She says, "I don't like this cenote! It's spooky and I tell you there's something big down there!" My tanned friend has actually turned white after swimming in the underground river hole. Her boyfriend and I are laughing and teasing, "Of course there is! See all those little fish?" "No," she replies indignantly, "I heard weird noises. Something's not right." We all peer down into the crystal blue water.
A "cenote" is a hole in the ground that opens into an undergound river. We've just had a refreshing swim here after getting all hot and sweaty at the Tulum ruins. It's great to jump almost two stories down from a small cliff into the fresh water.
"Cenote Calavera" translates to "Skull Cenote", named such because there's one large hole and two smaller ones so it vaguely resembles a giant screaming skull.
Suddenly I see something very large swim underwater across the bottom of the pool. "Did you see that!?", I exclaim. Her boyfriend and I look at each other hesitantly. "See! I told you I wasn't crazy!", she says.
Three scuba divers begin to ascend slowly to the surface. We all laugh and yell down at them, "You guys scared the hell out of us!"
The underwater caves of Centote Calavera can be explored by scuba diving. However, if you choose to do this be very careful because three certified scuba divers died here in 1995 when they ran out of air while exploring a passageway that was longer than they expected. Unless you are with a certified cave diver who knows this cenote, stick to the main cavern zone.
Although there's a larger more popular cenote called "Gran Centoe" 2kms further up the highway towards Coba, for 50 pesos Cenote Calavera was refreshing and fun after a dusty, hot afternoon of exploring ruins.
After a long hot day in the car and touring the ruins there was nothing better than snorkeling at the Gran Cenote. The cenote is open for snorkeling and diving from 10 until 5 every day. We didn't make it until 4 and there were very few people there at that time, which was quite nice. There are change rooms and toilets on the site and some peacocks, including a white one on display. It is quite inexpensive just for snorkeling, I think about $10 each. We had our own snorkel gear. There is proper scuba diving tours of the cenote available as well.
It was so refreshing and beautiful in the caves. I would highly recommend this spot to stop for a swim even if you aren't into snorkeling or diving.
Hidden Worlds has been my family's favorite vacation day on every trip to the Riviera Maya. The first time we did the snokeling tour in the cenotes. Another time my husband and son dived Dos Ojos and Bat Cave and raved about it. We've visited many cenotes but these are the most amazing we've seen. The guides are great - informative and funny - and the cenotes have shocking turquoise waters with unbelievable stalagmites and stalagtites. They've since added to the park and now have amazing jungle adventures above ground too - zip lines over the jungle, zip line with cenote splash landing, rappeling and (my personal favorite) a skycycle ride (a kind of bike suspended from a cable) that gets you right in the middle of the jungle life. It's all been done very sensitively so you get to truly experience the jungle. Not to be missed!
This temple is called House of the Cenote and it's a small structure built over a small cenote or well. The building is made up of three rooms it was probably used for religious ceremonies: the large room in the middle contains a tomb and shrine, while the other two smaller rooms are where religious ceremonies were carried out.
One intesting fact is that the cenote's water is too salty to be drunk, so it was used for other purposes. Which ones I do not know. The only inhabitant of this temple, a cute iguana, looked down on us quietly but did not provide answers.
The temple is located along the ruins' north wall.
As you've probably figured out, the Mayan ruins is THE place to see in the Tulum area. You know it, and so does everybody else, so get there early. You may want to forgo packaged bus tours by taking a Collectivo (shared taxi van) for a few dollars or less. It'll be a bit of a walk from the highway, though. Do not try to walk from the town of Tulum!
The Mayan ruins at Tulum are unique because of their setting -- atop dark cliffs, flanked by palm trees, facing the wild Caribbean sea. It's easy to imagine Johnny Depp and his band of pirates pulling up to Tulum's shores.
Bring some swimming attire if you'd like to cool off at the small beach. Don't forget your water, unless you're prepared to hike off grounds to pay tourist prices for a drink. Believe me, those ruins get HOT!
Oh yeah, you might see some GIANT iguanas sunning on the toasty ruins! What a sight!
As I noticed checking the internet those are the really small ones and the bigger one to go diving in are closer to Playa del Carmen, I guess.
One of the Cenotes I went to was the Gran Cenote and I went Snorkeling - even though I usually don´t like it that much - but I did it and it was fun because it was different then in Xel Ha for example.
From the tower and the entrance, head east towards the Caribbean and you will find the Casa del Cenote.
This building is named because it was built on top of a cave containing water. Originally it was a rectangular building with 2 rooms. A small tomb was found here. There was a small sanctuary at the back where they held religious ceremonies.
Originally it was just a rectangular building with two rooms, between which a tomb was found.
As is typical in this type of constructin, there was a small sanctuary at the back where the occupants celebrates religious ceremonies.
I love history and the mystery behind religious celebration. It really is a pitty that you can only observe from outside.
Go for a swim in this cenote, a few minutes drive north of tulum. It is refreshing, and definitely something different.
The name of this building is derived from the fact the it was built on top of a cave containing water