The ancient Mayans believed hidden cenotes were sacred portals to the underworld. Given the dark, eerie surroundings and stalactites dripping from above, it’s easy to see how these subterranean caves inspired the paranormal awe. At Cenote Chaak Tun outside Playa del Carmen, venture inside an enormous cave where early Mayans once roamed, and splash in the cool, almost secret waters that are hidden back in the forest. Unlike some of the larger cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cenote Chaak Tun is still relatively unknown and has half the amount of crowds. Follow the beam of your powerful headlamp into the twisting cave, where the faint squeaks of bats on the ceiling add to the spooky soundtrack. Cool off in the refreshing waters that twist their way through the cave, and hear traditional Mayan tales of the legends, myths, and sacred beliefs towards this mysterious and powerful place.
Cenote Chaak Tun is at the end of Avenida Juarez about 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen. It’s accessible either by private tour or arranging your own transportation. Be sure to not touch anything inside the cenote, which is open daily from 8am-4:30pm. General admission is approximately $30, and includes helmets, snorkeling gear, and a local guide.