Cenotes – Sacred Mayan Wells

31 May

The Yucatán is home to more than seven thousand ancient watering holes known as cenotes (sen-óh-tay). The clear, cool, mineral-rich water bubbles up through layers of limestone and has a silky smooth quality that wraps its arms around you. The wells can be found on private property or equipped with a restaurant and entrance fee. There are two large cenotes in Bacalar. Cenote Azul is the restaurant-type where I swim several times a week.


Our Yucatan meander included three cenotes in the city of Valladolid and one in Ek Balam.


Lisa finding a way to get into chilly water at Ek Balam.

You would think that at some point it would be like “ok, been there done that”. But the cenotes of Ticul took it up a notch. Thanks to Roman, our tour guide, we got to visit private, little-known pools of joy. His secret is safe with us. We couldn’t find our way back if we tried.

Thirsty trees reach for water.

Thirsty trees reach for water.

All cenotes were formed deep in the earth. Then the roof caved in on some, requiring stairs to access them.


Once open to the sky, the water isn’t as pristine. But if the roof remains intact, a crystalline clear swim awaits. The second cenote we visited required a bumpy ride down a long dirt road. Roman left the best to last.


I could have stayed all day.

This spot was heaven on earth. I am convinced that we will never tire of exploring the cenotes of Yucatan.

imageThe following day we we said goodbye to Roman with promises of a swift return. Off to the pyramids of Uxmal and the final leg of the great Dos Torta Yucatan Meander.


6 Responses to “Cenotes – Sacred Mayan Wells”

  1. Teresa May 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    Hi Alex, hi Lisa Don’t know how to comment on the blog… But I think the Laguna Bacalar is fed by maybe 5 large cenotes, no? Xx Hope summer is going well. See you soon



    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      I have no doubt Teresa. There are many places where springs bubble up from below. Can’t wait to be neighbors. When will you be home?


  2. emilievardaman May 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Some day I hope to immerse myself into a cenote. Gotta get further south than Bahia Kino (where I happen to be right now).


    • afish25 May 31, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

      You will Emilie. The water feels like a fountain of youth to me. I’m rejuvenated and relaxed. So wonderful.


  3. melissastutler June 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    The last cenote was absolutely gorgeous. Are these sort of like the blue holes of the Caribbean islands? XXOO Melissa


    • afish25 June 8, 2015 at 6:40 am #

      I’m not sure Melissa but they could be. The Yucatan is sitting on layers of limestone. The wells are deep and some are really big. There’s an international diving competition held into one every year. They have to keep the location secret to keep down the crowd.


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