What’s a Cenote?

A cenote is a deep, water-filled sinkgap in limestone that’s created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses. This creates a natural pool which is then crammed 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 contain pools and underwater passageways of their interior. Cenotes are inclined to have very clear, cool, recent water.

Cenotes are prevalent within the Yucatan Peninsula the place the ground is primarily made up of limestone, and there are millions of cenotes and underground rivers there; they are the area’s major source of water. These sinkholes played an necessary position 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 ancient Maya because they had been considered passages to the underworld. Many cenotes, including the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza and the cenote at Dzibilchaltún, have been used for sacrificial functions: 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 in the Yucatan, there’s nothing higher than taking a refreshing dip in a cenote. Some of them are simple 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 will be slippery. Because the water filling the cenotes is rainwater that has filtered by the ground, it usually has few suspended particles, so the water is extraordinarily clear, making for excellent visibility. They are a delight to snorkel or dive in.

When you visit the Yucatan Peninsula, you could have the opportunity to be blessed by a Maya shaman before entering 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 just a few words in Mayan, to bless you and cleanse you of any negative energy before entering the cenote. That may take care of your spiritual cleanliness, however it’s also a good suggestion to keep in mind what you’re bringing into the cenote on your body – try 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 stop between scorching walks across 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) which can be house 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 discover the caverns or just cool off within the beautiful crystal-clear water. A shallow, sandy-bottomed snorkeling space near the steps leading down to the cenote is the proper spot for newcomers to discover the underwater world, while more skilled swimmers and divers venture into the massive cave, which is hung with stalactites.

Dos Ojos Cenote:

Dos Ojos (which means “two eyes” in Spanish) is the world’s third-largest underwater cave system, and a should-see for divers and snorkelers desirous to explore this fascinating world. It also contains the deepest passage in the state of Quintana Roo, an nearly four hundred-foot deep hollow called “The Cenote Pit.” The name Dos Ojos refers to the neighboring cenotes linked by a large cavern, said to resemble a pair of eyes marking the doorway to the underworld.

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

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

Cristalino Cenote:

Well-liked 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 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 households on sweltering days – it’s additionally possible for divers to explore the cave here, which links Cristalino with Azul.

Given its relative obscurity, Cristalino is a good uncrowded dive spot, featuring an overhanging ledge and a stupendous cave beneath. Out within 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 located just off the main Highway 307, south of Playa del Carmen.

Ik Kil Cenote:

This cenote, also known because the Blue Cenote, is a very picturesque swimming spot positioned near Chichen Itza on the highway to Valladolid. Many visitors to the archaeological site make a cease here to cool 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 degree is about eighty five ft beneath ground level, with a carved stairway leading down to a swimming platform. If you want to skip the steps, you can bounce off the 15-20 foot wall.

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