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What is a Cenote?

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Cenotes: holes in the ground that connect the surface with the underground rivers of the región. Natural wonders forged in a millenary process that will captivate your senses with a perpetuity only comparable to the time it took their formation!

A cenote (from the Maya “ts’ono’ot” or water whole) is, by definition, an opening in the ground that connects the underground rivers to the surface. The word “cenote” comes from the mayan word “ts´onot” and means “hole with water”.

To understand cenotes in technical way first WE need to know some facts about the place where they are found, (which is?) the Yucatan Peninsula. The whole peninsula is made out of limestone, which was formed millions of years ago (while it was under the sea) by the sedimentation and compaction of sea animal shells. Like the shells that formed it, limestone is mainly composed of calcium carbonate, a compound that is soluble in acidic water. It is also a highly porous and permeable rock. Consequently, when the rain falls (it rains) in the Peninsula, the water (which is acidic[1]) rapidly drains through the rock, slowly dissolving it in the process. As a consequence of this we have two phenomenons: first, the Peninsula has much fewer superficial rivers than it should considering the quantity of water that precipitates in the area; and second, the ground is carved by water, creating caves and underground rivers. These caves grow bigger and bigger with time (THOUSANDS OF YEARS) and eventually the roof of these caves gets too thin to support their own weight and collapse, creating an opening to the surface known as cenote.

But understanding cenotes scientifically really don´t tells us much of what they really MEAN and the impact they can have on us. Some people describe them as god´s made gothic churches, some other simply don´t have the words to describe what they feel when they first see a cenote. A mixture of magnificence and mysticism that will make your knees shake and wonder how many other marvels of the world you are still missing. Dare to get in the underground world of the cenotes under the guidance of Agua Clara and burn in your eyes a sight that you will never forget!

List of some cenotes The clarity of the water and the rock formations, which result from a long history of erosion, convert them into one of the most interesting and unique diving, swimming, or snorkelling experiences. The process of the phenomenon is the following: They start out as an underground chamber,result from the dissolution of rock with rain water.

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Cenotes surroundings are very rich in animal life. Iguanas of all colours can be seen while our Eco Tours in Tulum.
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Mot Mot Bird relaxing in a branch.

Cenotes were formed during the lowering of the sea level caused by glaciar eras. The cenotes were formed during the widening of the subterranean river networks, as they made their way to the sea. Protect the Cenote: Swimming in natural spaces while wearing non organic mosquito repellent or sunscren affects the ecosystem significantly. Therefore, we ask you to use biodegradable products and to shower before jumping. .

List of the Cenotes near Tulum

All of these cenotes are part of our guided eco tours both for snorkeling and scuba diving

At Agua Clara Diving and Sorkeling Eco Tours Tulum we offer both scuba diving eco tours into the cenotes and also snorkeling tours for all the family to enjoy not only one cenote but a selection of the best ones near Tulum area.

 

 

[1] Rain water gets acidified by the dissolution of air´s carbon dioxide and of the organic acids that result from the decomposition of the jungle´s organic mater.