Sacred Cenotes. “I saw it, I saw it! Yes, it’s true!” the archaeologist shouts: divine light at the bottom of a natural well. A diver explores a cenote near the Maya ruins of Tulum. Image © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
Boys from the village of Yaxuná cool off in a cenote, or limestone sinkhole. A 65-foot ladder lets them climb out after a dip. The statue is a local artist’s version of a trickster spirit from Maya folklore. The villagers put it there for the tourists they hope will stop by while visiting the area’s archaeological sites.
A snorkeling tourist floats in a cenote called Las Calaveras—“the skulls”—near Tulum. Local Maya got their drinking water here until about 30 years ago, when divers found bones. Archaeologists have recorded the remains of more than a hundred people, usually shrouded by the water’s primordial darkness.
The images are from the August issue of National Geographic magazine.
source National Geographic