When you think of Tulum, the first thing that comes to mind is the Mayan archeological zone, or chic boutique hotels and cabins, or in the beautiful colors of the Caribbean Sea with its wide white sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters. The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, has become the ideal tropical destination, also houses incredible natural wonders, such as cenotes.
CENOTES, THE MYSTERIOUS PHENOMENON OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
Cenotes, tz’onot in Maya, are natural sinks that contain freshwater and cover the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Although all of them have not been explored and mapped, there are believed to be thousands. The cenotes begin as an underground chamber produced by the dissolution of limestone by the infiltration of rainwater and the type of land in the region. There are three types of cenotes, those that are completely open (like a lake), those that are partially covered and those that are cavernous or underground.
The ancient Mayan civilization thought that the cenotes were a kind of portals to the underworld. This is not surprising to us, since the cenotes are impressive, with their filtered light, stalactites and stalagmites, the roots of crooked trees, there are cenotes that have a lot of depth and it is said that all these are interconnected and have water currents. Many cenotes are full of fish, and other species of flora and fauna little known. You can also find valuable Mayan artifacts, and precious stones since some cenotes were destined to make sacrifices to the gods. The cenotes were not only important in the spiritual life of the Maya, but in their life in general since they provided the civilization with fresh water.
The cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula are connected by hundreds of miles of underground rivers that have just begun to be explored and mapped, but now we know that two of the longest cave systems are located in Quintana Roo, the Mexican state where they are located Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Imagine the excitement of exploring a cenote and all its mysterious contents. DIVE LIFE offers diving tours in three of Tulum’s most fascinating cenotes.