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Mexico's Cancun region is one of the most remarkable regions in the country. Besides pristine beaches, it is home to many idyllic and mysterious cenotes. Cenotes have formed along the ancient ring of the meteorite impact that struck just off the coast that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. They also have a rich history throughout pre-history, having sometimes been sacred sites for the Maya (sometimes even sacrificial victims were thrown in them).

One of the cenotes has been called the Pet Cemetery Cenote. What makes this cenote unique is just how littered the floor is with animal bones. These have been collected over a very long period of time - they include everything from the fossilized remains of an extinct prehistoric camel to the lower jawbone of a tapir.

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Pet Cemetery Cenote - The Animal Skeleton-Filled Cenote

Cenotes are freshwater sinkholes and are pronounced "Say-NOH-tays", and they are one of the most interesting attractions in this part of Mexico.

Many remains of dead animals have been found in the Pet Cemetery Cenote that had been in its waters a long time ago.

Today visitors are still able to see the skeletons of these long-deceased animals in their original positions. Some believe that the sinkhole was once used as a disposal pit long ago, but over time, the water table rose and flooded the animals into a mass grave. The bottom of the cenote is made up of soft sediment that resembles a dune landscape.

  • Depth: Maximum 7 Meters Deep (23 Feet)

The cenote is shallow, with most of it being only around 3 meters or 10 feet deep - the deepest parts are only around 7 meters or 23 feet deep.

The cavern only has a small amount of ambient light penetration, although this is partially offset by that the walls and formations are white, reflecting the light that does penetrate. The stalactites can "appear like a forest of spears in a crystal place," according to Todotulum.com.

Related: Visiting The Stunning Maya Ritual Caves Of The Mayan Peninsula

The Second-Longest Underwater Cave System

Pet Cemetery Cenote is part of a network that makes up the world's second-longest underwater cave system in the world called the Dos Ojos underwater cave system. The cave system was first discovered in 1987 and is still under exploration, and is estimated to extend around 51 miles. Dos Ojos is located north of Tulum and has the deepest known cave passage (at 119 meters or 391 feet).

In 2018 a dry passage connection was found between Dos Ojos and the Sac Actun underwater cave system. The Sac Actun is the longest known underwater cave system in the world. The full length of the combined system is around 200 miles or 320 kilometers.

  • Discovered: 1987
  • Length: 51 Miles
  • Access: Via 28 Known Cenotes

The caves are inhabited by cave-blind fish, and as this cenote is quite dark, there is a good chance of seeing the cave-blind fish.

Related: Waterfalls & Hanging Vines: Why Cenote Ik-Kil Is A Yucatán Paradise

Getting To The Pet Cemetery Cenote

The Pet Cemetery Cenote has only been comparatively recently opened, and the charm of visiting is enhanced by its remoteness in the jungle.

As the Pet Cemetery Cenote is an underwater cave, it is not a straightforward place for scuba divers. Diving in caverns and cave requires specialized training. Snorkeling in the cave is easy and common.

  • Diving: Requires Specialized Cave Training
  • Snorkeling: Visitors Can Snorkel The Cenote

The cave's stalactites and other formations are known to be fragile, so visitors and snorkelers are asked to be careful around protecting the cenote. It is a remarkable cenote and is said to be one of the most decorated caves in the whole region.

  • Distance: 1.5 Hours Drive From Cancun

The Pet Cemetery Cenote is located in the jungle around 12 miles north of Tulum or around an hour and a half drive south of Cancun.

  • Access: Via Cenote Do Ojos Entrance
  • Opening Hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (Winter to 4.30 pm)
  • Price: 100 Mexican Pesos For Divers ($5.00)

The cenote is open year-round and is easily accessed through platforms and wooden steps. The temperature of the cenote is 26 degrees Celsius or 76 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also changing rooms and restrooms at the site.

Next time one spends a vacation in Cancun - consider the Pet Cemetary for a day excursion.