Cenotes in Mexico – fun adventure in extraordinary Xenotes park
I hope so!
Back in history, cenotes, or the sinkholes in English, were a source of life for the Maya inhabitants of the Yucatan peninsula. The word comes from dzonot which in Maya means cave with water.
During thousands of years when the Yucatan Peninsula soil worked as a sponge, the rainwater kept dropping through it till it reached the caves. When some caves collapsed, cenotes originated.
So you get the idea of cenotes just from their name, right?
According to when the cenotes originated, we can differentiate 4 types of cenotes: open, semi-open, ancient and cavern cenotes.
Personally, I spent already more than 2 months in the Yucatan peninsula so I had time to visit more than 20 different cenotes. Believe me or not, I am obsessed not only with the pyramids in Mexico, but also with cenotes and rivers.
Every single cenote is unique and thus I could never get bored swimming/snorkeling/rappelling or just floating in cenotes ever.
I was supposed to visit the extraordinary Xenotes park already a few days ago but it didn’t work out. However, as everything happens for a reason … so did the postponing of my Xenotes tour.
When I opened the door of the van that picked me up in Playa del Carmen close to Sabbia Condos where I was staying, I knew it was gonna be a fun ride today!
In the back row there were 2 cutest Australian guys seated. I was really happy Tommy and Toby were there as we had a lot of fun that day :)
I was pretty tired so I took a nap on the way to Xenotes park. There, close to the 1st cenote, my friend Leo joined us and we spent the rest of the time chatting.
”There’s supposed to be minimum of 800 underground rivers and 7,000 cenotes in this area in Riviera Maya. I am talking of just those found already up to now, as we can all bet there’s way more.” told us Carlos, our guide, in a very good English.
We could leave all the unnecessary stuff in the van and each one of us received snorkel gear and a towel.
We visited 4 different cenotes. I had no idea they were not just next to each other and we had to drive to get to them. So basically, 4 cenotes spread in the area belong to Xenotes park.
We visited fuego (fire), tierra (Earth), agua (water) and aire (air/wind) cenotes, in this order. They all have Mayan names and are protected by a different alux (guardian) each.
Reforestation took place around the cenotes where there was no vegetation. Neem trees were planted to repel the mosquitoes. My thumbs up for that as I was a bit freaking out about all the mosquitoes. They love me so much I usually cannot enjoy fun adventures in the nature as much as I would like to.
K’áak’ – Fire cenote
In the first cenote – fire open cenote, we could change, put the biodegradable sunscreen/repellent and life jackets on, get some water, coffee or Maya hot chocolate with spicy herbs (vegan and so yummy!!) and were ready for the zipline to jump into the cenote.
Then we swam or just floated along a river until a little cave.
Walking back, we saw Maya stingless bees, chewing gum trees, orchids and many other interesting plants. This area reminded me of Jurassic park, awesome nature around!
Ha’ – Water cenote
This is a cavern cenote where we did 2 activities: snorkeling and also kayaking. Loved both.
Lu’um – Earth cenote
To get into this semi-open cenote we were all geared up and rappelled down through a hole. I am not a fan of rappel at all but this one was very easy and you did not have to do basically anything yourself so in the end I did enjoy it.The water in this cenote was colder than in the others and it was darker all around us.There were some bats flying around the tree roots hanging from the soil ceiling above our heads and even when swimming we could swim around the roots too.
Water in this ancient cenote moves very slowly. Here, to get into the water you can or jump or do the zipline and then jump from closer. Because of my fear of height and my chronic sinus infection I’ve never learned to jump, nor I enjoy it.
So I just walked to the steps where you get off from the water and swam there for a while :)
My Xenotes park tour was organized by Experiencias Xcaret as part of my Adventure and Spa project. Thanks so much for such an incredible tour of cenotes in Mexico. Xenotes Oasis Maya Tour takes you to four different cenotes and enjoy fun activities like Kayak, Zip-line, Inner tubes, Rappel and Snorkel. Buy on-line now and get up to 15% off.