What’s a Cenote?

A cenote is a deep, water-crammed sinkgap in limestone that is 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 in the Yucatan Peninsula where the ground is primarily made up of limestone, and there are millions of cenotes and underground rivers there; they are the realm’s main supply of water. These sinkholes played an essential role in Mayan cosmogony, and nowadays are a big draw for vacationers who come to swim and dive and explore these refreshing natural swimming holes.

Significance of Cenotes
Cenotes had 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, have been 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 scorching day within the Yucatan, there’s nothing better than taking a refreshing dip in a cenote. A few of them are easy 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 by means of the ground, it usually has few suspended particles, so the water is extremely clear, making for wonderful visibility. They are a delight to snorkel or dive in.

Should you visit the Yucatan Peninsula, you’ll 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 getting into the cenote. That may take care of your spiritual cleanliness, but it’s additionally a good idea to keep in mind what you’re bringing into the cenote on your body – attempt to eschew chemical sunscreens and insect repellent as it might contaminate the water and it’s not favorable to the natural lifetime of the cenote.

Instead go for biodegradable, environmentally-pleasant options.

Gran Cenote, Tulum:

With its convenient location on the road between Tulum and Cobá archaeological sites, the Gran Cenote makes for a perfect stop between sizzling walks across the historical Maya ruins. Known as Sac Aktun in Mayan, this cenote has crystal-clear water with a depth of around thirty feet. There are accessible caverns (which are a little deeper) which can be home to small fish and some fascinating formations. The cenote is surrounded by jungle and gardens.

The Gran Cenote attracts each snorkelers and divers, who come to discover the caverns or just cool off within the lovely crystal-clear water. A shallow, sandy-bottomed snorkeling area close to the stairs leading down to the cenote is the perfect spot for inexperienced persons to discover the underwater world, while more experienced swimmers and divers venture into the massive cave, which is hung with stalactites.

Dos Ojos Cenote:

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

There is a safe, family-pleasant part of the cenote that’s good for snorkeling, with access out and in of the water from large wooden decks. Cavern diving is the most popular activity here although: the cave system is so vast and the underwater sights so extraordinary that many divers make this their must-do cease within the region. Along with incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, you’ll see bats (there’s an actual bat cave), small fish and a type of freshwater shrimp in the beautifully clear fresh water.

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

Cristalino Cenote:

Common with each locals and visitors looking for a well-situated, simply accessible and delightful swimming spot. The cenote is considered one of three close by (the opposite 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 doable for divers to discover the cave right here, which links Cristalino with Azul.

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

Cenote Cristalino is situated just off the primary Highway 307, south of Playa del Carmen.

Ik Kil Cenote:

This cenote, also known because the Blue Cenote, is a very picturesque swimming spot situated near Chichen Itza on the highway to Valladolid. Many visitors to the archaeological site make a stop here to chill off before heading back to their hotel, so it can get very crowded, especially between 1 and 4 pm. The cenote is open to the sky and the water level is about eighty five toes below ground level, with a carved stairway leading down to a swimming platform. If you want to skip the steps, you possibly can jump off the 15-20 foot wall.

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