MÉXICO :THE PORTALS TO AN UNKNOWN PARADISE CALLED CENOTES
January 1, 1970
For the ones who doesn´t know what is a Cenote let me tell you that is a portal in the paradise to an impressively magnificent underworld. I usually pictured it like a void, a place where the darkness rules so you can imagine my expression when I saw this oasis in the jungle located in the state of Quintana Roo in the Península of Yucatán, México . They are natural flooded underground caves also known as sinkholes with fresh turquoise clear water formed by the calcareous soil which has absorbed the water of infinity rains over the time. The idea of some of these marvelous places are connected between them by an underground river makes it better. The word Cenote comes of the Mayan term Tz´onot meaning abysm, for them “the gates of the underworld” are sacred where they practice rituals or ceremonies and have a strong connection with it being their guardians.
My experience in Cenote la Noria, Cenote 7 Bocas and Cenote Azul
Is beyond what you can imagine, everything was new for my senses when I started going down and got into the cave of Cenote la Noria not knowing what awaited me on the other side, the nerves to the unexpected were eating my stomach but in an instant the light started coming in and then the place said welcome in the unique way that travelers can understand. There was the landscape that inspired me to go with such beauty and vivid colors reflected by the sun inviting my feet to taste the temperature, in a second I got into this alternative reality. The water was deliciously refreshing like a fish in his environment i started swimming and playing in it, being in it looking at the sky since where i was, in the navel of this natural immensity feeling the sun heating my skin with the pleasurable liquid hug beneath me. I admired each detail over there: the earth walls cover in his own herbage and flowers, the shapes of the stones and how the light played with them. In this place there wasn´t a lot “friends” talking about water life as well as our kind, we got the luck that day to have the Cenote only for us.
When we decided to leave still it illuminated the day so we choose to try the Zip line (awesome) if you haven´t try it you need to, imagine the adrenaline when you are passing by at a considerable speed well at a fun speed between huge trees and everything you see in front and down of you is only green. I´m really thankful to the place i believe we were fortunate not only because the place was only for us as i mentioned before because we could see animal species that are usually unseen( an elegant Peacock and a formidable Jaguar). Relax of course we didn´t saw the Jaguar face to face we were on the heights of the Zip line.
The next place on the map was the Cenote 7 Bocas meaning seven mouths, the name is given that the place is only one Cenote but it has seven great light outputs the best part of it – they are connected together. It is something else going in the blackness discovering every corner and the surprise of the light when you go out of the cavern to what seems to be a natural pool. Don´t worry you are not uncovered, you must wear a lifejacket in here and there´s a lifeline connecting the seven mouths. The funny part of the place were the bats, really friendly i must say, one of them even said hi to my camera.
For a fantastic closing the Cenote Azul, is an open Cenote that the jungle has reclaimed it and now it has become part of it. Over there it’s difficult to do something else than admire the landscape with giant Iguanas but additionally of swimming or free diving you can improve you best cliff dives.
Everything that I can say about the experience of the different wonders visited is further what I expected to be, enjoying that connection with the nature were something grand to add to my adventure memories. The un-looked thing besides everything else was a free manicure and pedicure given by the fish of the Cenote Azul.
It’s the perfect thought for an adventure day not only because is really refreshing in an actually warm heaven, because you are in the jungle and over there some of those places have Eco Parks so guess what? You can not only enjoy the wonders of the Cenote: swimming, kayaking, snorkeling or diving in it also the activities of the park that could be: zip line, motorcycles, biking, abseiling of course always with professional guides and for a perfect day an authentic Mexican food surrounded by the magical beauty that the jungle can give us, the singing of different spices of birds and one or another insect, I won’t lie of course you are going to run into mosquitoes thats why my advice is: go prepared for that but also you can encounter with tons of butterflies: I haven’t seen more of them somewhere else. (Cenotes Rute)
Different types of Cenotes
Since the younger ones to the old ones. While they are closed or they are underground rivers we could call them the baby ones that are perfectly suitable for the divers:
Playa del Carmen: Chac- Mool, Kukulcan, Dos Ojos and El Edén
Riviera Maya: Tak Be Ha, Chickin-Ha, Gran Cenote, Sac Actun, Temple of Doom and Nohoch Nachich.
The Next ones are the semi – open in this case the teen ones, you can see the sky since the water but at the same time you feel in a cave. Everybody could go inside them but in some places you must wear a life jacket:
The Cenotes Rute: Las Mojarras, Siete Bocas, Boca del Puma, Verde Lucero, Chilam Balam, La Noria, Kin Ha, and Zapote.
Chichen Itzá: Ik Kil
The old are the ones that are completely open and now them have become part of the jungle, in here the best part is to delight your sight with the landscape.
Playa del Carmen: Ponderosa and Cristalino,
Riviera Maya: Azul, Chi Kin-Ha, Xunaan Ha, Manatee, Naharon and Escondido.
These are just some of them; in all the area of The Península of Yucatán you can discover one of these portals to another reality, in my opinion there´s nothing better than the stateliness of discovering nature by oneself.
Different options for visiting:
- Packages through travel agencies (Eco Parks)(Cenotes Rute): The rate of prices is between $50 USD – $200 USD + Extra activities
- Going only to the Famous Parks and choosing the package that suit to you (Xcaret – Xel-Há – Xplor): The rate of prices is between $89USD – $357 USD + Extra Activities
- Rent a car and explore the zone: is the best option if you ask me not only because you can know more places at the same price because you have the chance to see the real nature of the place probably the unknowns’ to the usual tourist unlike the crowded ones. Of course we need to organize how many places want to know and how much time we are going to be in each one but that’s what always comes with traveling right? Why we can visit more places at the same price? Because in some of them we are paying to the locals not to an enterprise and that makes a huge difference. In this case the rate is between $3USD to $50 USD + equipment or extra activities and for the car it depends on which agency and car you choose but the prices are between $3-$10 USD per day.
Each option has its own pros and cons, so make sure you consider your options carefully.
[single_map_place] Ruta de los Cenotes, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo [/single_map_place]
Some tips for visiting.
In the first visit for a few people it could be not what they expected to be probably because they were looking for a water park and they run into something else. The real magic is not the outside it’s the world that lurks beneath its waters so try hard as you can to get inside and go for the unexpected.
- Respect the signs
- Take with you mosquito repellent.
- In some of the places there’s no signal go prepared for that.
- Always follow the instructions.
- In some places it’s not allowed the entry with pets
- Some places don’t have towel service so just in case take one with you.
- In some places you can’t wear creams, sunscreen, or products without the biodegradable stamp
- Not every place has its own diner so just in case take water and snacks with you.
I guess it’s all for now, the rest you will discover it when you fly to these magical portals wherever you are read me: when you get there you won’t want to leave. I assure you.
Remember this kind of experiences taste better with friends but also is the kind of travel to rediscovering oneself whatever the situation is always the answer is: Travel.
Can you picture it?
Does it inspire you to book a ticket? Because this heaven it’s waiting for you.
What are you waiting for?
Hoping you have enjoyed this little piece of memory. See you later alligator.
Until the next adventure. Just another day in paradise.