There are literally thousands of Cenotes all across the Yucatan Peninsula
The word, “Cenote” (say-NOH-teh) comes from Mayan dzonot, meaning "well". They are natural pits, or sinkholes, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
Mexico's Yucatan peninsula is low and relatively flat with no surface rivers or streams. However, below the ground run the three longest underground water systems in the world (Ox Bel Ha 180 km; Sac Aktun 172 km; Dos Ojos 82 km)
There are literally thousands of Cenotes all across the Yucatan Peninsula. To know them all in one trip would be a very difficult task, to say the least (we hope this article will help you to plan ahead).
Cenotes are different from each other; some of them are just small holes in the ground, kind of like a natural pool, only known by locals. Then there are the big popular ones, that usually have other facilities such as restaurants next to them, bathrooms and whatnot. The entrance to these cenotes are not for free, but it is usually a more comfortable experience as the people in charge (usually the town hall) keep the cenotes clean and safe. Entrance fees vary from $10 pesos to $100 pesos (roughly US$1-10) for cenotes managed by locals. Commercial operations will charge more, US 10-25, usually with more to do or see.
Cenotes look like holes in the rock from the size of small crevices to giant openings over 100 M across. In most areas of the peninsula, the cenotes are the only open fresh water to be found.
You can choose your own adventure regarding Cenotes. Some of them are the perfect spot to take a swim with your friends and family, and you don’t really need a guide to visit them. And with this season weather going around the 27°C, Cenotes provide a place to visit!
Deep cenotes also have caves, some of them are open for scuba diving, however this type of adventure do require a guide.
Among the interesting archaeological finds in recent years are ancient fossilized remains of camels, giant jaguars, mammoths, sloths, and horses. To date, four human skeletons have been found. Tests on charcoal found beside one female skeleton would place it at least 10,000 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest human skeleton found in the Americas. Most of these have been found by cave divers exploring underwater cave systems and some sites are now protected by INAH, the Mexican government archaeological and historical protection organization.