The Cenotes (literally meaning sinkholes) of the Yucatan peninsula are located just south of the lively holiday resort Cancun, Mexico and they are one of the most interesting travel destinations in the world. The extraordinary natural phenomenon is very popular with visitors on their Cancun holidays, swimmers, snorkelers and ambitious divers.
How they formed
The entire Yucatan peninsula was once a reef beneath the ocean, then the water receded causing the sea life to be fossilised into the walls of deep holes. This formed an incredible subterranean universe of large caverns, karst tunnels and sink holes-some even up to hundreds of feet deep! There are four types of Cenotes – those completely underground, semi-underground, land-level Cenotes like a lake or pond and those that are open wells.
Cenotes were sacred to the Maya both for drinking, irrigation and in religious ceremonies. They are also considered to be one of the best cavern diving spots in the world.
Diving enthusiasts around the world flock here because of the amazing underwater scenery and crystal clear water. Divers can swim through thousands of stalagmites and stalactites formed over 65 million years ago and sunlight penetrates multiple openings making the whole experience completely unforgettable. One of the reasons why the diving is so popular is because they are filled with rain water so the visibility while diving is over five hundred feet. If you want to know more about the country itself we have a guide of the most beautiful places to visit in Mexico.