We felt like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. Except we were climbing down a ladder instead. And this hole was one of the fabled Riviera Maya cenotes.
But what we gaped at inside was every bit as trippy as what Alice encountered.
Cenotes are sinkholes in the limestone ground, where the roof has caved in. Most are fed by underground rivers and so they’re filled with freshwater.
Magical Riviera Maya cenotes
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is pock-marked with more than 8,000 cenotes. The Riviera Maya alone has about 300 of these natural pools.
Many Riviera Maya cenotes are adorned with fantastically-shaped stalactites and stalagmites.
With their crystal spires, and water that shines an unearthly brilliant blue, the Riviera Maya cenotes look like wondrous underground cathedrals.
In several cenotes, you can swim and snorkel – sometimes exploring dreamlike subterranean passageways that connect to other cenotes.
We even spotted catfish and bats in some.
The cenotes in the Mayan Riviera are truly magical places – and an absolute highlight of a visit to the Riviera Maya!
Have a look at these photos and see if you don’t agree:
Photo credits for pics that aren’t ours go to Alltournative Ecological Adventures.