All the rivers of the Riviera Maya run underground. For thousands of years, the porous limestone has filtered rainwater,
CENOTE (say-NOH-tay) is the Spanish equivalent of the Mayan word that means "abysmal and deep" or "hole filled with water".
Cenotes of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is an underground caverns and river system that formed limestone sink holes with naturally gathered water of a crystal clear turquoise color and a very pleasant temperature of 78°. 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.
Cenotes were an important source of fresh water for ancient Mayas and also were considered to be the portals to the Mayan underworld, the realm of gods.
An estimated six thousand cenotes have been found in the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Many cenotes have become famous touristic destinations, such as Tres Bocas (The three mouths), Cristalino (Cristaline), El Jardin de Eden (The Garden of Eden), Yax Mul, Cenote Azul (Blue Cenote) and the most known and mysterious one - the Sacred Cenote or the "Well of Sacrifice".