What if I told you there were secret, subterranean swimming holes in Mexico with water so clear you can see everything from small fish to ocean plant life below you? One of Mexico’s best kept secrets, cenotes were considered sacred to the ancient Mayans, who used them not only for bathing and drinking, but as centerpiece of spiritual ceremonies and rituals, including sacrificial offerings. They considered the cenotes entrances to the underworld, a belief that continues to this day. These subterranean pools are formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock which in turn exposes the body of water underneath it.
Recent years have seen a drastic increase in popularity for cenotes, with many tourists traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula to experience these underground pools. With cenotes becoming so prominent in popular culture, we thought it would be a good idea to let our readers staying at The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences know where to find the best cenotes near Playa del Carmen!
Cenote Azul is a popular open-air cenote which attracts many visitors, so it is important to plan ahead. The cenote features two pools, and the deeper pool has an open cliff face that encourages visitors to jump off!
Cenote Oxman is an undiscovered gem in the region. This underground cenote is found in a collapsed cave with an open roof, allowing sunshine to pour through and illuminate the setting. There is even a rope swing in case you really want to get adventurous!
Cenote Samula is a cave cenote with a small opening in its roof which lets in beautiful beams of light. This is a large cenote with deep, turquoise waters and decorated by hanging vines. Its stunning visual appeal draws many tourists who come to the area to experience this unique natural phenomenon.