Swimming in Ik Kil cenote 2 miles (3kms) from Chichen Itza, Yucatan. Photo by Jim.
Visitors cannot swim in the Chichen Itza cenotes, however hot and sticky they may feel. Instead head for the ‘Sacred Blue Cenote’ of Ik Kil on the road between Chichen Itza and Valladolid and walk past the restaurant and a handful of palapa homes, down a wooden stairway. Ik-Kil is a little murky so is more suitable for swimmers than divers.
Chichen Itza has two cenotes – large sink holes – that were an important water source for the city, even if priests did occasionally sacrifice humans in one of them, the Cenote Sagrado. Also known as the Sacred Well and Well of Sacrifice ritual sacrifice was probably made to the Maya rain god Chaac.
The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has around 7, 000 cenotes due to its geological base of porous limestone that over the years gets eaten away by rain, creating large cave systems, some of which collapse creating cenotes.