Friday, September 5, 2014

Cenote Ik-Kil and Cenote Dzitnup (Xkeken) Yucatan, Mexico

Cenote Ik-Kil also known as Cenote Sagrado Azul (Blue Sacred Cenote) is a crystal clear, round, open cenote that is strategically located in the heart of the “Chichen Itza” archaeological zone (only 3km away). This cenote is about 150 feet deep and down 85 feet from the surface so you do need to be able to handle some stairs but the incline is not a steep one. It
does have several ways you can enter the water; jumping in, going down the side ladder, and the brave ones diving in from a high point. This cenote is mostly for swimmers I did not see any reason to use my face-mask and snorkel and not really for divers like the Dos Ojos. There are long roots hanging down from the surface to the water that helps give you that underworld felling. There is a small waterfall within this cenote and that is a first for me in my cenote exploring. It cost M$70 to enter with free parking.

The Mayan Connection: Cenote comes from the Mayan word “dzonot” or

“ts’onot” which means sacred well. Mayans believed the cenotes contained curative elements and considered many of them to be sacred. They also believed cenotes to be portals to the underworld and a way to communicate with the gods. The Sacred Cenote (Cenote Sagrado) at Chichen Itza was used to perform human sacrifices!

Cenote Dzitnup (Xkeken) is a semi open cenote just outside of Valladolid. This is a smaller cenote and is mostly for swimming no real need for snorkeling and definitely not for diving; the best for diving is still Dos Ojos. This cenote has a small hole at the surface and man-made stone stairs into a cave like setting. The need for artificial lighting does add an eerie look to the stalactites hanging down from the roof. But the cold clear blue water is still very refreshing and well worth the side trip for a visit.

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