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From the Mayan name ts’ono’ot which means cave with water, a cenote is a flooded geological depression found in limestone caves. It arises as a result of the collapse of the roof of a cave. It is the union of underground water in a kind of deep pond.
There is open, semi-open, underground or in grotto cenotes. They are temporary structures that can finally end filled or dried.
They are usually circular; starting as an underground chamber produced by the dissolution of limestone by rainwater seeping under the cavity, size increases can collapse the roof and bring out the cenote.
The cenotes, being widening river networks, make their way to the sea where the salt water, which is denser than freshwater, penetrates though the deep, which is why some at a certain depth the water changes from fresh to salt and this contact produces an interesting visual effect.
In the Yucatan Peninsula is estimated that there are over 2400 cenotes which connect with each other and with the sea, and many are used for tourism.
In 2012 The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources achieved that the UN accepted the proposal to name cenotes Natural Heritage of Humanity and are currently waiting for the UN to dictate the parameters to present the justification for this promotion.
Some Cenotes near Bahia Principe Riviera Maya are:
“Angelita”, “skull”, “Gran Cenote”, “Carwash”, “Casa Cenote”, “Tajmahal”, “Ponderosa”, “Chack-Mool”, “Hidden Worlds”, “LabnaHa” among others.