Add to favorites

Dormant Sharks Cave

Photo credit: Willy Volk
Dormant Sharks Cave
  • (interesting)
  • 1-2 km
  • High
  • Average
  • 3 hours
  • 1 1

A diving location only for the very brave - the cave is infested by sharks!


The Dormant Sharks Cave is quite possibly one of the scariest places to go diving in.


The reason? This underwater cave in the Mexican Caribbean is infested by sharks. But don’t worry – they are “asleep” (but you never know if your day of your visit could be the one they wake up).


The cave is located seven kilometers away (a thirty minute boat ride) from Isla Mujeres and has become a popular diving destination for the fearless.


It was discovered about thirty years ago by a fisherman named Carlos García Castilla, better known as “La Válvula”. The fisherman swam into the cave and what he found there terrified him: the sight of at least a dozen deathly sharks.


He quickly swam out, but he got curious after noticing that these creatures never came out of the cave. He got ahold of appropriate diving equipment and went back in a few days later. He was shocked at the view of roughly twenty sharks, all of them whom were static but still alive. The species of sharks inside were all different, including Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Shortfin Mako Sharks and more.


He was later told to contact Ramón Bravo, a shark conduct expert who went into the cave himself and being unable to come up with an explanation, contacted Dr. Eugene Clark.


Clark’s explanation was that due to the currents coming in, the sharks remained unable to move and practically drugged but still able to breathe thanks to oxygen coming in from the currents.


The discovery of this cave attracted the attention of Jacques Yves Cousteau, the captain of Calypso. He contacted Carlos Bravo and promised to pay for him to guide him to where the cave was under the excuse that it was for a documentary film and that appropriate credit would be given to Carlos García Castilla.


After being guided to the place, Cousteau exiled both men from the ship because to him, they were Mexicans and would not be allowed inside the boat any longer. Later on, Cousteau took credit for the cave’s discovery. Fortunately, Carlos Bravo’s photographs of the place had already been published on several newspapers around the world.


The story above was told by Edwin Corona Cepeda, who was contacted by Ramón Bravo shortly after he visited the cave in the 80’s.


Ramón Bravo’s ashes rest inside the cave.


Opening hours

Tour schedules

How to get there

It is only a thirty-minute boat ride away from Isla Mujeres, but is only accessible via a guided tour.