Travelling was an incredibly eye opening experience for me. I was always somewhat fearless, but when fear is staring you down in the form of a 12 metre jump into a sinkhole that seems bottomless, things start to take an entirely new dimension.
As I have said before, the cenotes are natural sinkholes formed out of collapsed limescale rock that exposes underground water channels. We had the pleasure of visiting the Kankiriche and Muycuiche cenotes, and enjoyed a swim on both of these.
The Kankiriche Cenote is beautiful, filled with a crystal blue water that one only dreams of or sees on the instagrams of travel influencers. The deeper sections of the cenotes are a darker blue, somewhat ominous. I was a bit scared of swimming there, thinking I would get sucked into some sort of abyss, so alas, I kept myself in the nice clear waters. The Kankiriche Cenote is semi-hidden by a cave entrance, and after a rickety staircase down, you are able to dive into the warm waters.
The sinkholes are connected by an underwater river which creates this network of cenotes. There are several at a close mile radius from each other, so geographers know that the river sourcing the water is the same river. Due to natural erosion, oxygen and water levels after the collapse of the rockbed, we are blessed with these stunning natural pools.
The Muycuiche cenote was just a huge hole, like a crater almost. The water level is 12 metres below ground, so you either jump or risk decapitation from the horribly broken and unstable stair case. Also, the water is darker, you have no idea just how deep it is, which can be quite intimidating if you are not a confident swimmer or simply a bit weary of the unknown. Still, it had to be done, I had to jump. I first went down the stairs and decided that was really stupid, because I thought the stairs were so dangerous. Then when I came up I told myself I only had one way down.
Now, from the pool, it doesn’t seem that high up, from the top however, things are very different. It took me a really long time to pluck up the courage to jump, I am talking a good 30 to 40 minutes, and once I did, the wedgy that ensued was just from a hole other dimension. I thought I was going to be so composed, and held myself as straight as a needle. None of that. As I was approaching the water, all grace disappeared and my body started to buckle upwards and I know that I was thinking in my head, “crap, this is going to hurt!”. And it did! Thank god for the swim upwards and the chance to adjust everything back to place. You all know what I am saying right? I am looking at all you cliff jumpers, at least once in your life!
Anyway! Aside from that mishap, what an incredible experience it was. I had the pleasure of sharing this experience with one of my best friends, who you can see photographed below, before we continued on our Mexican adventure.
We also had a little bit of a treat. After a fabulous day exploring the cenotes, we were taken to an abandoned hacienda which showcased the stunning colonial architecture perfectly. Most of all, this got me really excited because the building looked so similar to the description Esquivel gives of the house in Like Water for Chocolate.
We had lunch there, as a section has been converted into a restaurant and also, after a bit of a wander, the place has its own cenote! Around it, a staircase reminiscent of a Greek theatre has been built, and at first it looks like a fountain, but as you approach it you can see the cave and where the water trickles down into an endless source of water streaming down below. This gave me a the hibee jibees because that meant that the whole thing was build on a bed of limescale rock, which could collapse with all the added weight… ANYWAY! What an absolute treat!
If you ever find yourself in Cancun of the Yucatan province in Mexico, make sure you book a visit to the cenotes! Any cenotes, there are hundreds of them. I hope you take the time to visit Mexico one day.
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Hello All! Again, this trip was included in my G Adventures tour that I took! G Adventures are great, especially if you are a first time traveller and aren’t sure how to organise things. This post is not sponsored at all, I just really enjoyed my time with them and could not recommend them more. Click here to find out more about the tour I took.