You know that I am in love with the Riviera Maya, especially my home, Playa del Carmen, and today I will teach you about one of the least known but most fun things to do here. I will give you a perfect option for a great weekend with your family or your friends.
It’s fun, interesting and ….refreshing!
So… have you ever heard of cenotes?
The word “cenote” comes from the Mayan word ‘dzonot’, meaning ‘well’, considered by the Mayans to be the entrance to the spiritual underworld. Cenotes were sacred places to Mayans, and were used to make sacrifices and rituals.
Cenotes are natural water-filled sinkholes, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. This creates a natural pool which is then filled by rain and underground rivers.
Cenotes are spectacular in many ways – either for swimming, snorkeling or diving. You can find many of them between the area of Playa del Carmen and Tulum on the Caribbean cost.
What about swimming and enjoying the transparent fresh water after your visit in Chichen Itza, Coba, Tulum?… Imagine a hot day, tired feet, and suddenly – a cool, pure and refreshing water! Or diving, and discovering the underwater secrets, stalactites and stalagmites, mixed history and mystery, all of this surrounded by the wild jungle.
You can’t miss this incredible experience, this natural beauty surrounded by the jungle, which has been a source of life for local people for centuries. In ancient times, the Maya civilization relied on fresh water of cenotes for everything ranging from drinking water to crop irrigation, building and burial.
- For divers – you never go into a sinkhole without the proper training and equipment.
- For snorkelers – anyone can snorkel in cenotes!
- Our concierge can suggest cenotes around Playa del Carmen.
Here are the list with the principal cenotes near Playa del Carmen:
- Chac Mool (Claw of the Jaguar) Location: 22 km south of Playa Del Carmen/Almost across from Puerto Aventuras.
- Ponderosa (El Eden) Location: 3 km south of Puerto Aventuras.
- Chikin Ha (Points of Direction) Location: 5 km south of Puerto Aventuras just before Xpu-Ha/Across from Barcelo Maya Hotel/Long way down bumpy road.
- Kantun Chi Location: Just past Chikin Ha Cenote.
- Cristalino Location: Just past Kantun Chi/Close to highway.
- Azul Location: Just past Cristalino Cenote/Close to highway.
- Taj Mahal Location: 26 km south of Playa Del Carmen/5 km south of Puerto Aventuras/Just south of Xpu-Ha.
- Dos Ojos (Hidden Worlds) Location: 48 km south of Playa Del Carmen/3 km south of Xel-Ha/On right 4 km down dirt road.
- Temple of Doom (Calavera/Skull) Location: 2 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right/Very rugged rocky unmarked jungle path approximately 50 yds from road.
- Gran Cenote (Sac Aktun/White Water) Location: 5 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right.
- Aktun Ha Location: 8 km from Tulum on road to Coba/4 km past Gran Cenote on left.
- Cristal (Naharon) Location: 4 km south of Tulum on right.
- Escondido (Mayan Blue) Location: 4 km south of Tulum on left/Across from Cristal Cenote/2 km walk in Jungle.