The Playa del Carmen cenotes are freshwater sinkholes renowned for their beauty and accessibility. Divers around the world have certainly taken notice of the diving possibilities, though you don't have to be a competent diver to enjoy them. Exploring their stunning realms while indulging in some Playa del Carmen snorkeling is also an option, and they can be ideal for a refreshing swim. Of course, you don't have to jump in the water in order to appreciate the Playa del Carmen cenotes. They are amazing to observe from the surface, partly because of the fact their waters are often of a rich blue color. For those who do decide to jump in for a closer look, the clarity of the water in these surface openings allows for great visibility, and there is quite a lot to see.
Cenotes abound in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and some of the best are located within easy reach of Playa del Carmen. These openings in the ground connect to freshwater caverns and rivers, and are essentially flooded caves. On Playa del Carmen cave diving excursions, you will have the chance to delve into the underwater realms of the regional cenotes, and among the things that you can expect to see are submerged stalactites and stalagmites. Other things that have also been seen within the Playa del Carmen cenotes are relics from the ancient Maya and human and animal bones. Many Maya settlements grew up around the regional sinkholes, as they provided freshwater, and the Mayans considered them to be gifts from the gods.
Few water-filled caves around the world rival the Playa del Carmen cenotes when it comes to the underwater scenery. The water temperature in these Yucatan sinkholes stays at around 76 degrees throughout the year. Well-trained divers often go deep into the underground realms while engaging in Playa del Carmen cave diving. As long as you are a confident open-water certified diver, you can dive down into various caverns, while just about everyone can enjoy the snorkeling possibilities. A number of Playa del Carmen tours involve diving or snorkeling in cenotes, so you should have little trouble arranging one according to your needs.
Swimming, snorkeling, and diving in cenotes are some of the most popular things to do on Playa del Carmen vacations. Any and all visitors to the area are encouraged to add such an experience to their itineraries, especially since the tour options are complete and affordable. Regional parks such as Aktunchen and Xel Ha offer excellent cenote tours, so you might start with them.
It should be mentioned that many of the cenote tours in Playa involve other fun activities, such as zip lining among the forest canopy and mountain biking through a jungle, in which case you can truly make an adventurous day out of it. Transportation to and from your Playa hotels or vacation rentals is provided on the more complete tours.
Image: karmalaundry (flickr)