Snorkeling the Nohoch cave system

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of December 5-11, 1996
Holing up in the Georgia hills
Exploring Hot Springs National Park
Planning adventure trips with kids
Snorkeling the Nohoch cave system
Whitewater river-running in the East

Snorkeling the Nohoch cave system
Question: I'm interested in diving the Nohoch cave system, which Dave Plank reported on in Outside's September '96 issue ("Exploration: Gentlemen, Start Your Regulators"). He mentioned that divers and snorkelers are taken in, but not how this can be pursued. Can you help me? Thanks.

Eric Wallen
Los Altos, CA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: The guy to talk to down there is Mike Madden, who discovered the entrance to the Yucatán's enormous Nohoch system back in 1987 and has since explored more than 140,000 feet of underwater cave. Although he's now slightly consumed with an intense, head-to-head race against rival cave diver Buddy Quattlebaum to claim the honor of discovering the world's largest underwater cave complex, Madden and his staff at the CEDAM Diver Center still have time to lead recreational snorkelers into Nohoch Nah Chich by way of a remote sinkhole on private property of a local farm family. Getting there means a 1.8-mile hike into the farm, after which you'll have a 15-minute guided tour of the cenote and then a chance to snorkel it on your own; the half-day trip costs about $38 per person and leaves every morning at 9:30 a.m. Because cave diving requires highly specialized training--getting lost in the maze-like caverns can be deadly­-Madden takes scuba divers to shallower, less technical cenotes and marine caverns along the Caribbean coast near Puerto Aventuras. For details call the dive center at 011-52-987-3-5129.

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