18 Paradisíacos cenotes que tienes que visitar, Paraísos bajo la tierra, En Yucatán y muy cerca de #Tulum.

cencen

(Pincha el nombre de cada cenote para ubicación)

1. Cenote Ik-Kil.
A unos minutos de Chichén Itzá se encuentra este cenote recreativo, donde puedes nadar y bucear en sus 40 metros de profundidad.

2. Cenote Dzitnup.
También conocido como Xkeken, está muy cerca de la ciudad de Valladolid en Yucatán.
A una temperatura constante de 25ºC es el lugar ideal para nadar y hacer snorkel.

3. Cenote Chen Ku.
El cual conocemos como “Cenote sagrado” y está dentro de la zona arqueológica de Chichén Itzá.
No puedes hacer nada en él más que admirar su majestuosidad desde arriba.

4. Cenote X’lacah.
Se encuentra en la zona arqueológica de Dzibilchaltún y está completamente abierto. Es ideal para refrescarse del ardiente sol yucateco.

5. Cenote Bolonchoojol.
Es uno de los tres cenotes principales de Cuzamá (junto con Chelentún y Chansinic’che).
Sus techos y paredes están llenos de estalactitas activas, por eso se le conoce como “el cenote de las nueve gotas de agua”.

6. Cenote Chelentún.
En este cenote puede bucear y esnorquelear a tu gusto. Además de tener mucha agua para nadar, hay dos cuevas esperando ser exploradas por ti.

7. Cenote Chansinic’che.
Toma un tour que te lleve a los tres cenotes y disfruta tu día de aventura. Este es el más pequeño y, para entrar, debes hacerlo a través de un hoyo que está en la parte superior y bajar por unas escaleras.

8. Cenote Zaci.
Este cenote es perfecto para pasear y nadar y está justo en el centro de la ciudad de Valladolid. Hay un restaurante donde puedes comer deliciosas especialidades locales.

9. Cenote Kankarixché.
Ideal para nadar, bucear o sólo admirar. Sus aguas son cristalinas y hay estalactitas y raíces enormes de techo a piso.

10. Cenote Lol-Ha.
Uno de los cenotes que encuentras en el poblado de Yaxunah, perfecto para una nadada refrescante.

11. Cenote Samula.
Un cenote lleno de esplendor, con aguas bajas y formaciones rocosas impresionantes alrededor.

12. Cenote Suytún.
En este cenote no solo podrás admirar la arquitectura natural a tu alrededor, también puedes apreciar un espectáculo de danza y música creado por los estudiantes locales.

13. Cenote Yokdzonot.
Rodeado de toda una zona turística, puedes acampar en los alrededores y hacer kayak adentro. Practica tus clavados, nada o haz snorkel y tómate el tiempo para disfrutar esta maravilla natural.

14. Cenote Tza Ujun Kat.
Puedes apreciar el cenote desde arriba o desde adentro. Y acompañar tu visita de una sesión de clavados

15. Cenote Yaxbacaltún.
Este cenote es para los más extremos, ya que puedes practicar rappel desde sus paredes. También hay muchas aves para observar y cuerdas para que nades de un extremo a otro.

16. Cenote Santa María.
Este espacio natural comparte su naturaleza con la de una gruta, lo que lo hace todavía más interesante. No te lo pierdas.

17. Cenote Tuunich Ha o San Ignacio.
Este cenote está escondido dentro de una gruta, lo que te da completa privacidad para refrescarte en sus aguas transparentes de poca profundidad y llenas de peces.

18. Cenote X-Batún.
En este cenote disfrutarás de la naturaleza por completo. Está rodeado por plantas y animales y puedes bucear dentro de la caverna.

Mas, detalles e instrucciones de como llegar en BuzzFeed

Ríos mayas subterráneos

Publicado Originalmente en El Pais Viajes

Tulum Real Estate Information

Yucatan Cenotes Tulum
ČTK | 10 January 2012 Brno, Jan 9, 2012 – Members of the Czech Speleological Society (CSS) discovered the world’s fourth longest underwater cave, Ko’ox Baal, which is over 56.5 kilometres long, in Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico these days Daniel Hutnan, one of the speleologists, told CTK yesterday. Czechs and Slovaks have been exploring the Yucatan underground since 2003, looking for new underground spaces in cenotes, or underwater caves. The Quintana Roo Speleological Survey has included the new discovery in the list of the longest cave system in the world, it says on its web page. The Ko’ox Baal system was 36.7 kilometres long. However, its connection, Tux Kupaxa, a smaller, some 20-km-long system, was found last December. Tux Kupaxa became part of Ko’ox Baal then. The exploration in the cave system continues. It may result in Ko’ox Baa becoming even the world’s third longest underwater cave since the Xunaan Ha system, which is over 51 kilometres long is situated some two kilometres from Ko’ox Baal. If a connection between them is uncovered, it would also become part of Ko’ox Baal. The whole system would be almost 110 kilometres long then. Moreover, Ko’ox Baal is now the longest underwater cave system that is mapped as well “We never abandon any of the newly discovered caves before completing its map. Unfortunately this is an exception in Yucatan,” Hutnan said. Czech speleologists’ work helps reveal the mysteries of the prehistoric era. They have found bones of prehistoric animals, extinct long time ago, in the underwater caves. One of them is a rare skeleton of an unknown sloth species. Czech and Slovak speleologists will present their successes in Mexico at the 16th International Speleological Congress to be held in Brno next year. The event took place in the then Czechoslovakia only once. It was in Olomouc, north Moravia, in 1973.

Los Cenotes de de la Riviera Maya en Tulum son impresionantes y comienzan a plantear interrogantes que pueden dar vuelta la historia… y la geografía.

Toda la zona está repleta de atracciones y cada una de ellas justifica artículos por separado. Por eso, en lugar de tratar de abarcar Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Chichén Itzá, Mérida, Isla Mujeres y tantos otros lugares, trataremos de concentrarnos en Tulum, Xcaret, Séla, la zona de los ríos subterráneos y los cenotes. Aunque México tiene ríos y cavernas para tirar para abajo. Para entender mejor este mundo subterráneo y darle una probadita.

Para empezar, uno puede tener la idea de que por debajo de la tierra hay corrientes de agua de algunos centenares de metros, o de pocos kilómetros. ¡Si hasta los mexicanos creían eso hasta el 2002 hasta que descubrieron que el río Sac Actún tiene 154 kilómetros de longitud! La entrada al impresionante curso de agua está en las inmediaciones de Tulum, que es otra maravilla maya tan fuera de lo común como que demuestra que, contrariamente a lo que siempre se dijo, ese pueblo era tan navegante como cualquier otro.

Y hay más: en las profundidades de ese río encontraron esqueletos que nada tienen que ver con los mayas; pertenecían a habitantes locales de un pueblo anterior a todo lo conocido, que ya tenían rituales de enterramiento y que andaban bobeando por allí hace al menos 12.000 años, bastante antes de la fecha en que algunos siempre sostuvieron como la de la colonización humana de América por el Estrecho de Bering. Nada que ver con los olmecas, esto fue mucho antes que ellos. Así que andá revisando a todos los temerarios autores y dale un poco más de respeto a Thor Heyerdahl que siempre dudó de la teoría.

En fin, en las proximidades de Tulum hay otros dos larguísimos ríos subterráneos: el Ox Bel Ha de 147 kilómetros y el Dos Ojos, de 57 kilómetros. Las proximidades máximas van de 72 metros en el caso del Sac Actún y de 25 metros establecidos para el Dos Ojos. Y esto sin contar cenotes y otras aventuras marítimas subterráneas que dejarían perplejo al propio Caronte.

Si a esta altura te me desanimaste de la aventura de explorar ríos subterráneos por lo arriesgado, aguantate un poco, porque cuando hay lugares así, aparecen inversores que acomodan las cosas para que el turismo pueda moverse a sus anchas. ¿Qué también pueden destruir invalorables vestigios arqueológicos? Y sí, pero mirá que también saben hasta donde pueden llegar y están muy controladitos.

Si tenés excesivo espíritu crítico tendrás que tener paciencia con algunas reconstrucciones y cuerpos de baile o actuación que inventan fantásticas ceremonias mayas que hubieran dejado perplejos hasta a los antiguos sacerdotes de aquella impresionante cultura. Además, sacate esa sonrisa sobradora y respetá el prolijo trabajo de esta gente y la impresionante iluminación. Pero no te vayas a creer que los mayas históricos tocaban órgano electrónico o bailaban como Shakira.

Xcaret y Xel Ha por ejemplo son maravillas a las que todos deberíamos peregrinar alguna vez en la vida. Y si luego de recorrerla a una o a ambas te queda un sabor a parque temático norteamericano, reconocé que sí; pero también pensá en el mamarracho que podían haber hecho esos historiadores que todavía insisten en ubicar los lugares donde los mayas, aztecas, incas y hasta tehuelches, se arrancaban el corazón entre sí en lugar de preguntarle a Torraca cuándo iba a llover. Seguramente fue cierto en algún período histórico americano, tanto como que en Europa te empalaban o freían en aceite sin siquiera el pretexto de hacer llover.

En fin, que los capitales gringos en lugar de hacer caminos para mostrar dónde estos herejes hacían esas atrocidades tan humanas, te hacen jardines y reservas ecológicas repletas de cartelitos y de paradores donde gastar tu platita para que el inversor obtenga un beneficio que indudablemente merece. Y muy especialmente, para que puedas alquilar equipos de buceo y experimentar un río subterráneo con seguridad. O para que compres alimento para que los peces te rodeen en una laguna cristalina y no tengas que lamentar haberlos envenenado con comida inapropiada.

Y además, podrás comprar libros, libritos, colecciones de fotos, videos y todo lo que quieras a tu gusto; ya sea que tengas muchas ganas de creer en hipótesis rarísimas o ilustrarte con la mayor veracidad posible. Porque esta región del mundo da para todo, hasta el punto que se dice que fue casi exactamente acá, que hace 65 millones de años se estrelló el gigantesco meteorito que extinguió a los dinosaurios y cometió la imprudencia de dejar al planeta en condiciones de ser conquistado por la humanidad.

Para que tengas una idea de la conciencia ecológica y la precaución arqueológica, las autoridades de Quintana Roo tienen pronto el nuevo plan director de desarrollo de Tulum, que protege muy especialmente a los ríos subterráneos y propone unas 8.000 hectáreas de área protegida con densidad de construcción nula o muy baja. ¿Y si te decimos que en Yucatán hay entre 7.000 y 8.000 cenotes y que suman unos 600 los ubicados en los alrededores de Tulum?

Para que te quede clarito: lo raro son los ríos, pero más allá de las fantasías y de sus utilidades religiosas de antaño, los cenotes no son otra cosa que derrumbes o afloraciones de esos ríos sobre la superficie. También hay quienes dicen que estos ríos alternativamente fueron cavernas, como pueden verse en Xcaret, las cuales aprovecharon esos seres humanos de hace 12.000 años para habitar y cobijarse. Todo dependió de su altura respecto al nivel del mar.

Más allá de que vos vayas a alguno de estos lugares y te tientes con una expedición espeleológica submarina de unos 30 minutos o más, hay otros tipos que realmente van a bucear cavernas subterráneas. Según la autoridad turística, suman 24.000 los que lo hacen en esa especialidad, aunque hay otros 120.000 que salen a explorar arrecifes o a practicar pesca submarina.

Bien, abajo encontrarás links a sitios que te brindarán información abundante sobre Xcaret, Séla, hospedaje y servicios de excursiones, pues lo habitual es que la gente se aloje en Playa del Carmen o Cancún y desde allí contrate excursiones que lo llevan a estos lugares. Sin embargo, también es posible alojarse en Tulum, razón por la cual también incluyo un link con oferta hotelera en este lugar. Francamente y en lo que me es personal, preferiría alojarme bien cerquita y recorrer todo pausadamente.

Ahora le llegó el turno a Tulum. Al borde del Mar Caribe, hay una ciudad maya que originalmente estuvo amurallada y que seguramente dispuso de muelles, aunque no se explica mucho para qué. No iban a hacer semejante construcción solo para salir de pesca, indudablemente hubo intercambio comercial, pero muy poca información, inclusive en lo que se refiere a las embarcaciones. Es muy fácil ahora salir a la europea a asegurar que las naves eran pequeñas porquerías que no llegaban muy lejos. Abajo te ponemos las coordenadas para que localices el lugar en Google Herat y te mandes una investigación satelital como las de Alberto Moroy para ver qué encontrás.

Al parecer se la comenzó a denominar Tulum cuando ya no era ni sombra de lo que fue; los mayas la llamaban Zamá y la consideraban un importante lugar de culto. Se encontraron inscripciones que datan del año 564 de nuestra era, pero aseguran que la mayor parte de las construcciones fueron realizadas entre los años 1200 y 1450. Cuando llegaron los españoles todavía estaba habitada, pero a fines del siglo XVI ya no quedaba nadie. ¿Por qué no sorprende esta información?

Se asegura que el “castillo”, la mayor construcción, ofició de faro gracias a fogatas que se encendían a la noche en su parte superior, para que las embarcaciones pudieran sortear el arrecife que la precede, el segundo arrecife de coral más largo del mundo. La Wikipedia, que contiene pobre información sobre este lugar, sostiene que algunos frescos encontrados al interior de los edificios sugieren influencias mixtecas en la comunidad. Yo se que puedo parecer obsesivo, pero aguambia con toda esta información; como cualquier otra, puede tomarse como hipótesis de trabajo, pero no te me vayas a poner obediente con cualquier información.

Tulum está inserta dentro del Parque Nacional del mismo nombre y muy próxima a la ciudad moderna que esencialmente vive del turismo. La rodea una selva con vegetación y fauna que constituyen un espectáculo aparte. Es un eco sistema de tipo manglar, explica la Wikipedia, compuesto preferentemente por el mangle rojo. Si no llevaste cámara fotográfica no tenés perdón de Kodak, acá hay pájaros, patos y zancudos increíbles. A la distancia te aturdirán los monos aulladores y por encima de los árboles verás deambular a los monos araña. Respecto a éstos, si los ves muy ocupados por encima, salí rajando: les encanta orinar a los turistas.





Coordenadas: 20°12′53″N 87°25′44″O / 20.21472, -87.42889

http://www.viajeros.com/destinos/riviera-maya/hoteles

http://tulum.costasur.com/es/alojamiento.html

http://www.tripadvisor.es/Hotels-g150813-c2-Tulum_Yucatan_Peninsula-Hotels.html

mapa riviera

Carlos Coste – Guinness Record Apnea in a Cave

Posted By Francesca Koe on Thursday Nov 4, 2010 @ 15:17 in Freediving

Tulum Real Estate InformationTulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico — Venezuelan champion freediver Carlos Coste has achieved a new Guinness record “The Longest Apnea in a Cave.” Carlos achieved his new record apnea in an underwater cave with a linear swim of 150 meters dynamic, that took 2 minutes and :32 seconds to complete in the Cenote Dos Ojos.

Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system located south of Playa Del Carmen and north of Tulum, on the Caribbean coast, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The exploration of Dos Ojos began in 1986 and to the extent that it has been documented underwater, it is at least 61 km long. Dos Ojos contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with 118 meters / 396 feet of depth located at The Cenote Pit.

Carlos Coste is a multiple record-holding freediver and boasts a seven minute breath-hold. Coste had been planning this cave dive for over three years, “I have been doing competitive diving for 10 years and this is by far the most bizarre run I have ever made.

Coste has a history of “firsts” as he became the first person to decend to more than 100m on a free immersion dive back in October of 2003, and this Guinness Record heralds the first time a freediving record was attempted in underwater caves. “To achieve this is a dream come true for me. I have been interested in speleology [the study of caves] since I was a little boy and to combine this with my profession as a freediver was amazing” said Coste.

In Tulum Carlos Coste Guinness Record Apnea in a Cave

Read more en espanol at Sportalsub.net and at Carlos’ website.

Photo by Gaby Contreras.

Spelunking in the Cenote Caves on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico – An Adventure in Eco Travel and Green Living

Tulum Real Estate Information

Published Originally at: Chicago News

In 2009 my family and I went on an eco-adventure of a life-time into the Mayan Riviera. I was invited back in 2010 to film a mini-series of short internet videos which show the region from a sustainability perspective. Rio Secreto, the underground river system near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is an amazing beginning to the series (see photos in the gallery below).

Cenotes Tulum
Film Crew Shooting Cenote Caves Think it’s easy to film our 2010 internet mini-series with a “dry” camera in six foot of water? Think again! Here you see Director, Terry Brooks, with Sound Technician Brian Peyrot, and Mayan Riviera Guide (and Asst) Adriana Arriola.

Watch me and my fantastic 2010 guide, Victor Rodas, experience the Rio Secreto cenote caves in the below video.

Included with this post is an excerpt from the 2009 Mexican Eco-Blogging Green Adventure post-series – Spelunking in the Yucatan Peninsula’s Underground Caves and Secret Rivers. It really speaks to the Rio Secreto experience and needed to be retold in accompaniment with the above video. Enjoy!

Spelunking in the Yucatan Peninsula’s Underground Caves and Secret Rivers

Cave spelunking in the jungle – not exactly what the ordinary traveler thinks they will find on a visit to the Tulum region, which is known for its night life and beaches. This was, however, one of the singularly most wonderful experiences at touching nature I have ever had in my life.

Just south of Playa Del Carmen, Rio Secreto is indeed a well kept secret. Our group pulled into a rather unassuming parking lot. Little did we know, the real adventure would begin as soon as we stepped into the Rio Secreto tour van.

Tulum Spelunking
Shawna Coronado spelunking in cenote caves on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Rio Secreto, the secret cave, is deep in the jungle on the Riviera Maya coastline.

My daughter and I climbed into the very back of the van, and our tour group immediately started off. We turned onto a paved road that strongly resembled a dirt road laid delicately on top of a roller coaster. It took several miles of twisting, turning, up, down, and tilting at all angles driving into the jungle to reach our destination.

You can imagine that being an eight year old and riding in the back of a van over an extremely bumpy road is adventure enough, but watching your Mom crack her forehead on the window pane while laughing so hard she was crying is almost too much fun for any eight year old to take. She and I were both being bounced around the back at that van and laughing so hysterically we were squealing. The rest of the passengers had a much milder ride, had no idea why were laughing, and were dead silent the entire trip while my daughter and I loudly giggled and guffawed until tears were running down our cheeks. My advice if you go to Rio Secreto – sit at the front of the tour van if you get car sick, sit at the back of the van if you are under the age of eleven.

What struck me as powerful was seeing, as we drove into the jungle on this bumpy man-made road, what an impenetrable thicket a jungle is. Without a guide, in less than twenty feet of walking into the thick green of it all you would be swallowed whole and be unable to find your way out if you became disoriented.

Tulum Secret Rivers
Stalactite Formations An amazing feature of this particular cave system is the giant stalactite and stalagmite formations which turn the walls into living works of art. This photo was taken in the same cave system in 2009.

Soon the jungle parted to reveal an entrance to the Cenote and caves. A Cenote (pronounced “se no teh”) is a sinkhole with exposed rocky edges containing fresh ground water. The Yucatan Peninsula is the primary location of most of the cenotes in the world. Cenotes are surface connections to subterranean fresh water bodies and are formed when rock is eroded. This erosion creates a subsurface hole, which might be linked to an active cave system, and then the rock ceiling collapses creating an open hole.

My earliest cave memory was from Silver Dollar City’s Marvel Cave in Branson, Missouri when I was 11 years old. That cave had hand rails, dramatic up-lighting, and a cheesy miner-49er tour guide – thankfully not a single miner-49er was in sight as we began our spelunking adventure. Instead we had Moises – a fantastic cave-guide who so thoroughly and completely detailed the life of a cave, that I came away with a wealth of knowledge.

Rio Secreto, a few miles just north of Tulum, is an incredible labyrinth of underground natural passageways. Moises helped us suit up and we walked and swam about 600 meters through the underground system. Without a doubt this look at the natural world of the Yucatan peninsula was not one we ever expected to see and the experience was a powerful one.

Cenote Discovery Tulum Diving
This photo if from 2009 – a family tour through the Rio Secreto cenote caves and underground river system. Photo credit to Rio Secreto.

Thousands of calcified stalactites and stalagmites displayed.in soaring caverns emphasized the quiet and solitude of a cenote system. Drips of water sifting through the natural sieve of jungle, then sandy soil, then limestone to land underground in a silent cenote is a natural process that has happened for millions of years, and is quite amazing to behold.

At one point Moises had all of us sit in a pool of water. He asked us to turn off all our headlamps and flashlights so we could sit silently in the complete dark and listen to the caves themselves. As I write, remembering that moment brings a tear to my eye. It was very moving to sit there and be silent. To stop thinking about all the business in the world and listen to my own heart and to the dripping of the mineral-filled water. It left me considering nature in a unique and immersive way which I had never done before. Describing it is difficult, but I can say I felt something touch me in that moment of silence and darkness – it can only be described as “touching nature”.

Even the smallest child in our small group, who was only seven years old, sat quietly in the dark and touched nature. I am absolutely sure that I will never forget that moment and am even more certain that my family will also remember it forever.

Rio Secreto’s water is quite warm for an underwater system, with a year round temperature close to 70 F degrees. Our diving suits helped keep us warm and the diving shoes helped protect our feet from injury on the jagged calcifications as we navigated through the underground system of caves. Most of the time we walked, but several times the water was above our heads and we swam. Towards the end of our adventure we had to crawl through the caves and water as the ceiling was so very low.

Crystal clear fresh water runs through the cave which has been filtered down from ground level. It does not smell like mold, in fact, it smells clean. No slime or fungus or greenery of any kind grows in these caves because there is absolutely no light. We saw a family of tiny bats high up in one cavern, there were also many small catfish and are quite unafraid of humans, so they swim right up to our feet to say hello.

While I expected the caves to be the color of limestone, I was quite surprised at the dozens of different colors which covered the walls and ceilings of the caves. Mineral drips of varying sorts create different colors on the walls. Roots from trees and plants above ground can be seen forcing their way into the cenote system, breaking limestone and dipping their roots twenty feet down into the water so they are able to sip while plants in the jungle around them might be suffering a drought.

I carefully touched one of these roots and they are so thin, so delicate; it astounds me that the power of a single plant can rip apart rock just so it is able to drink water. Sparkling crystals, soaring caves, and ceilings filled with thousands of tiny formations were only the beginning of our adventure at Rio Secreto. It was truly an impressive experience to touch nature in this special way and I hope you can visit this natural wonder in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico to see it for yourself.

Seeing the world from underground is an interesting experience because it gives you a better view of the process that water really goes through. If locals were spraying herbicides and other chemicals on the jungle above this cave, the waters in Rio Secreto would soon be ruined from the chemicals. Many people who live in the jungle tap into cenote waters to live, so it is important to keep them clean and fresh.

Poisoning of aquifers and other sources of water is happening the world over. Perhaps in your own neighborhood. Now, thanks to Rio Secreto, my family has seen how the system really works.

Having experienced this, I can say how important it is to protect our water systems. Please do not use chemicals on your lawns or gardens unless you absolutely have to. These chemicals percolate through the soil and goes to a cave or underground aquifer and can be poisoned by your careless use of chemicals.

Help save our Tulum and Riviera Maya underground water systems. Each of us can make a difference and now that I understand it is a global concern, I will certainly do my part as well. It is as simple as trying not to use non-organic chemicals on your property. Please try an alternative treatment first before using chemicals – you could be saving the life of fresh water you might need to survive in the future.

To see more of Shawna’s eco-adventures, please click this link – http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/gardening-nude/eco-travel.

*All photos above which are not labeled are credited to the fabulous Rio Secreto photography staff*

Production and editing done by Brooks Visuals – www.brooksvisuals.com

Special thanks to our sponsors for this amazing journey –

Thanks to our sponsor-hosts –

http://www.thecasualgardener.com, The Green Blog – http://www.gardeningnude.com, or The Garden Blog – http://thecasualgardener.blogspot.com

Tulum Real Estate Information

Carlos Coste  is  a multiple record-holding freediver and boasts a seven minute  breath-hold. Coste had been planning this cave dive for over three  years, “I have been doing competitive diving for 10 years and this is by far the most bizarre run I have ever made.”

Coste has a history of “firsts” as he became the first person to  decend to more than 100m on a free immersion dive back in October of  2003, and this Guinness Record heralds the first time a freediving  record was attempted in underwater caves. “To achieve  this is a dream come true for me. I have been interested in speleology  [the study of caves] since I was a little boy and to combine this with  my profession as a freediver was amazing said Coste.

Cenotes The Sacred Waters of the Riviera Maya

The natural wonders of Tulum and the Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula are innumerable, but some ofthe most unique to the area are the cenotes. Cenotes are created by an underground river system and are fresh water sink holes that the Maya considered to be sacred. In addition they were an incredibly important resource as a fresh water source, and the Mayans also believed they were the entrance to the underworld. Cenote, (say-NOH-tay) called dzonot (ZO-note) by the ancient Maya were defined by the Motul dictionary, a dictionary of Mayan hieroglyphics, as “abysmal and deep” or “hole filled with water”.

Millions of years ago, the Yucatan Peninsula was covered by the ocean. Some 15,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, the sea level descended approximately 250 feet.

For thousands of years, the porous land surface, formed by fossilized coral and limestone, has filtered rainwater, which dissolved parts of the subsoil. This process created a system formed by flooded underground rivers and caves. This phenomenon is truly unique, and makes up the largest network of caverns in the world.

Cenotes are formed when the roof of a cavern collapses due to erosion. The level of the water also contributes to the creation of cenotes: if it is too low, it does not provide enough support, which causes the roof to weaken and cave in.

The depth of each cenote depends of the amount of natural debris that has accumulated through erosion in addition to the remains of the roof that collapsed. The water that gathers in these amazing natural wonders is a crystal clear turquoise color with a very pleasant temperature of 78°.

The stalactites and stalagmites that form inside the cenotes are true natural works of art. In many, holes in the ceiling allow the sunlight to filter into the cenotes, giving the scene a magical feeling. The cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula are a true natural gift that should be seen by all, but keep in mind that they should be protected so that they are here for generations to come. You can do your part in local conservation by not using any lotions, sunscreens, perfumes, or repellents prior to swimming in a cenote. Many cenotes provide showers that you can use to rinse off before going in.

There are four different types of cenotes – those that are completely underground, those that are semi-underground, those that are at land level like a lake or pond, and those that are open wells. Some of them are accessible for swimming and cave diving, some of them are not accessible at all, and some are actually dry cave systems that can be explored.

Sizes and shapes of the cenotes differ according to their location. Some cenotes have been found to hold quantities of ancient offerings and jewelry, apparently thrown in the depths by the Mayas who once inhabited the area.

Currently, an estimated six thousand cenotes have been found in the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. In the Riviera Maya, many cenotes have become famous, for their individual features offer different types of amusement for their visitors.

And remember…”take only memories and pictures leave only bubbles”

In most cases, cenotes offer basic facilities such as bathrooms, dressing rooms and parking. Entrance can run anywhere from free to 100.00 pesos depending on where you go.

Fuente
Source: http://www.tulumtoday.com

2 thoughts on “Cenotes The Sacred Waters of the Riviera Maya

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