Cenotes explained!


Cenotes formed because of the asteroid that hit the earth 70 million years ago and extinct the dinosaurs. During the last ice age Yucatan’s Peninsula was underwater, when the land emerged exposed the reef barrier and gave way to a limestone soil formation. Limestone is like a sponge that allows water and rain filtration making subterranean rivers, with time these rivers erode the soil collapsing into what we call a cenote.

In Quintana Roo is cave systems of 61 kilometers, many of these caves have not been discovered yet and many of the caves are connected. Ancient Mayans had a strong link with cenotes as they thought were a door to the underworld protected by mystical creatures named aluxes. Cenotes were also a water supply for their communities.

These types of formations are extremely rare in the world and the largest system is in the south of Mexico, being a popular attraction for tourists and professional divers. Archeologists have found treasures, weapons and even elephant bones!

We can find 4 types of cenotes:

Open Cenote

Have the shape of a cylinder with tall walls and beautiful vegetation.


Cave Cenote

Guard a river inside a cave and often are connected to other systems.


Semi-open Cenote

This is a mixture of open and cave, shows a lot of vegetation.


Ancient Cenote

This type is completely exposed but covered by a thick layer of vegetation.


Picture of Eduardo from All About Playa

Eduardo from All About Playa

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