By this time most of you probably know what a cenote is, but for those of you who are newcomers we’ll explain that a cenote (from the Mayan dzonoot: ‘hole with water’) is a well of karstic origin. There are several types of cenotes: open air, semi-open and underground or in caves. This classification is directly related to the cenote’s age, the older ones being fully out in the open and the younger ones are those in which the dome has not caved in. Cenotes were formed in periods when the sea level dropped, during the glaciations in the Pleistocene. Cenotes are mostly formed when underground rivers widen, sometimes reaching the sea. Sea water is denser than fresh water and can penetrate through the bottom of the phreatic system. Because of this, there are some cenotes where at a certain depth you can find salt water, even many miles away from the coast.
After this short intro to the world of cenotes, we’d like to talk about the famous Cenote Dos Ojos. Dos Ojos is a cenote located south of Playa del Carmen and north of Tulum, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The exploration of Dos Ojos started in 1986 and has gone on without interruption since then. The name Dos Ojos refers to two nearby cenotes connected by a large cavernous area that they share and because of their appearance, resembling two big eyes. Dos Ojos has been in the Top 10 and even the Top 5 of the longest underwater cave systems in the world ever since its discovery.
The water temperature is 25° C (77° F) year round and the maximum depth is approximately 10 m in the cavern area. The water is crystal clear thanks to the fact that the rain water filters through the limestone, making it extraordinarily pure. There are a variety of fish species living in the cavern, as well as two types of fresh water shrimp. You can also see bats in what is known as the Bat Cave.
Diving in Dos Ojos or in any other cenote is a unique experience; it is a privilege for divers to probe into the domains of the Mayan underworld. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this, would you?
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star hotels in the Playa del Carmen Area. Both the IBEROSTAR Tucán and the IBEROSTAR Quetzal provide All Inclusive accommodation. While staying at either of these IBEROSTAR hotels guests may enjoy all the comfort they can only find in hotels of this category: spa facilities, sports, the best cuisine and charming rooms.”