What are cenotes?
Cenotes are natural sinkholes found in Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. They’re formed when limestone caves collapse, which leaves a tunnel between the surface of the earth and an underground cavern filled with fresh, clear water. A cenote is essentially a giant pool of clear freshwater that has been naturally filtered over thousands of years by sandstone and other rock formations.
They are beautiful and mysterious – you will never find anything like them anywhere else on Earth!
Cenotes are a popular tourist draw, and for good reason. They’re beautiful, especially in the light of day or with lights on at night. Cenotes are naturally-formed sinkholes that extend below ground to reveal caverns filled with freshwater and stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
Cenotes were considered sacred spaces by ancient civilizations like the Maya, who believed they were portals to Xibalba (the underworld). Today people visit them as part of their underground journey adventure or simply because they want to see something different while traveling in Mexico.
The Mayans viewed cenotes as sacred.
They were used for ritualistic purposes, such as sacrifices, ceremonies and meditation. They were also used for drinking water and bathing. If you visit a cenote today, you can see remnants of this time in the form of cave paintings that represent various gods and goddesses. The Mayans believed the gods would protect them from danger if they paid homage to them at these underground pools.
The cenotes still serve an important role today for both locals and tourists alike—they provide potable water to millions of people who live nearby!
Some cenotes are harder to find and require a guided tour.
Cenotes are natural pools that form in the cavities of limestone. They can be found throughout Mexico and have become a major tourist attraction. Some cenotes are easy to find, but others are harder to get to and require a guided tour. If you have time, it’s worth seeking out some of the more remote ones—it adds another layer of adventure to your vacation.
- What is a Cenote Tour?
A cenote tour is when someone takes you out into the jungle and shows you one or more cenotes they’ve discovered on their own while exploring the area (as opposed to one that has been developed by tourism). Because these tours aren’t as well-known as other activities in this area such as snorkeling or diving, they tend not be as crowded either! You’ll usually see fewer people than at other attractions around Tulum or Playa del Carmen too—which means less waiting around for an opportunity to turn yourself into a human cannonball from high above into an emerald pool below.
- What Are the Best Cenotes to Visit?
There are hundreds of different options available in the Mayan Riviera depending on what type of experience you’re looking for—from dark caves to open cenotes that has crystal-clear water that you can jump into from the cliffs above. These two places I’ve listed below, have a variety of different cenotes to explore.
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We hope you enjoyed this overview of the cenotes of Mexico. They are a fun way to explore the country’s natural beauty and a great way to get away from the crowds and cool off.