Cenotes, or natural, water-filled sinkholes, are an important part of Maya history. These natural formations are usually part of a linked, underground cave system found in the Yucatan Peninsula. Believed to be an opening to the underworld by the ancient Maya, cenotes were used for sacrificial offerings. Tucked in the inland jungles of the Riviera Maya, these cenotes are found between Tulum and Cancun, so they make for an easy day trip from these popular resort areas.
These three cenotes in Riviera Maya are located about 15 minutes away from Playa del Carmen. Cristalino is home to friendly fish and cliff jumping; El Jardin del Eden is known for its open waters (more like a traditional swimming hole than a cenote since the roof is now underwater); and Azul is great for kids as it’s both shallow and open.