Mexico » Nahoch Nah Chich

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Rated 2.9/5 stars (271 ratings)

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Nohoch nah Chich is Mayan for “Giant Bird Cage.” Many people feel it is the most beautifully decorated underwater cave anywhere. It was also officially the world’s largest underwater cave system, until the discovery of Sistema Ox Bel Ha.

You will be suiting up on a wide deck, close to the water. Your guide will then take you on a long, shallow dive. There is no need to rush, either. No matter how far you go, or which line you take, you will not see more than a tiny fraction of the cave. Not that it really matters; everything you see will be utterly mind blowing.

Because of the nature of the site, a common practice is to make two dives on a single set of double 80s. Because of the extremely shallow depths (20 to 30 feet, or less), this still allows plenty of bottom time.
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Latitude: 20.29866
Longitude: -87.40366
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 235'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Giant Birdhouse
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
8/3/2023 Brett Smith 100 Did 2 dives here on 7/25/2023 with Ricardo Castillo at Dive Rite MX. The visibility was amazing. We took the first jump to the left and followed that line until it met back at the main line. Total dive time 126 min. Visibility was amazing and I believe this was the most decorated cave ive seen in my life. Wet or dry.
7/15/2021 Matthew Perkins 100 Did 2 dives with guide Elliot Smith in this shallow amazingly decorated shallow system. 1st dive was on the Parker line and it’s endless formations. Dive time 128 mins, average depth 18ft. 2nd dive was on the mainline through “Heaven’s gate” and then did a couple of jumps. Dive time 118 mins, average depth 24ft. Best dives of my time in MX.
5/3/2014 Lynne Flaherty clear Site has been improved. There are now flush toilets with toilet paper. There is a zip line installed at the top of the stairs into the cenote. They were marching snorkeling tours through like an assembly line, but they were very polite about moving them out of our way (except you can't use the tables nearest the stairs closest to the cave, because those are reserved for the snorkel tours). The Parker and Charlie lines no longer T -- there is a continuous line from the takeoff of Parker to the jump back onto the mainline. Be aware that as of the date of this report, there are red arrows on the mainline indicating the nearest exit is to your left. If you want to proceed up the mainline, turn left. Right goes back toward the entrance. Unclear why the red arrows are pointing the way that they are.
2/18/2011 Sandy Robinson 100 Two more great dives on the mainland, 97 and 77 minutes with average depth of 18 to 20 feet. The formations were spectacular, nothing like anything else I have seen (in my limited cave career) I look forward to a return trip!
11/15/2010 ScubaGypsy 100' Did two cave dives here with my wife and guide Etienne Rousseau ( First dive was to Heaven's Gate and it just may be my favorite dive of all! Just spectacular decorations. Max depth was 25', 63 min dive time, 84 F air temp, 79 F fresh water temp, 80 F salt water temp. Second dive was along Parkers Line and it too is beautiful. Max depth 20' 82 min dive time, 82 F air temp, 79 F fresh water temp, 80 F salt water temp.
7/5/2010 Rob Boozer 100' Awsome dive. Non-stop beauty. We just stuck to the main line. Heaven's gates were spectacular.
3/17/2009 Don Currie 80' Did the same circuit as Walter. This place is just huge and beautiful. We saw Drippy Dick and Heaven's Gate. The Nat Geo platform was cool, although I'm glad we just floated and didn't climb out. The viz was a bit milky, but still, everywhere you turned, the place was just stunning. Photos at Don Currie Photos
3/17/2009 Walter Pickel 80' Did a great circuit...Charlie's line up to Cenote Tucat and back down the mainline via Cenote National Geographic. Viz was hazy and not as good as last time.
10/10/2007 Walter Pickel 100' Dove the Parker line and jumped to Charlie's line. Went out passed Drippy Dick, turned and surfaced at the National Geographic Cenote. Second part of the dive we swam downstream from the National Geographic Cenote and then exited Na Hoch.
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Description Type Date Author Remarks
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 Video MOV 2007 Slawek Packo
 Video YouTube
 Video Vimeo 2010 Slawek Packo
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System Depth Cave Cavern OW Last Report Distance (mi)
 Overview Information Available for Vaca Ha  Vaca Ha True False False 7/5/2023 5.3
 Overview Information Available for Escondido  Escondido 86 True True True 7/14/2021 9.4
 Overview Information Available for Gran Cenote  Gran Cenote 50 True True True 9/13/2014 5.3
 Overview Information Available for Car Wash  Car Wash 70 True True True 5/6/2014 5.6
 Overview Information Available for Kolimba  Kolimba True False False 12/4/2011 5.3
   Muchachos 70 True False False 11/21/2011 5.5
 Overview Information Available for Tux Kapaxa  Tux Kapaxa 60 True False False 6/18/2011 4.5
   Xunaan Ha 45 True False False 11/14/2010 4.2
 Overview Information Available for Dos Ojos  Dos Ojos 391 True True True 11/13/2010 2
 Overview Information Available for Tres Estrellas  Tres Estrellas 60 True False False 3/16/2009 4.6
   Caracol 55 True True True 3/15/2009 0.8
 Overview Information Available for Temple Of Doom  Temple Of Doom True True True 3/13/2009 5.9
 Overview Information Available for Cristal  Cristal True True True 12/31/2008 9.2
   Uchben Na Illod 35 True False False 3/2/2007 1.4
   Paanah True False False 12/7/2006 0.8
   Luk Dzonot True False False 12/5/2006 1.1
   Cenote Don Polo True False False 12/5/2006 1.3
   Mol Balam True False False 12/4/2006 1.1
   Chamzizil True False False 12/4/2006 1.1
   The Pich True False False 4.5