Cooling Off With a Swim in a Sacred Yucatan Sinkhole, Mexico
After a day of exploring Chichen Itza (and working up quite a sweat under the intense tropical sun), savvy travelers take a dip in the crystal-clear blue water of the nearby underground swimming hole, Cenote Ik Kil. The rivers in this part of the Yucatan run entirely under your feet forming extensive networks of caves and sinkholes (cenotes) in the soft limestone bedrock. There are countless swimmable sinkholes in the area, many with water that is hundreds of feet deep (you can even dive with a guide). For the Mayans, Cenote Ik Kil was a vital source of fresh water and a sacred place. Nature certainly puts man-made swimming pools to shame with the floor-to-ceiling curtains of stalactites, waterfalls, and shafts of sunlight streaming in.