The cenote (pronounced seh-NO-tay) is a large sinkhole resulting from a collapse of limestone bedrock exposing groundwater below. They are commonly found in the Yucatan area of Mexico. To the Mayan’s the cenote is known as “sacred well”, a source of water when the season was dry. Cenote’s are common geological formations in areas with low latitudes, including islands and coastlines. The water in a cenote is usually very clear as it comes from rain water which is filtered very slowly through the ground and contains very little dirt/earth particles. The water can be so clear that you can see little fish swimming around below! This water in a cenote can carve out intricate caves out of the limestone bedrock as well.
Here’s a list of a few famous cenote’s in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico:
(Most of these you can go visit and actually swim in!)
1. Cenote Yokdzonot, near Chichén Itzá
2. Cenote Dos Ojos, near Tulum
3. Cenote Samulá, near Valladolid and Chichén Itzá
4. Cenote Ponderosa, near Playa Del Carmen
5. Grutas de Loltún, near Chichén Itzá and Tulúm