is a popular site for guided tours and can be access from two different sides. A good first dive is to start from the larger of the two entrances and bear right, hugging the right had wall until you come across the main downstream line, a few hundred feet in. (You will have to look carefully; the line is located just below the halocline.)
Among the first things you will come across is a large breakdown pile with a line T’ing in from the right and leading upward toward tannic water. This leads a short distance to the Emergency Air Cenote. You can surface and breathe here; however, the opening to the jungle is such that you cannot get out. If you’d like to check out this cenote, it is best to do it on your way back, when doing so will not affect your penetration gas or distance.
Approximately 1,700 feet into the cave you will come across a large room with depths reaching to 90 feet. Centered over the pit is a giant stalactite named Xich Ha Tunich (“Giant Drip Stone” in Mayan). At the bottom of the pit is a small room name Cuac Na (“Monster’s Lair”). Divers with good gas consumption can continue downstream and make it as far as 3,500 feet to Cenote Mojarra.
Upon returning to the entrance, you may want to take a swim around the gold cavern tour line. (You will probably agree that it is a very ambitious swim for divers with no formal Cavern or Cave Diver training.) Fortunately, the standards of practice for the area’s cavern tours and their guides are fairly stringent.
Heading upstream from the main entrance, a gold line leads to breakdown piles and decorated dome rooms. Cenote Pakal is located 3,500 feet upstream from the main entrance (the same distance as Cenote Mojarra is downstream).
With the exceptions already noted, most of the cave is 40 feet or less in depth. Sistema Choc Mool is not as decorated as some caves in the area, but nonetheless a worthwhile dive. A large, laminated map is available from several sources.