Jul 21, 2008
Ever since Michele wrote about Cenote Dzitnup, just outside Valladolid, I knew it was going to be on the list of places I needed to see. We headed over while Hans' parents were in town, partly because Valladolid is a cute Colonial city and partly because we knew about Cenote Dzitnup (but mostly because it was a good stop between Holbox and Playa).
Cenotes are sinkholes that are created when the ground collapses into an underground river. Sometimes the collapse is complete, resulting in an open sinkhole that can either look like a pond or can have a little island in the middle made up of the rocks and dirt that collapsed in. Sometimes there is an air dome and just a little part of the land collapses. This is the case with Cenote Dzitnup.
Cenotes on the western part of the Yucatan Peninsula are generally deeper than the ones found around Playa. Because the water runs deeper underground, they get more of these dome-style cenotes. This one is pretty awe inspiring and coincidentally the most-photographed cenote in Mexico (according to our host at Casa Hamaca, where we stayed the night before).
Those are tree roots hanging down through the hole. Mayans used to look for water by looking for that type of tree and listening for the Mot-Mot bird. The birds are attracted by the mosquitos and other bugs that they like to eat, and they happen to have a fairly recognizable call. They say "mot mot."
I am always amazed that there is so much natural beauty in the world in all different forms. I feel blessed to be able to see cenotes and the Caribbean sea in the same day. As a friend of mine always reminds me when we are sitting on the beach, "People pay thousands of dollars to come and see this ocean for a week, and this is just what we do on Saturdays." Kinda puts it into perspective...