( sinkholes )
In Maya mythology, cenotes represented a passage to the underworld – or ‘Xibalba‘, the reign of the death.
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Before reaching their final rest, the souls had to face the challenges of the Xibalba Lords
Cenotes come up from the ground amongst the abundant vegetation creating a unique ecosystem; besides being a disctintive characteristics of the natural landscape, cenotes are an integral part of the history and traditions of the Mayan people, wrapped up in myths and legends.
They are natural pools of crystal water created by erosion of limestone that surrounds them. They are connected by the longest underground river network in the world, and the are exclusive environmets of the Yucatán Peninsula.
You can know how old they are just by looking at them, the older they are, the more open they tend to be. If you see a cenote with its dome intact, it means its really young. You can find open, semi-open and underground cenotes.
More than 3,000 that are counted in the Yucatan (but estimated as much as 7,000). Dont be overwhelmed, our experts MGT Guides are in the known.
Some of the cenotes are operated by Maya communities, we prefer to visit those cenotes, since they bennefit directly from them. Part of our responsability is to work with them and help them preserving these amazing places by following simple sustainable tourisim rules.