The Coolest Cenotes to Visit in the Yucatan
If you’re planning a vacation to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Caribbean coast any time soon (and if you’re not – why not?), then adding one of the coolest cenotes to visit in the Yucatan to your trip will undoubtedly be a highlight of your itinerary!
“What is a cenote?” we hear you ask! Well, a cenote is a natural sinkhole created when limestone bedrock collapses, exposing underground pools or rivers that lay far beneath the surface.
Cenotes were considered sacred by the Mayans and played a large role in everyday Mayan culture; learn more about the Mayans by checking out our post: Why are the Mayans an Awesome Civilization?
It’s believed that so many cenotes formed in this area of Mexico due to the impact of that same asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago; a subterranean network of rivers connect over 30,000 cenotes in the Yucatan region alone!
Read on to find out about our favorite cenotes, and why these are the ones you should visit on vacation...
The Sacred Cenote
If you’re taking a vacation in Cancun, or elsewhere in the Yucatan, you’ll almost certainly be spending a day at the magnificent Chichen Itza, one of the largest and most ancient Mayan cities.
While you’re here, take a look at The Sacred Cenote, also referred to as the ‘Well of Sacrifice’.
Breathtaking in size and the deep green color of the water, this cenote has a somewhat eerie beauty to it; it was used by the Mayans as a place of sacrifice to the Rain God!
Ik Kil is one of the most popular cenotes in Mexico, and also worth visiting on a day trip to Chichen Itza, as it lies on the route between the archaeological site and the city of Cancun – perfect for taking a refreshing dip in the cool waters after a day in the sun.
At 85 feet deep, Ik Kil is one of the most beautiful cenotes you can visit, overflowing with plants and waterfalls. Sit back and soak up the natural beauty of this place or take a swim in the pool!
Another of Mexico’s most famous cenotes, this picturesque underground cavern is perfect for visiting on a day trip to Tulum, located just a couple of miles outside of the ‘Magic Town’.
If you’re on holiday with kids, we highly recommend visiting Gran Cenote; you can access the cavern and surrounding river networks via an elevated wooden walkway that twists through the vibrant jungle.
The water is extremely clear and makes for an excellent snorkeling spot!
Cuzamá is not just one, but three amazing cenotes, which can be found just outside the city of Mérida, in the north-eastern side of the Yucatan.
Take an exhilarating horse and cart ride through the jungle to reach the cenotes, which are filled with shimmering stalactites!
What to bring with you
Make sure to pack some biodegradable sunscreen back home before your trip to Mexico, as this is the only sunscreen you can wear to swim in the cenotes, or grab some at the local market.
There are plenty of markets selling biodegradable sunscreen in the area around Krystal Cancun Beach Resort, one of our recommended hotels for a stay in Cancun!
Also, be sure to pack some bug repellant spray, swimwear, a towel, some drinking water, and of course, your camera!
We highly recommend a waterproof camera for your visit to Mexico, check out our article: Best Vacation Photography Tips, for our recommended vacation cameras!