What is a cenote you might ask. Well that is definitely a word you will grow to know and love in this part of the world as there are more of these beautiful things here in the Yucatan and Riviera Maya then anywhere else in the world. The short dictionary description is a natural water filled sink hole in the ground usually in area prominently made of lime. They are so much more then that though and there are also different kinds depending on how they are formed. The basic 3 different kinds are, open, closed, river.
The open ones are just what they state, open. They have an open roof and is usually sunk down into the ground creating sheer walls straight up to the ground surface. These ones are perfect for diving into as long as you can find a way back up. Most of the bigger ones or the ones off the main highway down the Riviera are already developed with steps to get you back out.
The closed ones are also just what they state, closed but they usually have hole in the top from ground level that will give you access to them. A lot of times these are man made from when they discovered them. These ones have the most majestic feeling are usually clear water cenotes because the water inlet in the bottom doesn’t get clogged with falling debris from over hanging trees. If these ones are public then they will have lights, diving boards, rope swings, and other horizontal ropes you can either pull yourself around or try to walk across. Sometimes if you lucky enough to find an off the beaten path one you can actually just jump through the hole in the roof and fall all the way through the cave into the water.
The last kind is a river style underground one. These ones are horizontal and will sometimes feel like your walking through a mine sometimes with a bunch of water and some times just sporadic pools. These ones are definitely fun to adventure through and especially if you can exit out somewhere else. If you find a very water filled one you can usually snorkel under the edges and find other open caverns and pockets to explore. Just be careful not to get lost!
Always be careful when experiencing these beautiful natural swimming holes whether you are adventuring on your own or on one of our cenote tours from Cancun, and ALWAYS remember to only use biodegradable sunblock. Not only when swimming in these delicate water systems but anywhere in the Riviera. It’s a very special and amazing place here in the Riviera so lets protect it for our children to also enjoy!