Yucatan Cenotes in Mexico, photo and description

The 10 most interesting cenotes in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico

The Riviera Maya is the center of tourism on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It has great beaches and resorts for a variety of travelers. Archaeological areas, nature reserves, theme parks and endless entertainment – all conditions are created here to make the tourist satisfied and want to return to Mexico more than once.

But in the Mayan Riviera is something that you will not find anywhere else in the world. They are cenotes, amazing natural cavities and caves in karst rocks, hidden from the outside world, filled with living crystal clear water, decorated with stalactites and full of mysterious legends of the ancient Mayan people. The water in the cenotes is always cool and it is the perfect place to relax after a hot sunny day. In the cenotes can just swim, jump into the water from the shore or from the tower, you can snorkel, watching the fish under water, or you can dive and explore the mysterious underwater kingdom, which is famous for many cenotes. Some cenotes are entire complexes of underground rivers and caves that stretch for many kilometers and have not been fully explored. The Mekikan Seasons are the pristine nature as it was thousands of years ago.

Here are just a few of the cenotes that you must visit if you come to vacation in the Riviera Maya.

Chac Mool Cenote

This cenote is more for divers than fans of swimming in the cool water. Chac Mool is located on the cenote route (Cenote Ruta) and is close to the Puerto Aventuras hotel area. Its name means “claw of the jaguar” in Mayan. It is famous for its two main chambers. One is large and open, ideal for beginner divers. Abundant light penetrates under the water from the holes above. The other is for those who want to explore the underwater world, as the depths are filled with stalagmites in two rows. The beam of light coming through the hole in the dome makes the underwater landscape almost perfect. Along the open surface of the main entrance, tree trunks and branches go underwater.

Aktun Chen Cenote

The park where the cenote is located is in the heart of a tropical rainforest. The cenote is full of beautiful natural formations and is not too deep. The cenote has a stunning pattern of stalactites and beautiful stone arches, as well as a mystical lake of ancient Maya, which opens up into the heart of a pristine rainforest. You can swim and snorkel in the cenote, exploring the underwater tunnels and caves that are home to some incredible creatures.

The park surrounding the cenote is a completely tourist spot. In addition to the cenote, forest tours, ziplining with magnificent views, and a journey through an underground cave nearly 700 meters long are worthy of attention. The depths of the ancient karst cave are dotted with amazing stalactites. Everything is reminiscent of the Mayans, who prayed to their gods here. It is one of the oldest underground karst complexes in Mexico. The cave ends with a cenote of fabulous beauty.

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Sacred Cenote (Cenote Sagrado)

This cenote is an archaeological site known as the “Well of Sacrifices”. It is located in the archaeological area of Chichen Itza. The Maya once made offerings and even human sacrifices here, worshipping the rain god Chaak. Scepters, various weapons and jewelry have been found in its depths. Some of them were broken and perhaps even deliberately before being thrown into the water. The Maya also sacrificed their enemies, and human skeletons have been found at the bottom of the cenote.

You cannot swim in this cenote or even go down to its water, but it is a fantastic place to experience local history and culture. Although the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza may seem like a very dark place, it is one of the most beautiful attractions of the region.

Cristalino Cenote

This cenote is called “crystal clear” because of its pristine clear water, through which you can see the fish that live in it. It is surrounded by dense tropical vegetation and mangroves. It is an open cenote, not a cave, which makes it a great place for swimming, snorkeling, and snorkeling. You can jump in the water. The water in the cenote is quite cool, but very refreshing. Just dip your feet into the water. There will gather around small fishes, which will make you a free exfoliation.

The area of the cenote is large enough, so pandemonium here does not happen. There is a restaurant nearby and plenty of services to spend a good day here with the family. You can just wander along the landscaped paths in the shade of tropical vegetation.

Tak Be Ha Cenote

This beautiful cave is a cave created by nature thousands of years ago. Stalactites and tree roots of incredible shapes hang from the ceiling, and clear water covers the bottom. The name of the cenote means “hidden path”. This is a great place to visit during a tour or on your own, especially if you are an experienced diver. You can see every pebble underwater, in the reflected rays come to life stalactites and stalagmites of the underwater cave. The water is cool, but the body quickly gets used to it. You are completely free to navigate the mysterious fairy tale labyrinths of the underground river.

The cenote is located 15 minutes from Tulum and 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen.

Taj Mahal Cenote

This cenote, named after the famous temple in India, consists of 4 connected cenotes. A great place for beginner divers, and a visit to the cenote is offered as part of many tours. However, to fully experience the beauty of the underwater world, you must be an experienced diver to traverse the five-meter underwater wall that separates the main room and the adjacent chambers. The cenote has beautiful vaults, with bright sunlight penetrating in places. There is also a beautiful hall with a huge air space and three holes in the dome through which the sun’s rays pass.

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In the caves, you can see hundreds of stalactites lying in the sediment. Continuing your dive, you will get to the “sugar bowl”, a second small cenote, where on sunny days you can watch an amazing light show. The Taj Mahal is decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, and hidden fossils.

Suytun Cenote

Suytun is a beautiful cenote 8 km from Valladolid. It is located in a beautiful jungle countryside and there is a museum that displays the archaeological finds made in this cenote.

Saitoon is the star of Instagram. Stone stairs lead inside. Suitun means “stone center,” and it is the central stone platform that gives the cenote its special romanticism. The colossal size of the dome, the crystal clear water, the shapes created by its stones, and the reflections of the sun capture at the very first sight. Ancient stalactites decorate the ceiling, and a ray of sunlight streams from the center of the dome. When the sun illuminates its interior, it further enhances the beauty of the blue color of the water. You can swim in this cenote. The shallow, crystal-clear waters allow you to see the many freshwater fish that inhabit it.

The best time to take a photo is when the light is just crossing the cenote, around noon to 2:00 pm. The cenote is also equipped with an artificial lighting system that emphasizes its beauty and pristine nature. The cenote offers many services such as lodging, restaurants, lounges and even the possibility to rent the cenote for an event.

Dos Ojos Cenote

This cenote is named “Two Eyes” because of the two cenotes that are connected to each other and resemble a pair of eyes. This is a fantastic site for divers with an average depth of 17 meters and miles of caves with underwater cameras.

The sun’s rays streaming through the crystal clear water create a unique underwater play of light and color that can be enjoyed endlessly. The rainwater passes through the lime rocks and is purified and fills the cenote. As you dive deeper, you can see the remains of fossil fish, snails, coral and seashells, which tells you that this place was once completely

underwater. It’s another world – a world of peace and quiet. The beautiful azure colored water makes you feel like you are in a fairy tale underwater kingdom, where ancient stalactites have formed unique avenues.

The cenote is great for relaxing, it is equipped with comfortable platforms for descending into the water. Walking from one cenote to another, you can admire the beauty of the tropical nature surrounding the place.

Siete Bocas cenote

Actually this is a cenote system that has 7 entrances. Some of them have stairs, in others you have to jump in and then climb the rope ladder. You can swim underground from entrance to entrance. The entrances and the surrounding area, by the way, are unremarkable. This cenote is for those looking for solitude, a deep connection to nature, because it is not overly visited. Perhaps it does not offer as many tourist services as other cenotes. But it is great for those who expect solitude. Don’t forget to bring your diving gear beforehand, or even just a mask and snorkel. Swimming in the karst caves and watching underwater stalactites leave an unforgettable impression.

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Zazil Ha Cenote

This small cenote was discovered relatively recently, about 30 years ago, but it has become a very popular tourist destination due to its beauty, natural surroundings and easy accessibility. Located not far from Tulum, with crystal clear water and depths of no more than 4 meters it is a great place for those who prefer to swim or just relax on the beach.

The cenote is equipped with toilets, changing rooms, tables and gazebos. If you want you can take a ride on a small bungee cord or jump from a 3-meter platform into the water. Masks and vests are available for rent.

The cenotes in the Mayan Riviera are truly magical places. Swimming or diving in the cenotes is one of the most memorable activities during a tour in Mexico. You can’t come to the Riviera Maya and not visit the cenotes. The cenotes are only on the Yucatan, and nowhere else in the world.

Hello! Please advise me a cenote to swim with kids up to 5 years old, not too difficult to get to and safe. Not far from Cancun. Preferably a cave-like cenote.

Hello Irina! Here are 4 cenotes suitable for children: Kin Ha, Siete Bocas, Boca del Puma and Cenotes Zapote. Google the name and see the location. They are all located near one another and not far from Puerto Morelos. Boca del Puma is an open cenote, next to Siete Bocas, but it is well organized and you will like it there. There is also an open space in Sapote, and there are areas under the rock.

You can ask your question in the comments of this publication.

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The 4 best cenotes in Mexico for outdoor enthusiasts

The cenotes are one of the key attractions of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The entire Yucatan is riddled with cenotes, not even dozens but thousands of them, and thousands more to be discovered. Only a small fraction of the cenotes have been explored and are available for tourists to visit.

The ancient Maya believed that the cenotes are the way to the underworld, where the dead and the gods of disease and death reside. The road to Xibalbá, the underworld of the Maya, was full of traps and dangers. On the way one had to cross a river filled with scorpions, then a river filled with blood, and a river filled with pus.

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Today, the underground rivers of cenotes and caves are beloved by outdoor enthusiasts. You can’t be in Mexico and not be in a cenote. Enchanting underground world, a miracle of nature, filled with water and shrouded in ancient legends – even just to look at the cenote from the inside means to get an unforgettable experience. And if you add to it swimming in the underground river, jumping into the water from a height or a tour of the cave, the emotions will last for many years.

Among the many Mexican cenotes we would like to highlight four. They are well organized and include not just “come, see, swim”, but also other exciting and active activities.

Río Secreto

Located near the Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen and the Xcaret Group theme parks, Río Secreto is a whole system of underground galleries and rivers created by nature itself. It is the longest unflooded cave system in the Yucatan. The continuous filtration of rainwater through the soil over millions of years has formed a huge number of stalactites and stalagmites here. Trees stretched their roots dozens of meters deep to reach the water of underground lagoons and rivers.

Rio Secreto was found by chance by a local farmer who was catching an iguana hiding under the rocks. Under the rocks, the farmer discovered the entrance to the cave… Before the caves were opened to the public, the system of underground galleries was carefully examined by archaeologists and speleologists.

Today, Rio Secto offers its visitors a variety of tours and activities. First, you can go through a Mayan ceremony asking the gods to allow you to go to the underworld. You can take a short underwater river tour, go snorkeling, observing the inhabitants of the underground lagoons, swim and dive, and even ride a bicycle. In the Peace Hall, a natural amphitheater, you will witness an unforgettable show – a play of light and sound.

Dos Ojos

The flooded caves of the Two Eyes (Dos Ojos) are located in Ejido Jacinto Pat Park near Tulum, Mexico. The two cenotes are connected by a large cave inhabited by bats, hence the name. You can swim, dive, or snorkel in the cenotes, admiring the azure colors of the water under the rays of sunlight that pass through it inside the cenotes.

Nearby are other cenotes – Pit, Jaguar, Nicte Ha and Maya Mystery. Some of them are closed to the public. Exploration of the cenotes began in 1987 and continues to this day.

Dos Ojos are part of the San Acon system, the longest known submerged cave system in the world (319 km). In addition, one of the underwater caves Dos Ojos has a depth of 119 m – it is the deepest cave in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It is a system of anchialine caves, where the natural infiltration of seawater causes tides in the cenotes.

The water temperature is 25 °C all year round and the maximum depth of the main Dos Ojos cenotes is about 10 meters. Most of the dives in the cenotes are 5-7 meters deep. The water in the cenotes is exceptionally clear as a result of rainwater filtration through limestone in an area where soils are almost nonexistent.

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Xenotes

Xenotes is an organized tour of four cenotes by the Xcaret group. The cenotes differ from each other: one is almost at the surface, another is semi-open, and another is completely hidden in a cave. The last cenote is cylindrical in shape, with vertical walls covered with a “carpet” of vegetation typical of the area.

In the cenotes you can snorkel, canoe with a paddle, and jump into the water on a rope. Life jackets are issued to all visitors.

The Xenotes tour also includes a final buffet.

Sotuta .

There are seven cenotes on the Yucatan about an hour’s drive from Merida, united by the common name of Sotuta or Los 7 Cenotes. The cenotes are located under the cover of the dense tropical flora of the Yucatan, and the park can be reached by bicycle or on foot along jungle trails. The surroundings of the cenotes are rustic, but the cenotes themselves offer visitors every opportunity for outdoor activities. This is probably the closest to the sense of presence of the Mayan culture cenotes, which is facilitated by the surrounding nature and the created entourage.

Blue Butterfly is the name of the first cenote. To get to the cenote, you need to jump from a nine-meter platform or go down the stairs if you are not so brave. El Caracol cenote, which is located nearby, is a large enclosed cave. There are stalactites and a variety of aquatic fauna. In the Arcoiris cenote you can go down into the water on ropes.

After visiting the cenotes, tourists are offered a lunch of traditional Yucatecan dishes prepared by a local chef.

It is a good idea to remind you to take a shower before swimming in the cenotes to remove any traces of sunscreen or deodorant from your body. All cenotes provide this facility.

Cenote (cenote) – a form of karst relief, a natural failure formed by the collapse of the roof of a limestone cave in which groundwater flows. Cenotes are found on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and the nearby islands of the Caribbean. In the past, they were used by the ancient Mayan Indians as water sources and places for sacrifices.

There are over 6,000 different cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cenote water is often very clear, coming from rainwater slowly seeping through the ground, and therefore contains very little suspended solids. The water temperature in almost all cenotes is constant at 24-25°C.

The most famous cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula are: Dos Ojos, Tulum; Dzibilchaltun, Yucatan; Ik Kil, Yucatan; Gran Cenote, Tulum; Hubiku, Yucatan; Sacred Cenote, Chichen Itza; Xtacunbilxunan, Bolognchen; Cenote Azul, Playa del Carmen; Jardin Del Eden, Playa del Carmen; Choo-Ha, Coba; Zaci, Valladolid.

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