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Cenotes, Caves & Underground Rivers

Playa del Carmen Riviera Maya Cenotes

One of the best kept secrets of Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya area are its cenotes, underground caves, and rivers.  The term “cenote” /comes from the Mayan word “Dzonot,” which means hole in the ground or well. With the arrival of the Spanish colonists, “Dzonot” became “cenote” in Spanish, and this word became commonly used to name these deep openings.

These subterranean sinkholes, tunnels, and corridors developed naturally and contain incredible formations of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.  Most cenotes are not too deep, between 16 and 20 feet (5 to 15 meters), and the water temperature remains around 77° Fahrenheit (25° Centigrade).  Cenote water is typically a clear, turquoise-blue color with fascinating fish and marine life, which makes them ideal for snorkeling and diving.

The cenotes vary in their shape and size according to where they are located. They can be as diverse as those cave-ins that make them possible: there are open to way to Lake or water eye; the semiocultos caves; the closed that usually have some openings where the sunlight is filtered, and some to which is only accessible after a walk through underground corridors.

Though as they are not equal, we can say that its characteristics are. Its water is cold, as it emerges from underground deposits; It is clear and is rich in flora and fauna, which gives origin to an ecosystem of almost perfect balance, with a spectacular beauty.

For many years the cenotes of Yucatan have been subject of speculation and legends, as they played a decisive role in the development of the maya civilization. Large settlements of this culture were formed around these caves, formed in the center of their cities. The Fund found plenty of offerings and jewelry that was apparently thrown to the depths after human sacrifice. Remains of pottery and utensils intended for religious ceremonies have also been found.

Because of the important archaeological value they represent as well as for its exquisite natural beauty, cenotes are considered attractive places for the development of ecotourism activities, especially of the cave diving.

In the Yucatan Peninsula there are hundreds of ideal places for the cave diving. Complex of caves with stalactites and stalagmites at great depth. Beautiful cenotes which lock in their insides thousands of questions for the curious.

Therefore, for all those who enjoy this fascinating sport, submerge and penetrate into the depths of these caves, these underwater galleries and crossing multiple water labyrinths that make up, surely provide them a unique and incomparable experience that there, as well as diving and know, also you can enjoy all the beauty and mystery that we back millions of years ago.

The cave diving is considered to be one of the sports of higher risk that exist. If many of us it costs us to feel safe with a simple snorkel in your mouth, and with the body only sunk a few centimeters in the sea, not I can not even imagine the feeling which should lead to plunge into the depths of the deepest.

The dangers that entails of itself speleology (unexplored tunnels, chasms, etc) we must add all those deriving from the diving (lack of oxygen, limited visibility, etc.). Therefore, the profile that you want to practice this sport must be a person responsible, aware of the risk, although not so fearful, and a relentless blood cold.



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