What is Cenote Snorkeling?
The Cenotes in Cancun
Snorkeling is one of the most popular recreational and vacation activities in Cancun. The warm, clear ocean water is ideal for spotting tropical fish and other marine wildlife, plus there are unique inland snorkeling locations called “cenotes.” A cenote is a natural sinkhole that is formed when limestone bedrock collapses and exposes water beneath the ground or a connection to subterranean bodies of water. Some of the most well-known cenotes are quite large and easily accessible, but there are between 7,000 and 8,000 cenotes of various size, just within the Yucatan Peninsula.
Millions of years ago, most of this area was an ocean. As the water levels of the ocean lowered during the Ice Age, we were left with what we now recognize as the Yucatan Peninsula. The receding of the water caused a great deal of erosion to occur, and cave systems and cenotes were created.
In ancient Mayan times, civilizations were often built near cenotes to ensure access to water. The Mayans also believed that cenotes served as a gateway to the afterlife, and were therefore used in sacred rituals, or had sacred items thrown into them. Some cenotes that have been explored have been hiding human skeletons and items most likely used as sacrifices to the rain god Chaac.
How to Find the Best Cenotes in Cancun
The best cenotes in Cancun are near other cultural locations, like Mayan ruins, or unique topography like caves. You can get the best of both experiences by combining cenote snorkeling with an excursion. For example, visit the Tulum ruins and then check out the nearby by underground river caves and cenotes. Check out some of the exciting adventure tours that include cenote snorkeling below.
Private Tulum & Underground River Tour
The Private Tulum and Underground River Tour is a great way to enjoy the intimacy of a small group while you immerse yourself in history and culture at two of Cancun’s best excursion sites.
Start your day by traveling through the dense tropical jungle to the Mayan ruins in Tulum. Sitting elegantly and mysteriously on the top of a seaside cliff, and protected by a limestone wall, El Castillo is one of the most well-preserved and stunning ancient sites in Mexico. Our expert bilingual tour guides will transport you back in time with stories, facts, and a glimpse into life in this Mesoamerican civilization. You’ll also get to see the beautiful murals in the Temple of the Frescoes.
Next, you’ll visit a network of underground water system in the heart of the jungle. Walk through spectacular cenote caves and tunnels with awe-inspiring stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique rock formations. Afterward, you’ll finish the day relaxing on our exclusive beach club before heading back to Cancun.
Cenotes Cancun & Paradise Lagoon Tour
When you embark on the Cenotes Cancun and Paradise Lagoon Tour, you get to see the unbelievable cave and rock formations up close and personal as you snorkel in a freshwater cenote.
You’ll also get to stop at Yalku Lagoon in Playa del Carmen, a paradisiac lagoon of brackish water surrounded by mangrove, full of rocks that create the perfect habitat for colorful fish that live in its calm waters until they are mature enough to migrate to the ocean.
The snorkeling at Yalku lagoon perfectly complements the unforgettable and unique experience of exploring the underwater world of a mystical cenote. This tour is one of the best things to do in the Cancun with the family.
Check out the many amazing tours provided by Cancun Adventures, including cenote snorkeling in Cancun, and book a tour for your next trip today!