Entrance to the underworld

The South of Mexico is rich in history and natural beauty. Mayans inhabited this area of the country and studied natural phenomena. Even though they were great astronomers and scientists at their time, they also believed in many Gods and explained some natural events with beliefs.

Cenotes were used as both, source of water; and, for Mayan people they were believed to be the gateways to the underworld or afterlife and their god Xibalba. Being sacred, these water wells, were protected by the Mayan people with Alux – a clay made spirit. Mayans used to perform sacrificial offerings in cenotes.

Cenotes are limestone cave-pools with crystal clear water due to the slow filtering through the ground of rain water. The word derives from the Mayan tz’onot or ts’onot, which means water well or abyss.

Near Cancun, Gran Cenote, a semi-open cenote, provides access to the second-largest cave system in the world, Sac Aktun – with over 215 km mapped passages. The opening of the cave has enough light to see the underwater columns of stalagmites and stalactites while still being in the dark. In the cave you can see bats flying around and the refreshing crystal clear water makes it possible to see the small turtles and fish swimming around.

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