The water that gathers in these subterranean Cenotes is crystal clear with a slight turquoise color with a very pleasant temperature of about 77-78°F. Cenotes are beautiful, enigmatic and unique in the world, the stalactites and stalagmites that form inside the Cenotes are true natural works of art. In many, holes in the ceiling allow the sunlight to filter into the Cenotes, giving the scene a magical feeling unlike anything you have ever experienced before.
Cenotes were considered sacred places of the Mayans not only because they were the only source of fresh water, but also because they represented the entrance to Xibalba, the underworld where their gods lived.
Because of the proximity to the ocean, salt water also seeps into the Cenotes, though the freshwater of the Cenotes floats on top of the higher density saline water intruding from the coastal margins. Where the saline and fresh water meet is called a halocline, which means a sharp change in salt concentration over a small change in depth. The mixing of fresh and saline water results in a blurry swirling effect due to refraction between the different densities of fresh and saline waters.
Over the past 20 years experienced cave divers have explored these caves and underground river systems, discovering to date more than 300 miles of inter-connected caves and passageways. Some of the Cenotes are more than 300 feet deep and part of underground cave systems that are several miles in length, though special training and equipment is needed to explore beyond the limits of visible light or go deeper than 70ft. All of the dives are suitable for certified Open Water divers.
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