A SMART WAY TO TRAVEL
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Just saying the word cenote conjures immediate excitement, right? Well, maybe for some but for the majority, it is literally and figuratively a foreign word. Cenote, pronounced, /sɛˈnoʊteɪ/, is a collapsed caved filled with stalagmites, stalactites and an array of natural life. Well, that doesn’t sound special, does it? Wrong! Cenotes are distinctive and here is why:
Divers and Snorkelers, Welcome to paradise.
Cenotes, found primarily in the Yucatan Peninsula and surrounding Caribbean islands, are filled with crystal clear ground water with a tinge of blue and stunning marine life. One could spend hours swimming with the fish or simply staring at the uniquely formed underwater rock formations.
They are as rich in history as they are in color.Cenote, is a word derived from the Mayan word D’zonot and it is widely believe that the ancient Maya used cenotoes for ritualistic purposes. Nobody seems to agree on exactly how the cenotes were utilized by the Maya. Regardless, when the sacred cenote at the archeological site Chichen Itza was dredged, over 100 human skulls were found. But, don’t let this deter you from swimming in one. The discovery was over 100 years ago and the skulls were found in only one cenote out of many. The connection between the Mayas and the cenotes is not the only link to ancient history. Cenotes are thought to be formed during a meteorite impact on earth, the same meteorite that led to the distinction of dinosaurs.
They are simply captivating.
With their uniqueness alone, they are enchanting. Used by locals and tourists alike to cool off, think of them as the old fashion swim hole but 100 times better. No muddy water, they are clear, crisp and unbelievably refreshing. After a long day touring the Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes are the perfect place to cool off while enjoying natural beauty.
The Yucatan Peninsula’s Most Popular Cenotes:
· Dos Ojos Cenote, located in the Riviera Maya is well known amongst divers.
· The Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza, made famous by the archeological findings in 1904.
· Dzitnup Cenote, located near Valladolid, Yucatan is known mostly for its unique blue color and cylindrical shape, is one of my most photographed cenotes in the world.
Kristin McCollum is a travel writer that has spent the past year traveling and working throughout Europe and Mexico. Now settled on the Yucatan Peninsula, she finds inspiration in every person she meets and in the natural beauty which surrounds her. Follow Kristin on Twitter.