CENOTES– Hidden treasures at the Yucatan Peninsula
Today I would like to bring you closer to the open water sinkholes that are called: Cenotes( the word cenote is only used in mexico). I loovee cenotes;))) So here I gathered some information and pictures for you, hope you enjoy!
Everybody , and I mean everybody who is visiting Cancun,Playa del CarmenPuerto Morelos,Merida,..( mentioning those towns because they are the most frequently visited at the Yucatan Pensinsula in Mexico) should take time to visit at least one cenote during their stay!! They are spectacular , every one of them and not one is the same than the other. They say that there are around 6000 cenotes at the peninsula and about 2000 of them are censured. The rest is still undiscovered.
The word cenote comes from the mayan word: dzonoot. The most used translation is: Well .Cenotes are sweet water sinkholes. You can find sinkholes all over the world , but the ones at the Yucatán peninsular are one of a kind. Each and every one of them!!
If you look closer at the Yucatan Peninsula you will see that there is no real river system or mayor lakes here, so the only water that can be found is in its extensive underground flooded cave system, which is only accessible through cenotes (water sinkholes) .For the ancient Mayas, beside the only fresh water resource, that’s the reason the Mayas built their cities close to a cenote,they also where the gateway to the afterlife and were used for mayan rituals. So you never know what you will find if you decide to explore
The formation of a, what in the end is called, cenote is the result of dissolutions of rocks and subsurface voiding and the subsequent structural collapse. There 3 kind of cenotes:1) when the structure collapses completely we got a fully open cenote,3) then we got the semi-open cenote where the structure has not completely collapsed ( yet) 3) and last but not least we got the closed one this kind is also known as cave/caverns.Some cenotes are connected underwater, this often provides access to extensive underwater cave systems, such as Sistema Ox Bel Ha, Sistema Sac Actun/Sistema Nohoch Nah Chich and Sistema Dos Ojos, if you are a scuba diver, that would interest you. But please be careful!!
But be warned not just cavediving can be dangerous , you need have respect from each and every cenote, they are no swimming pools!! Often when you visit a cenote and ask how deep is it: the answer is : We do not really know! It has been explored to a certain depth, but it could go deeper. But there are cenotes that have been explored fully and their depth ranges from 10mts to 60mts. But cenotes are one hell of a nature’s creation , and if you follow all the rules and instructions, they are just a magical place to be..