Visiting Cancun, on the eastern, Caribbean coast of Mexico, can be a once in a lifetime experience for many people as there really is something for everyone. Whether you want to laze on white sandy beaches with a drink in hand, visit the nightclubs and party all night, or take in the culture and history of the sun-drenched Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico there are a host of activities for you to enjoy. Mexico’s cenotes that dot the landscape here provide an entrance into a fascinating world; a world which fully demonstrates the beauty and majesty of nature as well as the rituals and sacred practices of Mexico’s ancient Mayan people.
What are Cenotes?
Mexico’s cenotes are naturally formed wells that came into being millions of years ago when vast expanses of coral reef were exposed to the elements by shifting continents and receding seas. The reefs were then populated by jungle, which became submerged when the seas rose again, filling the network of subterranean tunnels with water. These days Mexico’s cenotes are filled with flora, fauna, and impressive geological rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites.
Significance of Mexico’s Cenotes for the Maya
To the Maya who lived in the area Mexico’s cenotes were sources of life; reservoirs of fresh water during hard summers and long droughts, and teeming with life. Because of this they believed that there were small ran gods resident in the sinkholes, and that humans could communicate with them through the correct ceremonies and rituals. In this way they could seek permission to pass through lands guarded by the god within the cenotes.
Mexico’s Cenote Activities
These days there are more and more people who come to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico looking not for sun, sea, and parties, but for adventure and exploration. The geologically and aesthetically impressive cenotes that litter the area provide just one outlet for this desire. Visitors can swim, kayak, snorkel and dive in Mexico’s cenotes to see first-hand the majesty that nature has created. If you are interested in seeing these wonders of the natural world up close and personal then you can take a tour or visit cenotes by your own steam. There are many cenotes to choose from in and around Cancun and the Riviera Maya.