Caves & Cenotes
Entrances to the Underworld
Above ground, the Yucatan is flat, scrubby and often dry, while below is a watery underworld. Rainwater, over time, has etched a maze of rivers, lakes, cenotes and caverns in the relatively soluble limestone bedrock. Cenotes are portals linking surface and subterranean worlds. Ancient Maya regarded these wells with respect, knowing that without their fresh water reserves, they could not survive.
Caves were sacred places, entries into worlds ruled by powerful deities, where burials and ceremonies connected life and death. The busiest cenotes, X’Keken, Samula and Zaci, are only half an hour away but if you want to get off the beaten path, ask about our Cenote Safari.
At Cenote X'Canche, accessible from the Ek Balam archaeological site, you can swim, snorkel, rappel or zip line. The pleasant 1.5 km walk or cycle provides birding opportunities. See Tours & Activities for details.