What is a cenote?

What is a cenote?

Cenote or “Ts’onot” is a word used by the Mayans which refers to a place with accessible groundwater. The waters of the cenotes are usually crystalline and cold because they come from the slow filtration of rainwater through the soil of the jungle. In Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes have been the main source of drinking water for generations.

Cenotes are large natural pools, of about 10 meters in diameter, like those that can be found in Chichén Itzá. Most cenotes are closed wells and they do not necessarily have the water exposed on the surface, although there are too.

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Closed Cenote

The famous city of Chichén Itzá was built around these water wells, such as the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote). The cenotes were also used for Mayan rituals because they believed that were portals to the Xib’alb’a, as the Mayans called the underworld. The most visited cenotes nowadays are the Ik Kil and Selva Maya (Mayan Jungle).

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Ik Kil Cenote

Tulum, another famous archaeological site in the region, has two beautiful cenotes: Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) and Gran Cenote (Great Cenote). Every year they attract visitors from different parts of the world with the desire to experience the unique sensation of swimming in a cenote.

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Two Eyes Cenote

Tourists tell us about various experiences related to water temperature, depth and amazing visibility for snorkeling. All of them agree that the beauty, peaceful feeling transmitted and the mystical atmosphere that the place evokes transcends any explanation and it is something that, definitely, must be experienced!

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