Secrets of the Yucatán – Cenotes

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The word “Cenote” is pronounced, say-no-tay and is derived from the Mayan word, “Dzonot” which means sacred well. A combination of various geological events and climate changes created an incredible and unique ecosystem in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. These caves and underground rivers were created naturally over 6,500 years ago. Over the past 20 years, experienced scuba divers have explored these caves discovering more than 300 miles of interconnected passageways and caves that make up this amazing one of a kind ecosystem.

Cenote Dos Ojos

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This flooded cave system located south of Playa Del Carmen and north of Tulum, is the second greater cave system in the world. It extends at least 61 km, connecting over 25 cenotes, and contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with 118 meters/396 feet of depth located at The Cenote Pit.

To reach Cenote Dos Ojos, you need to take a hike through the jungle since it’s a bit hidden. Dos Ojos means Two Eyes, which refers to two neighboring cenotes. When you’re under the water, the two cenotes look like two big eyes. The left eye is best for divers to enter and the right bigger eye for snorkelers or swimmers. Try to look for secret passageways through the stalactites and stalagmites and you might find the Bat Cave.

Il Kil

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The Sacred Blue Cenote of Il Kil is located just a few miles from Chichen Itza. They used to mine the limestone of the cenote for the construction of Chichen Itza. In the old times the Mayan Kings and their courtesans also used to bath here.

Today it’s a nice way to cool off after visiting the ruins. The cenote is perfectly round and has beautiful vegetation, hanging vines and even waterfalls. Climb the grand stairway 85 feet down and take a dive into the transparent waters of the cenote.

 

Cenotillo

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If you can’t get enough of cenotes and you want to see the ones undiscovered by tourists then go to the villige of Cenotillo, which means little cenote, where you can find around 140 small cenotes. The cenotes are not easy to find, so be sure to hire a guide for the day.

If you would like to visit these yucatan cenotes, please contact us and we can organize your transport and/or guide.