Video / The Secret Cenote Yokdzonot

The Secret Cenote Yokdzonot

The Secret Cenote Yokdzonot

22 September 2007 Video, Destinations 54

Nearly anyone who visits Yucatan soon learns of a rather unique feature of the landscape called a cenote (say-NO-tay) in Spanish or dzonot in Mayan. The Yucatan Peninsula is a flat, thick shelf of limestone with thousands of miles of underground, water-filled caves interconnected by rivers. When the roof of one of these caves collapses, it produces a sinkhole or natural well, filled with fresh water. The most famous cenote is the sacred cenote at Chichen Itza, but hundreds of cenotes large and small dot the Yucatan. Some cenotes are hidden deep in the jungle and others are inside larger caves. Some have been reliable sources of drinking water for centuries, which is why many Maya villages and ancient cities are located nearby.

During a visit to Hacienda Chichen, we learned of a small Maya pueblo called Yokdzonot, only a few minutes drive from Chichen Itza, where a group of citizens had formed an association that has spent two years converting their abandoned cenote into a project of sustainable tourism. The video below is our report of their efforts and our adventure.

Comments

  • Melissa 10 years ago

    There are hundreds of secret cenotes all over the state. In fact, this project seems almost identical to the one undertaken by my husband's village. They've even got little rustic cabanas to rent for the night, thought it seems they're mostly used for the trysts of village taxi drivers and their sanchas.

    We first fell in love at this cenote, and had walked there through his grandfather's land to get there. He grabbed a couple of grapefruit since no one was to be seen, but word that he'd lifted them had gotten back to his mother before we had arrived back home. The descent to the cenote was terrifying and slippery back then, but they've since built stone steps.

  • Harald Jezek 10 years ago

    Colette,
    air temperature varies, but in April it should be very warm to hot.
    Water temperture is pretty stable throughout the year at 28 - 29° C

  • CasiYucateco 10 years ago

    April & May are the hottest months of the year. (100s are common.) You'll be happy to be in the water, regardless of the temperature. It'll feel great!

  • Colette 10 years ago

    am just planning our family trip in April 09 - it looks wonderful and for a first time event i know the kids would love it. How warm is the water? How warm is the air at that time of year?

    Think bad idea to get tour groups involved - they would ruin it with overcommercialisation. Becareful.

  • Iris 10 years ago

    I just visited the cenote a few days ago. It was great. What I didn't know was the incredible story of the women founders. When the optional visit was presented to our Chichen Itza tour group, we wre only asked if we wanted to visit a cenote. If you can get the tour goup companies to promote the story it would probably get even more support. Thanks.

  • Olga 10 years ago

    I was so pleased to find your report about this new venture. I come in January with a group of students and we always go to Ik'kil. This coming year I will be going here.

  • luciano chi 11 years ago

    HI, I AM LUCIANO FROM THE YUCATAN , BUT I AM LIVING HERE AT FLORIDA, BEST BEACHS FROM U.S, AND I LOVE FLORIDA JAJA. ANY WAYS, I FEEL VERY HAPPY WATCHING THIS GREAT VIDEIO FROM THE CENOTE, AND WOW REALLY FEEL ME BETTER, BECAUSE IT MADE ME FEEL AT HOME FOR A WHILE JAJA I AM GLAD U AMERICANOS, OR GRINGOS JIJI ARE ABOUT TO EXPERIENCE THIS WOW I WILL SAY VIRGIN CENOTE FROM EVERYBODY I HOPE U GET SOME MORE VIDEO I LIKE THANK U FROM THAT GREAT MOMENT AND HASTA LUEGO AMIGOS. LATER

  • Mexico Discoveries | Lyagr.com | Travel Blog | Worldwide Travel News, Stories, Guides, Deals 11 years ago

    [...] f­ea­t­ures a­ ni­ce st­o­r­y an­­d­ a v­i­de­o­ o­f t­he cen­o­t­e at­ [...]

  • JoanRomiti 11 years ago

    We made it there in May it was wonderful! Thank you Alex for showing us around...Joan Romiti

  • Joan Romiti 11 years ago

    Can't wait to be there!!

  • Lance 11 years ago

    We were with friends in Feb. and visited Chichen Itza. We took the free road back to Merida and while passing thru this small village saw the sign to this cenote at Yokdzonot. We were not expecting what we discovered - the cenote and the caretakers were fantastic. We did not have bathsuits with us, but that did not stop two of us from jumping in with our undershorts. One of the older Mexican ladies kept peaking and snickering while we were changing from our wet undershorts.
    The water was cool and clean and some of the local boys were doing the high jump from the rim above - they said it was about 75 feet to the water below. The steps down to the water were fairly easy to walk. It was one of the highlights of our day and will certainly be on out itinerary when we travel that way again. Lance

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