Cenotes de Yucatán: The portals to the Mayan paradise

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These holes on earth are unique and impressive, either to swim in them or simply to admire them

Cenotes de Yucatán: The portals to the Mayan paradise

It is about to start the austral autumn, while in the north, spring and summer are approaching, the perfect time to visit the cenotes, a natural wonder of the Mayan Riviera located in Mexico.

Leer en español: Cenotes de Yucatán: Los portales al paraíso maya

The word cenote comes from the Maya ts'onot, which means abyss. With that name, the Mayans called the holes or caverns that are in the earth and that are full of water, considering them even sacred. According to the magazine Mexico Desconocido, in the entire Yucatan peninsula, which occupy the Mexican states Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan, there are about ten thousand cenotes documented.


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The cenotes have become a tourist attraction of the peninsula, combining natural beauty with the Mayan past of the region, making it a suitable place for all kinds of people. There are many activities for those who love nature: swimming, archeological sites, speleology, and even diving. You can rent equipment to dive and find tourist services of all kinds, in addition to the delicious cuisine.

These are the most impressive cenotes you can visit in southern Mexico, according to information from Mexico Unknown magazine and the Guide Riviera Maya and Riviera Maya sites.


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Chac Mool

If you know how to dive, this cenote is a challenge, because it has all kinds of attractions inside and outside the water. The place has impressive caverns in which sunlight enters and in which you can also observe the roots of large trees that reach from the surface to the depth of 13 meters. It is also possible to find fossils and natural effects such as that produced by the encounter of fresh water and salt water in the same place.

It is one of the most famous cenotes in Mexico, as well as being accessible since it is only 20 minutes away from Playa del Carmen, an important tourist site.

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In contrast to Chac Mool, Xkekén is for the whole family, because it is equipped with attractions so that everyone can swim in it. Like almost all the cenotes, it has crystal clear waters and all the shades of blue and turquoise, as well as being inside a covered cave you can see the stalactites and the natural beauty of the place. Located only 3 km. from the city of Valladolid.


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Sacred Cenote

This cenote is an archaeological treasure, it is located 5 kilometers from the Chichén Itzá Castle, one of the new 7 wonders of the world. In this hole, women were thrown as a sacrifice in the Mayan era, making it a place to observe the region's past, surrounded by legends such as one that says the cenote is directly connected to a large pyramid.


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Great cenote

One of the most famous for its half-moon shape is suitable for diving or just for swimming. Its crystal clear waters and its shallow depth, of just 10 meters, facilitate its journey with outdoor sections and covered sections, where they can also live with the fish that inhabit it. Many cenotes are interconnected underground, this is part of one of the largest and most important underground river systems in the world. Its location is excellent, 5 km. from Tulum and 133 km. from Cancun.


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Ik Kil

Located near the sacred Cenote, this place is friendly with tourists, because it has all kind of services, it is easy to access having a staircase that takes you to the bottom, on the edge of the inner pier. There are cabins to spend the night and amenities such as jacuzzi, the perfect balance between comfort and nature.


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LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from: "Cenotes de Yucatán: Los portales al paraíso Maya"

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