A cenote is characterized as a hole in the ground which is usually over thousands of years old and which leads to an underground system of caverns. These large underground cavities are made primarily of limestone, and when the roofs collapse, they usually leave exposed a large body of clear, cool freshwater, a must see when you are on the lookout for things to do in Riviera Maya.
Here are three things you didn’t know about cenotes.
1. They were considered sacred by the Maya
Before Spaniards conquered the Yucatan Peninsula, the native Mayan civilization regarded cenotes as sacred grounds. The term “cenote” comes from the Mayan word ” dzonot “, which means “pit” or “hole in the ground”, and it is used to designate a natural well.
2. They come in many shapes and sizes
In the Yucatan Peninsula there are three types of cenotes: open cenotes look like ponds or springs, semi-open cenotes are partially covered by a dome-shaped rock formation, and underground cenotes – mostly hidden inside a cavern – have just a small entrance through a crack in the limestone.
3. Cenotes are a natural playground
Cenotes make for surprising playgrounds, and are ripe for adventure. Adventure tours have begun to incorporate encounters offering some of the best snorkeling in the country, diving and even walking tours.