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What Are Cenotes?            Meaning for the Mayan Civilization            Types of Cenotes            Advice to Visit Cenotes
Cuzama Cenotes
Homun Cenotes
Dzitnup Cenotes
What Are Cenotes?
          Cenotes are unique formations in the world, no doubt, one of the most beautiful and mystic attractions of the State of Yucatan. Cenote comes from the Mayan word Dzonot, which means “hole with water”; cenotes are formed with rainwater which is filtered through the porous ground creating underground rivers, in some places the ground collapses or some cracks are created, showing beautiful springs of fresh water, perfect to take a refreshing bath.

Meaning for the Mayan Civilization
          For Mayans, cenotes were sacred places and entrances to the underworld; in some of them precious stones, wooden and jade goods have been found, so it's possible that cenotes were used for human sacrifices, such as the sacred cenote of Chichen Itza and Dzibilchaltun. Of course, cenotes also were an endless source of fresh water into the jungle.

Types of Cenotes
          By their shapes is possible identify 4 kinds of cenotes. As a pitcher, cave, vertical walls and as a small lake or superficial.
  • Type Pitcher. Its entrance is through a hole in the surface; inside there is a much larger and where water is located. They have very interesting rock formations such as stalactites, stalagmites and columns.

  • Type Cave. The entrance is through a cave, sometimes you have to walk through flooded chambers until the cenote. They have a lot of stalactites and stalagmites; sometimes there are exposed minerals and tunnels several hundred meters.

  • Type Vertical Walls. These are like a big cylinder roofless, some have a height of 20 meters from the level of water. Some of them are very spectaculars.

  • Type small lake. They are also called "Eyes of Water" or "Aguadas"; they can be found very near the sea; some are inside the mangroves, enriching the coastal habitats.

Advice to Visit Cenotes
  • Come in carefully to cenotes; entrances are old slippery stairs of stone or wood.
  • Don´t use sunscreen or insect repellent when you swim because water gets contaminated.
  • Don´t swim in dark places or rocks shaped tip.
  • Do not pull the rocks shaped column.
  • Do not jump into the water from high places.
  • If you can not swim, do not enter to the water or use lifejacket.
  • Finally, remember that safety depends on patience.

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