A beautiful collection of Mexico in photos featuring the magnificent cenotes.

Samula Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Tree Roots Suck up Water at Samula Cenote

Yucatan, Mexico

What exactly is a cenote? It’s a freshwater sinkhole usually connected to an underground river system that flows through limestone passageways in the earth. Cenotes are located all around Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and a few Caribbean islands as well. It’s estimated that there are well over 6000 of them in the area.

Cenotes come in many different shapes & sizes. Some are completely underground, others are semi-underground with small openings that let in sunlight, and some have no cave ceiling at all — exposed to the outside world.

The water here is crystal-clear and perfect for swimming. Snorkeling and SCUBA diving in a cenote are other popular activities, as there is a lot to see down there. Underwater stalactites, stalagmites, blind fish, cave fossils, and sometimes even ancient human remains are found in them.

These unique water-caves are considered sacred to the Mayan people who believed them to be entrances to the underworld. They were also once used for ritual human sacrifice!

Many of Mexico’s most popular cenotes are located on private land, but you can often visit them for the day after paying an entrance fee of $2-$10 US and create your own memories of Mexico in Photos.

Cenotes are truly magical places, and should be a must-see while traveling through Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. Here are some of my favorite shots of Mexico in Photos, particularly Cenotes. Enjoy!

Mexico in Photos – Cenotes of the Yucatan

Xcanche Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Getting Some Sun at Xcanche Cenote

Pit Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Cave Divers Prepare to Submerge at Pit Cenote

Grand Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Colorful Limestone Walls at Grand Cenote

Kuzan Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Lily Pads Cover the Water at Kuzan Cenote

Dzitnup Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Sunlight Beams into Dzitnup Cenote

Dos Ojos Cenote Yucatan Mexico

Interesting Stalactites Inside Dos Ojos Cenote


headshot of expert vagabondMatthew Karsten is a full-time vagabond & adventure junkie who’s on a mission to inspire others to get out there and explore the world. Enjoy more photo essays like this one as well as travel advice, crazy stories, & entertaining videos on his adventure travel blog.
Blog: ExpertVagabond.com
Twitter: @ExpertVagabond
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  1. Victoria

    Wow, what beautiful photos. I had never heard of cenotes before but will now be sure to visit some when we eventually get to Mexico. they look so idyllic.

  2. Christena Liitle

    From Kaycie Little (11), what kind of animals do you see cave diving? I want to go cave diving.

    1. Matthew Karsten

      Hi Kaycie! You can see bats, cave swallows, and a few different types of fish.
      If you look closely at the first photo (with the purple lights), you’ll see a bunch of little black things in the water. Those are black fish!
      There are even some fish that don’t have eyes, because they don’t need them in the dark. :)

  3. Jonas Wynn

    Honest to god ..without even the slightest exaggeration I literally whimpered when I saw these pictures. I want to see these places so badly it’s mind boggling. I’ve been talking with friends about going cave exploring here in Ontario ultimately wanting to see spots even remotely similar to this…backpacking the riviera maya is too expensive:(

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  5. Rico

    The photos are stunning! Diving in Cenotes is one of the biggest tourist attractions on the Mayan Riviera. Thanks for the post! Cheers, Rico

    1. debndave Post author

      They are stunning aren’t they! When we go back to Mexico, this is the first thing on the list. When we went diving in Cozumel, we regret not taking a trip to the Cenotes. We should have. Oh well, a great excuse to go back.

  6. Beth Campbell

    wow, what a fabulous place! when I’ve got enough friends and money together, ill be sure to take a visit. the pictures just jumped at me when i saw them. absolutely amazing, without a doubt! keep up the good work. :)

  7. Serena Star Leonard

    About 8 years ago my 7th ever dive was in Grand Cenote and my 8th was in Cenote Angelita. These dives sealed the deal with my passion for diving and the Angelita one was one of the best things I have ever experienced. In November I arrive back in Mexico to dive as many as possible in my time there and I can’t wait!

    Thanks for reminding me visually what I have been so looking forward to!

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