Cenotes: Unique to the Riviera

You may never have heard the word “Cenote” before coming to Playa Del Carmen, however you will surely hear about them once you are here.  In short, they can be described as underground sources of water or a large sinkhole containing groundwater. What makes cenotes so unique to this part of the world, the Riviera, is that there happens to be an extreme abundance of these natural marvels here.  Cenotes are found in the Yucatán Peninsula and some nearby Caribbean islands. The term derives from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya to mean any location with accessible groundwater.
Part of the adventure here is going to dive and snorkel at these wonderful treasures. Many collectivos (or vans) will taxi to and from many different cenote locations. Some of the more famous Cenotes include the one at Chichen itzu, which was used for many different Mayan spiritual practices. On the practical side, the widely distributed cenotes are the only perennial source of potable quality water and have long been the principal sources of water in much of the Yucatán Peninsula.
And to give you a little piece of interesting history: “The discovery of golden sacrificial artifacts in some cenotes led to the archaeological exploration of most cenotes in the first part of the 20th century. Edward Herbert Thompson, an American diplomat who had bought the Chichén Itzá site, began dredging the Sacred Cenote there in 1904. He recovered artifacts of gold, copper and carved jade, as well as the first-ever examples of what were believed to be pre-Columbian Maya cloth and wooden weapons. Thompson shipped the bulk of the artifacts to the Peabody Museum. In 1926, the Mexican government seized Thompson’s plantation, charging he had removed the artifacts illegally. The Mexican Supreme Court in 1944 ruled in Thompson’s favor. Thompson, however, had died in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1935, so the Hacienda Chichen reverted to his heirs.” So if you would like to see what was originally found in the bottom of the Chichen Itzu cenote, you may want to do a visit to the Peabody museum…
Annie from All About Playa

Annie from All About Playa

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Playa del Carmen provides everything one could wish for the Caribbean location: luxury hotels with all the amenities that international travelers require. 

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