Take a Swim in Hidden Rivers in Cenotes

Sea level on the beaches of Cancun and Playa del Carmen offers clear blue expanses of water but a secret escape lets you swim underground in cool, clear waters of subterranean caves once revered by the Mayans. The Mayans referred to these spots as cenotes, or “sacred wells” and even settled their villages around them to tap into a spirit connection. Even today, the cenotes hold a mystic beauty.

The groundwork of the Yucatan Peninsula is structured a bit like a solidified porous sponge that was created where limestone collapsed or was eroded to reveal giant crevices. In spots where there were especially large holes, groundwater that has been filtered by the ground collects in crystal pools. In some, you can see straight through the purified water to the fish swimming at the bottom. In others, you can dodge stalactites and stalagmites. Some of the holes in the vast underground networks can only be reached by scuba diving.

Plan a cenote escape

Entering a cenote can be as calm or adventure-filled as you wish. Some have stairs that even grandma can traverse. For others, be ready to rappel. The cenotes that are open to the public are privately owned so there will be a fee to enter and life jackets will be provided.

Not far from Cancun, along Riviera Maya, there are several choices for a cenote experience. Some of the nearest include:

  • Less than an hour away in Boca del Puma, an eco-park offers zip line tours, ATV rides, and a cenote to explore.
  • Cenote Verde Lucero in Puerto Moreles is a smaller cenote so it has less traffic but still offers a lot of extras like a zip line and diving opportunities.
  • Sistema Xcaret is located in the Xcaret Eco-Park near Playa del Carmen and after snorkeling in the underground river, take a full menu of attractions including ruins, a dolphin attraction, and a farm.
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One Response to “Take a Swim in Hidden Rivers in Cenotes”

  1. […] cenotes, in this case – through a series of underground rivers and tunnels. I’ve gone swimming in the hidden rivers that connect these cenotes, and I have to say that the experience was a full adventure. But, if swimming in underground rivers […]

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