Cenotes in Photos – Discover Mexico’s Extraordinary Underground Caves

Written By: Matthew Karsten

A beautiful collection of Mexico’s Cenotes in photos featuring the magnificent cenotes of the Yucatan

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.

Mexico’s Cenotes in Photos

What is a Cenote?

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 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.

samula cenote mexico
Tree Roots Suck up Water at Samula Cenote

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.

cenote photos mexico
Colorful Limestone Walls at Grand Cenote

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!

Mexico in Photos – Cenotes of the Yucatan

photos of cenotes in Mexico
Getting Some Sun at Xcanche Cenote

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!

cenotes in photos
Cave Divers Prepare to Submerge at Pit Cenote
photos of cenotes
Lily Pads Cover the Water at Kuzan Cenote
cenotes photos
Interesting Stalactites Inside Dos Ojos Cenote

Read More:

Rio Secreto – Mexico’s Most Magical Cenote

10 Things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula

10 Must Places to Visit in Mexico

Escape to Mexico – 8 Day Trips from Cancun

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About Matthew Karsten

Matthew 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. Follow Matthew at ExpertVagabond / Facebook / Twitter

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26 thoughts on “Cenotes in Photos – Discover Mexico’s Extraordinary Underground Caves”

  1. I always follow your articles, and you write terrific but this post mexicos extraordinary cenotes in photos is fantastic. Keep writing like this, keep working keep going
    I also have an excellent blog about travels and mystery lovers.

  2. These places are amazing, I visited a few ones on my trip to Mexico and really worth it! Stunning views.

  3. 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!

  4. 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. 🙂

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

    • 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. 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:(

    • With street food, hostels (or Couchsurfing), and colectivos for transport, you can spend a month down there for less than $700.

    • Actually the last photo, Dos Ojos Cenote, was featured in the horror movie “The Cave” as well as an IMAX movie “Journey Into Amazing Caves”. 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  7. 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.