Have you ever swam in a crystal-clear sinkhole amidst a lush jungle? Swimming in a cenote is a unique experience, only found in Mexico and one of the things you should definitely try out during your trip.
Cenotes are mostly found on the Yucatan peninsula in the southern part of Mexico. The great Mayans knew about the cenotes long before they became a bucket-list attraction, and they used them as a source of water as well as in their spiritual ceremonies.
Top Cenotes in Mexico
If you want to visit some of the most amazing cenotes choose Valladolid cenotes or cenotes near Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Most cenotes in Mexico are open to the public, and many offer activities like swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving. You can either join one of the cenote tours from Tulum or other cities of Riviera Maya if you enjoy a hassle-free excursion or rent a car and visit independently.
The choice is really vast, as there are hundreds of cenotes in Yucatan, but after reading this post, you will discover which cenotes in Mexico are truly unmissable.
What are cenotes in Mexico?
If you haven’t been to Mexico yet, you’re probably wondering, what is a cenote?
Cenotes are pools of water that form when porous limestone bedrock collapses, and since there is plenty of limestone in Yucatan, there are many cenotes there. Some cenotes are part of large underground river systems, and others are connected to the sea.
Cavern cenotes are the youngest cenotes where the limestone roof hasn’t eroded yet. These sinkholes are closed and resemble a cave. They receive minimal natural light and are dark and mysterious, so swimming in one of the close cenotes is a truly unique experience. An example of a cave cenote is Cenote Suytun.
Open cenotes are much older, with their roof eroded away over the years. They are open to the external world, lit with natural light, and normally covered with lush vegetation. Most cenotes in Yucatan are open cenotes, they are fun to visit and great for swimming. Examples of open cenotes include Gran Cenote and Cenote Ik Kil.
We also have ancient cenotes that are the oldest in Yucatan. An example of an ancient cenote is Cenote Azul or Cenote Cocalitos in Bacalar, which resemble a lagoon or a lake with both roofs and walls eroded away.
In the Mayan culture, cenotes played an important role. They were seen as the bridge between the earthly and the divine worlds. They were considered sacred places and were used for religious rituals,…
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