By Natalie Gibb
The name “Carwash” does not lead to expectations of great beauty, but the entrance to Cenote Carwash is striking. While locals have used the fresh water of this cenote to clean their vehicles in the past, Cenote Carwash is now used exclusively for diving.
In the summer, Cenote Carwash is home to an interesting phenomenon. Microscopic algae grow near the surface of the water, giving the water an almost opaque green color. Divers brave enough to descend through this algal cloud will find the water clears almost immediately, leaving them hovering in an unexpected environment. The olive surface churns and wafts like angry thunderheads about to burst. In the filtered light, pinkish orange water lilies reach towards the cenote surface; they are so reflective that they almost appear to be sculpted from metal.
Swimming into the cavern's mouth, divers pass over twisted fragments of fallen wood. Rinsed by the gentle flow of water in Cenote Carwash, the once rough edges have become smooth as if polished by a careful artist.