One of the unexpected things that many visitors to Tulum and Playa del Carmen notice is that the surrounding countryside is pretty dry. There aren’t any rivers yet gardens are filled with greenery and tropical forests are found at most of the Mayan ruins. The mystery becomes even more interesting when you realize that cities were built and the Mayans had thriving civilizations despite the apparent absence of water.
Nevertheless, appearances can be deceiving at first glance and the Yucatan Peninsula is no exception. There is plenty of fresh water in the Yucatan and near every Tulum hotel, it just happens to be hidden underground.
The water in much of the Yucatan flows in underground rivers and is held within thousands of limestone caverns. Every once in a while, in the distant past, one of those caverns collapsed in upon itself and filled with fresh, clear water. Those water-filled sinkholes are known as “cenotes” and not only were they vital for Mayan civilizations; many of them also make fantastic, modern day dive sites.
Go on a cenote dive and you will be treated to a unique, other-worldly experience where majestic and strange subterranean features can be viewed in cool, clear waters held beneath the surface of the Mayan jungle. There are several fantastic cenotes near the Tulum area including such wonders as the “Gran Cenote”, an incredibly beautiful dive that features gleaming white formations, “Angelita”, a deep cenote with dark salt water beneath a strange hydrogen sulfate cloud, and “The Temple of Doom”, a cenote with fossils and an entrance that looks a bit like a skull. Our Tulum Hotel is a perfect base to visit all the cenotes of the area.