The Yucatan peninsula does not have any above ground rivers; instead there is a large underground river system.
Reputed to be the world’s longest underground river, called the Sac Actun, meaning white cave, and is over 100miles long. It meanders all though our region, and because the ground is made soft and porous limestone, through the eons, caverns have developed and then followed holes through the ground into the caverns.
These holes are called cenotes.
Cenotes provided the Maya their water source, as well as shelter, and cenotes also played a strong religious role in their culture.
Cenotes are scattered throughout the jungles towards the interior; most larger cenotes are accessible off the main roads.
Most that are available for public access will charge an entrance fee. The fee will vary based on the activity.
You can easily spend all of you time cenote hopping!
Some cenotes are vertical water-filled shafts, while others are caves, some connected together with pools and underwater passageways.
Some have beautiful stalactite formations, some are simply giant caverns.
Many are famous for snorkeling and diving.
There are even restaurants in cenotes!
To us, there is nothing better than swimming or diving in a cenote on a hot day. As the water comes from the underground river, it will be cool, refreshing and very clear.
Cenotes are living environments, so you will want to also be environmentally friendly. In general, when visiting a cenote, bring as few things as possible as you don’t need much, and there may or may not be lockers.
Lock everything in the car’s trunk; expect mosquitos as you are in jungle; and except for the larger cenotes, don’t expect much in the way of concessions.
Finally, for most cenotes you do not need a guide. But if you chose to dive one, you will need special training as well as a dive master guide.