One of the most impressive natural wonders we have in the Riviera Maya is what we know as cenotes. These natural water sinkholes were created millions of years ago and are mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cenotes are part of the longest river system in the world.
These mesmerizing sinkholes contain very clean water due to the infiltration of the rain through the ground; as a result, these crystal-clear water holes are one of the main attractions for tourists from all over the world. However, this is not a surprise. Besides having natural fresh water, must cenotes are located in amazing settings. Visitors can also enjoy long walks through the beautiful jungle paths.
On the other hand, cenotes offer plenty of activities. Depending on the depth, which can go from 160 ft. to 330 ft., you can dive, swim calmly or scuba-diving. Although, it requires a special certification to practice scuba-diving in cenotes due to its complexity. The best part is that there are around 7,000 cenotes all over Yucatan. Nevertheless, one of the most popular, due to its beauty, is Cenote Ik Kil.
Discovering Cenote Ik Kil
With 200 ft. in diameter and 130 ft. deep, Cenote Ik Kil is an extraordinary open water sinkhole surrounded by lush vegetation. This cenote is also home to some animals such as colorful birds like toucans, parotid, northern mockingbirds, cardinals, and more. At night, crickets and frogs offer the most splendid concert that echoes around its foundations. All this happens while the sky enlightens the area with the moon and stars.
Furthermore, getting to Ik Kil is also a journey. You must go down a stone staircase and you will find small balconies that will help you admire its beauty from different locations. When you arrive, there is a platform that gives access to its fresh and crystalline waters. The water is cold but delightful because it is a mixture of salt and fresh water. It is also very easy to swim calmly and relax among thousands of small fishes.
Also, there’s a lot of history behind this cenote as it was a sacred place for the Mayan civilization. A place exclusively for their relaxation and their ritual services to the Gods, such as sacrifices for Chaac, the God of the rain. Therefore, divers have found tons of jewelry and precious gems at this site.
Your Turn to Visit this Hidden Jewel
The Riviera Maya offers plenty of natural attractions. However, visiting Cenote Ik Kil has to be one of the most recommended activities. Many tour packages include going to the wonderful archaeological site of Chichen Itza, then heading to Cenote Ik Kil and ending the day by going to Merida.
If you’re planning to visit cenote Ik Kil, we have a few recommendations for you:
- Visit it early. It might be a bit colder but you will avoid a crowd of tourists.
- Bring your own towel.
- Respect all of the rules and the flora and fauna. Don’t leave any trash!
- Don’t use sunscreen unless it is eco-friendly.
- And most importantly: enjoy it. Swimming in a cenote is one of the most wonderful experiences in life, so you might make the most of it.
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