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How my 2 & 4 Year old Cliff-Jumped Into a Mexican Cenote
#Cenote was the best way to ease ourselves back into adventure mode after spending a few relaxing days in #Playa Del Carmen. Cenotes are beautiful naturally formed pools with crystal clear waters, fish, limestone rocks and moss. It is a great #family friendly place to explore, especially if you have small #children.
It has been 5 days since we arrived in Play Del Carmen. Over the last 5 days we have been catching up on rest, relaxation, tanning via pure laziness. Mornings at the beach or pool or both. Afternoons watching movies, sleeping. Dinners eating out or in depending on how the naps went.
On the evening of Day 5 we knew laziness had come to an end and after spending a few hours reading a few blogs from people who had been travelling in Mexico we decided our first tourist job we would need to visit a cenote.
What the Heck is a Cenote (Pronounced Say-no-tah)?
"A cenote is a deep natural pit, or sinkhole, characteristic of Mexico, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath." Well that’s what Wikipedia says. I say it’s a big and beautiful hole in the ground filled with crystal clear fresh water, fish and at the bottom limestone rocks covered in moss.
it’s a big and beautiful hole in the ground filled with crystal clear fresh water, fish and at the bottom limestone rocks covered in moss.
Our taxi driver was a lovely guy this morning. He knew a lot about Mexico and was actually Mayan. Our 15-minute journey to Cenote Cristalino passed with lots of conversation and cost 200 pesos ($15).
Cenote Ik kil Tour
The Maya Jungle
Scuba Diving Gran Cenote Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico
Following the limestone path through a jungle with no expectations is rather exciting. The kids thought we were going on a Dora adventure so we had to think of three things to do on the adventure – walk the yellow path, climb over a bridge and enter the water. Say it three times with me.
Following the limestone path through a jungle with no expectations is rather exciting.
As we followed the path around we came across a beautiful natural pool. Crystal clear water allowing perfect views of the limestone rocks at the bottom covered in a bright green moss. Catfish, small fish, blue fish with yellow spots darting between the blocks and the more courageous to the surface.
The pool was surrounded by trees, but remained suspiciously leaf-free. Suspicions confirmed when we spotted local staff dutifully cleaning them out.
Following the path further the pool went into a dark cave and came out the other side. You could then climb stairs for an aerial view of the pools and what seemed to us a jumping point. Least that is what we assumed since it was the only spot without a rope. There must have been about 5/6 pools in total.
We eagerly sat on the edge and placed our feet in the water, but soon the kids were screaming and backing out. Ever been to a fish spa? Well the idea must have come from here. I’ve never paid for one and now I don’t need to, here it was included. Those little black fishes loved having a nibble at our toes or as I told my daughter, giving her millions of kisses. She wasn’t convinced. She learnt if she kept moving they would stay away from her so if she wasn’t swimming she wasn’t in the water.
We had beautiful time swimming, snorkelling, relaxing and just taking in the overall serenity of the situation. The 3 hours we were there, not another living soul (other then the cleaning man) ever showed up. We had the whole cenote to ourselves and it was magical.
We had beautiful time swimming, snorkelling, relaxing and just taking in the overall serenity of the situation
My husband attempted a swim through the pitch-black cave, his bravery only sufficient through my encouragement and demand for photos. There was no way I was going in there. He said it was beautiful and scary at the same time. He consistently attempted not to think about crocodile horror films.
Josh was quite stirred by the overall experience. The pool was very deep and it’s been a long time since my husband has been in a pool he couldn’t touch the bottom of.
Anyway I had brought some snacks and we have a bit to eat while the kids pretend to be lifeguards and Josh takes some magical photos. While we are lounging around a man invites us to his restaurant next door when we are finished.
Just as we are packing up a few people arrive and we are stoked with our timing. It was a fairly sunny day with the occasional sprinkling of rain. It was on the cool side, but the water was surprisingly refreshing. It wasn’t cold, nor was it warm, it was just right. Still the cool day must have scared most people away.
After our Mexican lunch we decide to take the bus home having spotted several of them going by very often. A colectivo is a form of transportation in Mexico that is found along the highway every 10 minutes or so. Quite often the colectivo is a mini-van.
After our Mexican lunch we decide to take the bus home having spotted several of them going by very often
We stood on the side of the road we wanted to go and within seconds a van flashed its lights at us and we waved at it. He pulled over, we hopped in and off it went. There was no communication or anything. We managed to ask the girl next to us how much and it’s 35 pesos each ($2.68). The kids were on our laps so we did not pay for them. On further research the bus is 35 pesos no matter how far you go. If you do the full journey from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum it’s 35 or if you only go 1km it’s 35 - I should note that tourists are often told 40 or higher and I believe locals pay less than 35, I think 30. So just pay 35, don't ask.
He drove us to a “bus station”, which was nothing more than more of the vans parked on the side of the road and motioned us to get out. We paid the fare, hopped out and got straight in a taxi. Usually the taxis around Playa Del Carmen are 25 pesos ($1.90).
The kids had fallen asleep on the bus and were still asleep when we got home. It had been an uber fun day and we were quite impressed with our first cenote. I want to see so many more. There are cenotes where you have to repel 90 feet to get into the pool and there are cenotes that are huge.
The kids had fallen asleep on the bus and were still asleep when we got home
Cenote Cristalino was a great starting cenote. Especially with kids. It was easily accessible and noticeably quiet. There are actually 3 other cenotes right beside it as well if you have the inclination to visit more than one in a day.
Just try not to think about any underwater horror movies as you swim through those waters and you will be in heaven.