(Gran Cenote in Tulum)
I’ve been meaning to write about cenotes for quite awhile now. Visiting them has been one of our favorite parts of living here ~ they are an amazing part of the eco-system of the Yucatan Peninsula! So far we’ve visited Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, Azul and Eden…over the kid’s winter break from school, we’ll be visiting Ik Kil on our way to Merida. It’s hard to choose a favorite as we’ve loved them all. We learned that the the word “cenote” comes from the Mayan word, “ts’onot”, which means a place where groundwater is accessible, “deep thing” or “abyss”. They were thought to be spiritual places where life originates. Mayans would hide their sacred objects from Catholic priests within cenotes as Spain was conquering Mexico .
Cenotes are formed as rainwater filters down through limestone bedrock ~ some of it eventually collapsing and exposing groundwater underneath. Some cenotes are open and sort of look like small or large ponds and some have caves over the water that is partially open and partially closed. Some of the cenotes in this region go as deep as 100 meters (330 feet) near the center of the peninsula or 20 meters (66 feet) near the coast. We got to go to a cenote exhibit a couple of months ago here at the Playa Planetarium which was super interesting!
We love snorkeling in them!
Andrew also loves cliff jumping at some of them!
(made at Cenote Azul)
Looking forward to continuing our cenote adventures in 2017!