A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.   Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.

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 to 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.


Progreso is a a cruise ship port that is about 10 minutes from Chelem with the longest pier in the world.  The cruise ships normally come in 2 times a week and when they are there the market in Progreso is open.  The market has beautiful Mayan native carvings, and many other items.

In its role as the hub of Yucatan’s coastal communities, Progreso is something of a paradox.   Its laid-back ambience is still appealing most of the year: many North Americans and Europeans who want to escape their chilly winters are attracted to Progreso as a place to live part-time or full-time.

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Mérida (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmeɾiða] ( )) is the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán and largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula.  It is located in the northwest part of the state, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the Gulf of Mexico coast.  The city is also the municipal seat of the Municipality of Mérida, which includes the city and the areas around it.