Cenote Pet Cemetary

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The Yucatan Peninsula is home to the world’s largest underground river system. Beneath the surface of the land are hundreds of miles of water-filled caves, caverns, and natural swimming holes. One of them is Cenote Pet Cemetery.

Cenote Pet Cemetary

Pet Cemetery cenote
Flickr Credit: Jorge Hevia

Cenote Pet Cemetery is a natural swimming hole that is part of the Yucatan’s massive underground river system. Do not be fooled by its creepy name as this cenote holds such beauty that will leave anyone in awe. The cenote got its name from the animal bones of species that have been extinct found on the sites near the cenote.

Although the idea of the animal remains being found near the cenote might creep some people out, it also speaks to the cultural and historical value of the site. It provides an insight into which species have once inhabited the grounds near the cenote.

Cenote Pet Cemetery is located deep within the jungles of Tulum, Mexico. It was opened to the public due to the concerted efforts of tourism leaders, conservationists, and diving enthusiasts. It was first discovered in 1987 and had since been continually explored.

Among the highlights of the cenote included jaw-dropping rock formations. Among these formations are stalagmites and stalactites. But the real treasure lies on what is lurking beneath the surface of the water – animal bones. These bones range from familiar to ancient species. In fact, bones from a prehistoric and extinct camel were found here.

Most of these skeletons had been left in their original positions. It led scientists into a conclusion that the cenote was once used as a disposal pit. Due to the fragility of the cenote and the importance of its archaeological treasures, only qualified divers are given proper permit to explore the cenote.

CENOTE INFO

  • Opening Hours: 8AM to 5PM
  • Entrance Fee: 450 Pesos
  • Good for Scuba Diving: Yes
  • Good for Swimming: Yes
  • Facilities: Yes
  • Car Parking: Yes

Cenote Pet Cemetery, also known as Sac Actun, might sound scary but it is a natural marvel. This stunning cenote is located deep in the jungle. It was named after the animal bones that were collected on the site upon the initial discovery of this cenote, as well as the underground river system.

This cenote is composed of two different caves with each one having something unique to offer. The first one is known as the Blue Abyss while the other one is known as the Dark Side of the Moon. You can also access the cenote via the entrance to Cenote Dos Ojos.

Majority of the cenote is made up of shallow water with depths of about 3 meters on average. The depth of the cenote can only reach up to 12 meters for the swimming hole. But if you venture to explore deeper into the cenote, this will bring you to the deeper portions of the cenote wherein divers love to explore. A maximum depth of 70 meters is recorded in this cenote with visibility of up to 30 meters.

As a cavern dive, this cenote is pretty shallow. But that does not turn away avid and certified cavern divers because there are plenty to explore underneath the water surface.

An excellent buoyancy skill is required for those who would like to dive this cenote. This is necessary so as not to damage the fragile rock formations that are abundant here. The Blue Abyss is the most popular site for avid divers.

The low current in this cenote makes it suitable for beginners in snorkeling and even non-expert swimmers. It has excellent water conditions, too, which stays warm for the most part at a range of 24-25 degrees Celsius. This makes this cenote suitable for year-round diving.

If you are keen on diving, Sac Actun (or Pet Cemetery) is approximately 143 miles (230 kilometers) long. It will take up to one hour to be able to explore the different chambers found within this massive cave system if you go snorkeling or diving!

HOW TO GET THERE

Cenote Pet Cemetery or Sac Actun is located 48 kilometers to the south of Playa del Carmen, or 12 kilometers north of Tulum. From Tulum, you need to travel via Mexico 307 Highway. It will take approximately 30 minutes of travel time.

If you are coming from Playa del Carmen, you will also be traveling via Mexico 307 Highway. The total travel time is about 52 minutes.

CENOTE TOURS

Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum Private Tour with Lunch

Explore the cradle of ancient civilization in Mexico as you get to visit one of many major monuments in its history. The Chichen Itza is a UNESCO site recognized for its cultural and historical value. But taking a tour around the temples and monuments of this massive cultural complex is just one half of your tour.

The other includes a visit to the underground swimming holes in Tulum known as cenotes. Feel refreshed with the cool water of the underwater swimming area while you can also snorkel if you want to see the stunning rock formations that the cave has to offer.

Cenote Trail: Caves Visit and Bike Tour

The Mayan forest is home to many caverns and caves. These cenotes serve as the portal to the ancient world. This tour will give you the chance to experience the beauty of the Mayan underworld with the opportunity to visit 3 different cenotes.

Aside from swimming in and exploring the underground rivers and sinkholes, you can also learn about the prehistoric past of the Yucatan peninsula. This is possible as you embark on a bike tour in Tulum.

Where to stay

Time zone:
UTC+06:00

Calling code:
+52

Closest airport:
CUN

Plugins:
127 V

Currrency:
MXN

 

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