Family Travel: Archaeological Wonder - Cenotes in Cancun, Flickr: atbaker

The Cenote Dzitnup!


With a peninsula that originated underwater, and numerous underwater rivers that still flow beneath the surface of Cancun and its neighboring cities, the area is ripe with cenotes, water-filled-sinkholes that have been utilized throughout the past centuries for drinking water, irrigation, wells, and unique underwater exploration.

Today, well over 1000 cenotes stake a claim in the Yucatan peninsula and numerous tour operators can take your family near their amazing beauty.  Adventure loving families can take advantage of heart-pumping thrill ride tours on All Terrain Xrail vehicles, ATVs, and Hummers as you ride through jungles and past Mayan ruins on your way to explore the cenotes.

In addition to marveling at their unique archeological formation, most of the cenotes are open for a swim or snorkel to offer a window into their underground system.  As easy as it is to throw on some snorkel goggles and try to sneak a peak, the real mystery and beauty of the cenotes are best explored by cave diving, which is only recommended with a professional guide.

A few Cancun cenotes that shouldn’t be missed:

Cenote Dos Ojos- Dos Ojos is one of the 10 largest cave systems in the world and includes numerous stalactites and stalagmites.

Cenote Chac Mool- Snorkel in the larger of two cenotes located here.  You can grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant or take advantage of the public restrooms.

Cenote Eden- An off-the-main-road system of navigating to this site, including the extended use of dirt roads might discourage you, but the 13 cenotes that fill this terrain can most certainly make the flights to Cancun worth your while.

Casa Cenote- With a unique connecting tube to the ocean, kids can observe how the salt and fresh water mix.   Calm clear waters make this a fun place to take the little ones.  Grab a bite to eat at the nearby restaurant when you are finished exploring.

Boca del Puma- Families seeking a bit more security can explore this cenote located in Bocal del Puma Eco Park.  Other on-site activities include a zip line and bicycle riding.

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photo: atbaker

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