Cenotes are complexes of sinkholes and caves in the Karst geological landscape of the Yucat�n. Some cenotes contain spectacular cave formations, while others are important archaeological sites, and several were considered sacred by the Mayans. A few are open to the public for swimming and diving. Of the estimated 30,000 cenotes, many of them unexplored, many are considered to be Mayan cultural and archaeological sites. Ancient fossilized remains of Camels, giant Jaguars and Mammoths are among the interesting archaeological finds in recent years. Most of these have been found by cave divers exploring underwater cave systems and some sites are now protected by INAH, the Mexican government archaeological and historical protection organisation.
Some cenotes are privately owned while others are run by local Mayan communities such is the case of Yokdzonot Cenote, if you go, they will provide you with a safe vest for a small fee. Yokdzonot Cenote and Ecological Garden should not be missed, the water is pristine blue, the place clean and well kept by a group of Mayan local females that built their own open restaurant and palapas on site, with clean public bathrooms and an eco-friendly water waste system that contribute to the care of the environment and the pride of the town.
Many are located on private land and accessible only with permission. Most are basically inaccessible by normal means but dozens are open to the public. Entrance fees vary from $10 pesos to $100 pesos (roughly US$1-10)for cenotes managed by locals. Commercial operations will charge more, US 10-25, usually with more to do or see.
Things to Do:
- Snorkel independently in one or more.
- Guided snorkel and diving tours offered by many local dive shops such as Maya Diving
- Swim in them.
- Hiking and walking in the areas around the cenotes can be very interesting with a lot of animals birds and plant life to be seen.
Parts of the route are unpaved. It is listed in Spanish touring guides as a corredor tur�stico, and is marked in a number of places. At the eastern terminus on Highway 307, there is an archway constructed of concrete. Most of the route was laid out over existing secondary roads. The name is used locally in Quintana Roo for a newly constructed road segment that connects Puerto Morelos with the interior. As of early 2008, 16 k are paved, in from Puerto Morelos. From there the road is not for fast travel.