Cenotes in Mexico
Andrea ( Malta )
Cenotes in Mexico – Andrea’s goosebump moment
“Hello! I am Andrea and I come from Malta. My goosebump moment is the first time that I went to the underground river system in Mexico. It was very unexpected. My boss asked me to go to this place and I did not know why I was going to see it. I had not seen pictures of this. So, we went down some stairs, and I just could not believe my eyes. I saw the crystal-clear water of the cenote. I saw stalactites, stalagmites, and then, the roots of the trees. And I could not believe that the roots of the trees broke through the limestone and got there to get the water from the cenote. So, I was so amazed, and I loved this place. Thanks for listening to my goosebump moment!”
The beauty of nature
Translucent waters, mysterious shapes, and multicolored fauna. This is how one could summarize the key to the cenotes in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
The cenotes are deep wells of water, which are fed by the filtration of rain and by the currents of the rivers that are born far below the surface of the earth. That is the reason why swimming in a cenote is so cool, since the average temperature of its waters is 24°C maximum.
These wells owe their name to the Maya, who baptized them with the word Dz’onot, which means “cavern with water” and from there derived their current name: cenotes.
For the Maya, cenotes were sacred sites where the gods could be contacted. Today, they are still small aquatic paradises for swimming, relaxing, jumping off the rocks or diving into caverns and caves.
The largest and most important aquifer system in the world
Mexico is known for being one of the most visited countries in the world, as it has many places of great natural beauty, among which cenotes stand out.
The physical properties of limestone rock (porosity, permeability, and solubility) allow the creation of formations such as cenotes or caverns that intercommunicate with each other. The aquifer of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is one of the great water reserves of the country, operating as a source of fresh water for the different activities in the Mayan communities of the Yucatan Peninsula since prehistoric times, renewable only by seasonal rainfall.
Within the cenotes there are unique species, also called endemic species that did not follow the evolutionary processes of other species and that, due to the conditions of the cenotes, developed special characteristics, such as the white lady or the blind fish, the latter in danger of extinction.
Dos Ojos, one of the most visited cenotes
In the heart of the Riviera Maya, on the road between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, is the Dos Ojos cenote. It is part of the park of the same name, which also holds the cenotes Jaguar, Nicte Ha, El Pit and Los Monos.
The proximity between the formations makes this space one of the favorite proposals. Its privileged location is also shared by the hotels that distinguish the region. This cenote is formed by two bodies of translucent waters, communicated by subway caverns. Both are part of the Sac Actun system, which with its 370 km in length is the largest flooded cave in the world.
With respect to Dos Ojos, it is worth mentioning that, from its entrance, you can see a strange play of light created naturally by the characteristics of the terrain, with its different levels and openings.
For those who prefer to go further in search of the adventurous spirit, the proposal has two diving routes: Barbie, a relatively accessible route, illuminated and full of stalactites; and La Cueva del Murciélago, like the first one, although shorter and less luminous.
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