Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cenotes and Selvatica

Cenote Lukuma 
Before coming to Selvatica Adventure Kingdom, most people have never even heard of a cenote. Most people by instinct call it simply a “sinkhole” however; by definition a cenote “is a deep natural pit, or sinkhole, characteristic of Mexico and Central America, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath,” ( For many, many years cenotes have been a very important part of life and culture in the Yucatan of Mexico. Because rivers and lakes are not common in this area, the water provided by the cenote was very important to surviving here. One very famous cenote is located at Chichen Itza which was built by the Mayan Civilization, which they believed was a doorway to the afterlife. “The cenote there is respectively named “Well of Sacrifice”. Pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac,” ( To make a visit to the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza and to see the famous cenote, you can find tour information at Cancun Vista. There are different types of cenotes as well as a classification system to identify the varieties. It had been discovered sometime in the 1980’s through diving exploration that some of these cenotes are connected by an underground river system. Some even flow into the ocean. A super cool video I found is on YouTube. If you are interested, it is a 5 part series about the exploration of the cenotes of the Yucatan and how they are connected underground. It is amazing to see what they found underground and to see the caves. Follow this link to see the video YouTube. The video is called, Secrets of the Mayan Underworld.

Cenote Lukuma   (BEFORE)

Cenote Lukuma    (AFTER)
An interesting fact about cenotes is that they are usually named. The cenote at Selvatica is called Lukuma, which means “mouth of heaven” in the Mayan language and is used for purposes other than human sacrifice. The cenote needed a lot of work before it became a part of the tour. It needed zip lines, stairs, and a bit of landscaping around the edges. It was finally opened for guests in October 2010. Along the stretch of highway leading to Selvatica, you will find several cenotes such as Verde Lucero (bright green star), Boca de Puma (mouth of the puma), and Siete Bocas (seven mouths). Verde Lucero some of the Selvatica guests would remember because it was the first cenote that Selvatica used for their tours. But because it was also open to the public the owners of Selvatica decided to give their guest more space and privacy by purchasing the land where we now know Lukuma to be. In case you are not familiar with Selvatica yet, after the zip line portion of the tour, guests arrive at the crystal clear refreshing cenote for a splashing good time. There are 3 ways to enter into the water. The first is by the stairs, the second is jumping from the cliff, or third and most fun, the zip line that has been stretched along the length of the surface. So many front flips, back flips and belly flops are recorded on photo and video at least four times a day at Lukuma. To see some of the tours that Selvatica has, take a peek at Selvatica's Official Site

Today many tourists and Mexican locals travel to the many cenotes of the Yucatan for all types of recreational activities. Snorkeling and cave diving are very popular as well as swimming and sight-seeing.  

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