A cenotes is defined as a natural sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Cenotes are one of the most beautiful natural occurences in the Yucatan. With over 6000 cenotes in the Yucatan cenotes diving has become a huge attraction for tourism and diving enthusiasts. With so many gorgeous cenotes in the Yucatan where do you start? We’ve narrowed it down to a list of 5 of our favorites:
Located at the Mayan site of Dzibichaltun, this is the closest cenote to Merida which is just to the north. Meaning “old village,” it is an open ground level cenote, great for swimming. It is more than 140 feet deep at one end.
Located in the center of Valladolid, this cenote is home to many rare fish included a species ofeyeless black fish called “lub.” This cenote is know for its gorgeous turquoise waters and is fully surrounded by a walkway. Another attraction of this location is the abundance of stalactites and stalagmites in the cenote.
3. Dzitnup or Keken
Located about 4 miles southeast of Valladolid this is one of the most photgraphed cenotes in the Yucatan. This, of course, adds to its notoriety. It unique in that its underground with a hole in the ceiling. The waters are deep and crystal clear. There is lighting and a guide rope to make it easier to enter.
The town of Cuzama has a very large number of cenotes that call it home. The main cenotes of this area are: Chelentun (laying down rock), Chansinic’che (tree with small ants) and Bolonchoojol (nine drops of water). Each is beautiful and unique however the Chelentun Cenote has incredibly clear blue water and excellent visibility for divers. Stalactite and stalagmite formations also add to its unique beauty.
At the Kankirixche (which means tree with yellow fruit) Cenote, you will find a large, spectacular sub-aquatic cavern with crystal clear water that allows fantastic visibility for snorkeling or scuba. Also, like many other cenotes of the area you will find stalactites and tree roots in impressive formations from the ceiling to the water.