Year of 2017

Aktun Ha cenote in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Depending on what time of year you visit, a swim in Aktun Ha cenote can mean crystal clear waters or the greenish tint seen here, a result of algae bloom. Aktun Ha is a freshwater cenote near Tulum, Mexico. Years ago, local taxi drivers sometimes stopped at Aktun Ha to dip a bucket in the waters for a quick car wash. That’s why some locals still call it Car Wash cenote. These days, you’ll likely only encounter other visitors taking in the natural beauty of this tropical spot.

A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.