Cenote Dos Ojos, Mexico
Cenote Dos Ojos
The word “Cenote” is pronounced say-no-tay and is derived from a Mayan word sacred well. A combination of geological events and climate changes created an incredible and unique ecosystem in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The region lacks normal above-ground rivers due to these caves and underground rivers which were created naturally over 6500 years ago. Over 20 years ago, experienced scuba divers explored these caves discovering more than 300 miles of interconnected passageways creating a one of a kind ecosystem only found in this part of the world.
Cenote Dos Ojos (two eyes) is located north of Tulum and just about 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen. Although it is world famous for diving, it’s also a great place to snorkel. The open pools are crystal clear and a wonderful way to experience the underground world of the cenotes without entering the dark caves. You’re able to see the stalagmites and stalactites and fossilized seashells embedded in the rocks, along with bats overhead. The details of the cave are right here in the grotto and pool entrances. It’s a much different experience than snorkeling in Nohoch where you do swim into the caves, which is a great experience in its self, but one devoid of visual stimulation. A swim I did 10 years ago. One of the pools is a larger crescent shaped grotto and the main pool for snorkeling. With your vision within the water, you may miss the stalactite overhead which can cause serious injury if you run into to these low hanging jagged rocks. You can also see the multitude of divers swimming along the bottom in single file and slowly disappear into the rock formation illuminated by their flashlights.
Cenote Dos Ojos is a unique experience and a great view into these underground rivers. It’s also within reach of Cancun and just a short distance from Playa del Carmen. This is also the top cenote diving destination and it’s apparent with row-after-row of divers snaking in and out of the cave openings. It’s a sight to behold as their flashlights disappear into the darkness. I wish I could have captured better images but it’s hard to shoot in the dark, and in water.
I do hope they set some limits to the visitors as this attraction becomes more and more popular. I worry we would have to further into the jungle in order to enjoy the cenotes unless a better conservation effort is adopted.