Know Your Cenotes

Know your cenotes
By Robert & Joanne Birce of Alma Libre

You know the Yucatan Peninsula for its glorious beaches and ancient ruins, but under the ground thereís a completely different world to explore. The world of Cenotes.

Our Peninsula is a large limestone shelf dotted with clear blue-green pools of water. These pools are fed by an underground river system which winds through the limestone. Over the years these rivers have carved out vast caverns and tunnels.

Cenotes are filled with interesting rock formations, including stalagmites and stalactites. These systems are a Scuba Diverís dream. There are Cenotes rated for both cave certified divers and non-cave certified divers. Exploring them can make you feel like youíre the first person to ever set eyes upon these amazing wonders.

Two wonderful books have been written on the subject. Both are authored by Cenote pioneers and are filled with breathtaking photos and stories.

book Hidden Splendors of the Yucatan
Hidden Splendors of the Yucatan - Author / Photographer Lalo Fiorelli

This spectacular picture book explores the Cenotes in our area. The photos were taken when the underwater caves were first explored in the 1980's, the first people to visit them in at least 10,000 years. The photographs and tales of what they found are dramatic. The book is available in soft or hardcover.

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Cenotes of the Riviera Maya - Author / Photographer Steve Gerrard

book cenotes of the Riviera Maya
The second book is written by our good friend Steve Gerrard. This book is not only a breathtaking picture-book of the Cenotes in our area, but also the only good guide about how to explore the cenotes safely. It includes all the practical information you need like how to get there, what to bring and what to expect. Steve includes lots of information on cave diving techniques and safety and where the sport is going. This book was a labour of love by a diver who just wanted to share his knowledge and stunning photographs with the rest of us.

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Both of these books are available from Alma Libre Bookstore on the square in Puerto Morelos. We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-3pm and 6-9pm, Sunday 4-9pm. Closed Monday. Look for our BOOK BLOWOUT the month of May. Watch our website for details