What is a Cenote?

A cenote is a deep, water-filled sinkhole in limestone that’s created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses. This creates a natural pool which is then stuffed by rain and water flowing from underground rivers. The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzonot, which means “well.” Some cenotes are vertical, water-stuffed shafts, while others are caves that include pools and underwater passageways in their interior. Cenotes are inclined to have very clear, cool, fresh water.

Cenotes are prevalent within the Yucatan Peninsula the place the ground is primarily made up of limestone, and there are thousands of cenotes and underground rivers there; they’re the realm’s essential source of water. These sinkholes played an important role in Mayan cosmogony, and nowadays are a big draw for vacationers who come to swim and dive and discover these refreshing natural swimming holes.

Significance of Cenotes
Cenotes have been ritually significant to the traditional Maya because they had been considered passages to the underworld. Many cenotes, together with the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza and the cenote at Dzibilchaltún, were used for sacrificial purposes: human and animal skeletons, as well as sacrificial objects of gold, jade, pottery, and incense, have been dredged from them.

Cenote Swimming and Diving
On a sizzling day in the Yucatan, there’s nothing better than taking a refreshing dip in a cenote. A few of them are straightforward to access, with steps leading down to the water, and others are a bit more tricky, with ladders. In either case, take care when descending to a cenote because the steps may be slippery. Since the water filling the cenotes is rainwater that has filtered through the ground, it usually has few suspended particles, so the water is extremely clear, making for wonderful visibility. They’re a delight to snorkel or dive in.

If you visit the Yucatan Peninsula, you could have the opportunity to be blessed by a Maya shaman earlier than getting into the cenote. This is a way of showing respect for the significance of the cenotes to the Mayan culture. The shaman or healer will burn some incense and say a couple of words in Mayan, to bless you and cleanse you of any negative energy before coming into the cenote. That may take care of your spiritual cleanliness, however it’s additionally a good idea to keep in mind what you’re bringing into the cenote in your body – attempt to eschew chemical sunscreens and insect repellent as it could contaminate the water and it’s not favorable to the natural life of the cenote.

Instead opt for biodegradable, environmentally-friendly options.

Gran Cenote, Tulum:

With its handy location on the road between Tulum and Cobá archaeological sites, the Gran Cenote makes for an ideal cease between sizzling walks around the historical Maya ruins. Known as Sac Aktun in Mayan, this cenote has crystal-clear water with a depth of round thirty feet. There are accessible caverns (which are a little deeper) that are residence to small fish and a few fascinating formations. The cenote is surrounded by jungle and gardens.

The Gran Cenote attracts both snorkelers and divers, who come to explore the caverns or just cool off in the lovely crystal-clear water. A shallow, sandy-bottomed snorkeling area near the steps leading down to the cenote is the perfect spot for learners to explore the underwater world, while more skilled swimmers and divers venture into the large cave, which is hung with stalactites.

Dos Ojos Cenote:

Dos Ojos (meaning ” eyes” in Spanish) is the world’s third-largest underwater cave system, and a should-see for divers and snorkelers wanting to explore this fascinating world. It additionally contains the deepest passage within the state of Quintana Roo, an virtually four hundred-foot deep hole called “The Cenote Pit.” The name Dos Ojos refers to the neighboring cenotes related by a large cavern, said to resemble a pair of eyes marking the entrance to the underworld.

There is a safe, household-friendly part of the cenote that is excellent for snorkeling, with access in and out of the water from giant wooden decks. Cavern diving is the most well-liked activity here although: the cave system is so vast and the underwater sights so extraordinary that many divers make this their should-do cease in the region. Alongside with incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, you’ll see bats (there’s an precise bat cave), small fish and a type of freshwater shrimp within the fantastically clear contemporary water.

It is positioned just off Highway 307 between the towns of Akumal and Tulum.

Cristalino Cenote:

Standard with each locals and visitors looking for a well-situated, simply accessible and exquisite swimming spot. The cenote is considered one of three close by (the other two are called Cenote Azul and EL Jardin de Eden). All are part of the Ponderosa cave system. The setting is picturesque, with mangroves and jungle surrounding. While most visitors use the cenote primarily for swimming – it’s especially well-frequented by locals, who gather with their families on sweltering days – it’s also possible for divers to discover the cave right here, which links Cristalino with Azul.

Given its relative obscurity, Cristalino is an effective uncrowded dive spot, featuring an overhanging ledge and an exquisite cave beneath. Out within the open, there’s additionally a ledge with a ladder from which swimmers can dive or bounce into the clear water below.

Cenote Cristalino is positioned just off the principle Highway 307, south of Playa del Carmen.

Ik Kil Cenote:

This cenote, also known because the Blue Cenote, is a really picturesque swimming spot positioned near Chichen Itza on the highway to Valladolid. Many visitors to the archaeological site make a stop here to cool off before heading back to their hotel, so it can get very crowded, particularly between 1 and four pm. The cenote is open to the sky and the water level is about eighty five feet under ground stage, with a carved stairway leading down to a swimming platform. If you wish to skip the steps, you’ll be able to soar off the 15-20 foot wall.

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