Casa Del Maya B&B

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cenote Summer - Part I

Summer is here and what better time to visit Mérida, Mexico to tour some of the wonderful cenotes that dot the landscape around the city.  These wonderful sinkholes, each one with its own special feel, provide ample opportunity to relax, cool off, and enjoy one another’s company as you escape the heat of summer.
                Over 3,000 cenotes dot the Yucatan peninsula.  These swimming holes have been used by locals and visitors alike for hundreds of years.  Some cenotes are just a few feet below the surface and resemble sunken lakes or a pond.  Others are much deeper and require some climbing to reach the cool water.  Still others require diving under a stone wall or archway to reach them.  And many have been outfitted with ladders and even concrete stairs to facilitate reaching them easily.  Whatever your adventure level, you will find a cenote just right for you.  Here are just a few of the cenotes reachable in a day trip from Mérida.

Cenote Chelentun
  With wonderfully clear, blue water, Chelentun, located in the town of Cuzamá, with stalactites and stalagmites adding to its beauty.  Also in Cuzamá are the cenotes Chelentun, Chansinic’che, and Bolonchoojol.  All are worth at least seeing if not taking the time to swim in.

Several accessible cenotes are located in and around the town of Valladolid, south of Mérida.  Right in the center of town is Zaci, very popular for swimming and relaxing.  An eyeless black fish, the lub, swims along with you in Zaci.  For a fun day, rent bikes in the center of town and bike to two cenotes, X'Keken and Samula, located across the road from each other in the village of Dzitnup. 

This little village sports more than 150 cenotes.  You can hire a local guide to take you to one or several of them.

Just north of Mérida is Xlacah, on the Mayan site of Dzibichaltún.  This cenote is at ground level and a treat for swimmers.  At 140 feet deep at one end, it’s a great way to cool off after a hot day climbing the pyramids at Dzibichaltún. 

This cenote attracts snorkelers and scuba divers exploring its crystal clear waters. 

These are only a few of the many opportunities to take a dip in a cenote around Mérida.  Come explore and decide for yourself which is the best.

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