For a large number of tourists a visit to Cancun, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, entails days spent on sun-drenched, white sandy beaches with a drink in hand and nothing to worry about. For others it means snorkelling within the great Mesoamerican reef, or huge parties and extravagant restaurants before visiting the the various night clubs. For the more adventurous, however, there are archaeological ruins to explore, and the chance to discover something that is rarely found elsewhere: Cancun’s cenotes. These natural wonders in Mexico are truly out of this world.
What are Cancun’s Cenotes?
These naturally formed wells in Mexico came to be millions of years ago by the shifting of the continents; a labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and caves that became flooded as sea-levels rose. The result is a majestic network of flooded tunnels, isolated caves, and underwater rivers. Cancun’s cenotes offer a habitat to a surprisingly varied array of flora and fauna, and display interesting geological formations for those who are interested. The experienced diver can hire a guide and explore the depths of this magical realm.
Significance of Cancun’s Cenotes for the Maya
The Mayans in Mexico revered cenotes as life-giving things; a source of fresh water during droughts and home to life even in the hardest summers. They also thought that they were portals into another world; one in which mere humans could talk with the gods in order to gain permission to enter the lands they guarded. Ceremonies and rituals would be performed in honor of Cancun’s cenotes.
Adventures and Tours to Cancun’s Cenotes
More and more often these days, tourists venture from the set path of visitation in Mexico; they seek the secrets that are held beneath the surface of the Yucatan Peninsula. Those who love to explore will find that these sinkholes are not only aesthetically, but geographically impressive; experienced divers will find that they can explore the depths of these wonders of nature. We would recommend you bring a guide, though, as the tunnels are labyrinthine and the currents can be strong.