Cenote (Spanish: «cenote», from the language of the Maya of Yucatan «dzonot») – the special karst formations – lakes, wells, and the whole cave complex with underground rivers and, at times, access to sea water. Yucatan Peninsula is composed entirely of limestone rocks. Svetlana, I wrote here is not “entirely” and “basically”.
There is practically no rivers, little lakes (and if so, almost all swamped), but the Yucatan Mayans did not know the shortage of fresh water – they were sacred senote. As a result of a long erosion of limestone and periodic changes in water level in the oceans, the entire Yucatan was permeated with holes and channels. In Yucatan over 6000 cenotes, but only 2400 of them is registered and available to the public. The wells produce an unearthly experience. Maya Cenote tenderly treated, they do not just take water there. According to their ideas were senote inputs to the other, a dark world.
On the peninsula are no rivers and lakes. At the same time, indigenous people have never experienced problems with water. Explanation is simple. Sam Peninsula consists mainly of a thick layer of limestone, is very sensitive to erosion. And tropical storms over millions of years a source of Yucatan soil so that it resembles a piece of cheese with holes. The huge, filled with fresh water underground caves, passing one another, lost in the incredible depth.
Sometimes the body of the cave collapses – the so-obtained Cenote.
Cenote Ik Kil is located 3 km from the ruins of the Maya – Chichen Itza. The depth of this crater is about 85 meters. Enterprising Mexicans near Cenote built hotel. The pool is not there, and the Ik Kil it replaces.
Ik Kil can be viewed on three levels. These photos are from the level of the Earth’s surface. The roots of the plants down to the water in which the black fish swim around tourists and they are not very afraid
Senote This is also called “Sacred Blue Cenote”. This is a perfectly round senote with rich vegetation and waterfalls. Falls, however, man – this is done by the property that would give more “charm” to this place.
This kind of cut through the wall box. Stalactites, that hang over people – too artificial. In some senote Peninsula is natural stalactites, but Ik Kil they are unnatural.
The water in this senote is crystal clear turquoise color with a very pleasant temperature of 25,5 ° C.
There are different types of Cenote – those that are completely underground, those that are at ground level as a lake or pond, and those that are open wells, like this one.
This is only allowed senote bathing. But some are open for diving (scuba diving). It is said that some of the underwater caves stretch for hundreds of kilometers.
If you look at it in the water clearly visible black dots. This is a fish – the inhabitants of sinote.
Maya Indians, who preferred to settle near this place, called them dzonot, but used them not only as a source of fresh water. Bottomless pits, sometimes filled with water, and in places which snap down the precipices, the presentation of the Indians were the gates to the underworld.
According to Mayan beliefs, the dead person to get to the afterlife was not easy. Soul of the deceased ought to go down the steep stairs into the underworld. There she was expecting a serious test, breaking that, she went to the intersection of four rivers – the blood, white, yellow and black. The last, and led to Xibalba – the underworld. Assisted in the heart of the wanderings of a special dog-guide.
What is most surprising, the tunnel to the underworld was not just a beautiful metaphor, but a very real man-made structure. There are many tunnels throughout the Yucatan, and one of them just can look at this photo. If you leave the mystique, that this corridor down to the lower level Sinote.
The new owners of the hotel, near Cenote, to attract tourists, they say that the Maya kingdom in the Holy Blue Sinote – Maya kings and their courtesans, “reveled in direct contact with nature, with the help of meditation and relaxation.” Most likely this is fiction – sinote – places of worship for the Maya. But one can always dream.
Of course the “household” and not flattering pics, this place does not look so great and hagadochno . But there is still a lot to see and worth a swim!
But still it is one of the most beautiful karst lakes in the world.