Our colleague Dorte Nielsen invites us on a journey to visit Ik Kil and other cenotes, the Yucatan Peninsula’s enigmatic sinkholes Unless you are looking for cold weather, inhospitable people or snowy mountaintops, Cancun and the Riviera Maya pretty much have it all. There are literally thousands of nature, adventure, cultural and family activities that can be enjoyed day and night, enough to satisfy basically any type of traveler that visits these gems of the Mexican Caribbean.
The mysticism of the cenotes
A sense of mystique and awe surround the unique system of underground rivers and caves on the Yucatan Peninsula. These natural fresh water systems are connecting all Quintana Roo and Yucatan underground and like are pumping crystal clear water through this tropical paradise. These sinkholes, known as cenotes in Spanish, are the main source of water for the entire region. These sinkholes can be open or completely underground with just an open hole extending out to the sky. Other cenotes can be completely subterraneous or immersed within the natural landscape.
Amstar offers several tours that include swimming and visiting a cenote. Varying from huge, deep “underground” cenotes to smaller, often semi-open or open cenotes. All of them are wonderful!
Xenotes is comprised of four different cenotes: k’áak’ (fire), ha’ (water) Lu’um (earth) ük’ (wind). All of them are perfectly safe to swim in. Some of them even have platforms and places from which brave spirits can dive into the extremely refreshing water. In the diverse activities to choose from such as rappel, ziplines, kayaks and snorkeling, depending on the cenote.
EK BALAM & CENOTE MAYA
This tour offers a wonderful visit to the beautiful Mayan temples at the archaeological site of Ek Balam combined with a visit to the huge underground Cenote Maya. The best of the Mayan world over and under the ground.
Mayan Extreme is pure adventure and adrenaline. In this tour you combine flying in ziplines, go down 70 feet in Rappel and do snorkeling in a beautiful cenote in the middle of the Mayan jungle. If you love the speed and the rush, you’ll love this tour.
TULUM JUNGLE MAYA
This tour allows you to combine culture with adventure. You will visit the beautiful Mayan temples of Tulum, so unique by their location overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Afterwards get into the jungle and explore a cenote, zipline, rappel and driving a 4 x 4 Mercedes Benz Truck.
COBA MAYAN ENCOUNTER
Coba is a beautiful archaeological site inside the forest, famous for the tallest Mayan Temple in the Yucatan Peninsula. On this tour you explore this beautiful place while you enjoy the jungle by bike. The tour also includes rappel, zipline, a refreshing dip in the clear water underground lake and paddle kayak in a beautiful lagoon.
Start flying over the jungle in wonderful ziplines and then do rappel 60 feet down in one of the Riviera Maya´s most popular cenotes. During this eco-adventure tour you will be snorkeling in an incredible underground river and finally this tour takes you to a selected beach to snorkel among large sea turtles. What more can you ask for?
A tour to Mexico’s most famous Maya site and one of the New Seven Wonders in the world, also include a visit to the huge, beautiful cenote Ik’Kil. A perfect and refreshing end of a day filled with wonders among the Mayan temples of Chichén Itzá.
This tour combines all the best things in the jungle with ziplines and rappel, and then swimming in a cenote and in the longest underground river in the peninsula. Afterwards, adrenaline increases even more by driving 4 x 4 Mercedes Tucks in the jungle.
5 interesting facts about cenotes
- The word cenote comes from the Maya word dzonot, which means flooded cave
- The ancient Mayans considered the cenotes to be the portal to the netherworld
- Many parts of the Yucatan Peninsula are actually connected together through a series of these subterranean cenotes and their tributaries
- There are very few rivers flowing at the surface of the Yucatan Peninsula. They are almost entirely underground.
- There are estimated to be over 6,000 cenotes throughout the Yucatan Peninsula
Reserve your spot at the tour of your preference by contacting the Amstar representative at your hotel for more information or by clicking here