The Cenotes and Mayan Ruins of the Yucatán

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Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is a dreamer’s destination, with its stunning beaches, mysterious jungle landscapes, and remnants of Mayan history. A trip to the Yucatán blends together nature and history: explore ruins of the Mayan civilization, walking along ancient pyramids and imposing temples of one of the most powerful early civilizations. When you need to relax, ditch the crowds by the beaches and escape to the world of cenotes, hidden pools of mineral-rich water where the ancient Mayans communicated with their gods. Cenotes offer a truly “off the beaten path” experience, providing an opportunity sure to amaze you (and satisfy your camera!). There is so much to see in this area of the world, but to spark your daydreaming we’ve compiled just a few of the must-see sites in the Yucatán!

1. Tulum Ruins 

The city of Tulum was founded in the thirteenth century, under Mayan rule. The remnants of limestone walls, palaces, and temples take you back to the time of Mayan civilization, an ancient world that still remains a mystery to many historians. The ruins and salty sea breeze will undoubtedly spark your imagination, leaving you to wonder what life was like in this forgotten city. It can get hot wandering through the ruins, but luckily Tulum also happens to be an ancient Mayan seaport-- so when you’re finished exploring, head down to the beach for a swim in the translucent waters of the Caribbean!

2. Chichén Itzá

Out of all the great Mayan temples of the Yucatán, Chichén Itzá is arguably the most famous. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to many significant ruins, but some must-see attractions include the awe-inspiring Kukulkán pyramid (named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World), the impressive “Temple of the Warriors,” and “El Caracol,” a lone round building that is theorized to have been used for astronomical viewings. Spend the day exploring the spectacular attractions of Chichén Itzá, discovering secrets of Mayan culture and retracing the steps of history. Take a tour with us HERE!

3. Cenote Dos Ojos 

The name “Dos Ojos” is Spanish for “Two Eyes,” referring to this cenote’s two distinct pools: one body of water is clear blue, while the other is dark and mysterious. The “black eye” of the cenote is famed for its virtually light-free snorkelling-- divers take a small flashlight to cut through the dark waters and illuminate the intricate stalactites when they come up for air. But if spelunking in the dark isn’t your cup of tea, you can relax in the “clear eye” of the cenote: the water is sparklingly clear and sunlight pours into this hidden waterhole, meaning you can float or snorkel to your heart’s content. 

4. Cenote Azul

This turquoise pool is often bypassed by tourists, meaning you’ll have the place virtually to yourself. If you peer into the clear water, you’ll spot a myriad of tropical fish darting around, and many more underwater sights await you under the surface. Snorkel, wade, or float your way around the cenote, taking in the tropical jungle scenery that encircles the pool. And if you want
to get your adrenaline going, try jumping off one of the mini cliffs into the water!

Travel with us to Yucatan, Mexico and enjoy a traditional cooking class, tour of Chichén Itzá and Mayan Ruins, salsa dance classes, tour of the city center and a snorkeling excursion in Tulum! Inquire about our trip HERE!

Blog Post Author: Hannah Hunt