On the way back from Uxmal and after a long hot day we stopped off at the San Antonio Mulix cenotes. Off the main road and down a long narrow dusty track through the low jungle, is the very unimposing gateway to the cenotes – it’s a very sleepy place with just one person on a make-shift desk taking the dinero, MX$100 each for entry. Back in the car and further down an even narrower twisting track to the first cenote, X’Batun, where you change into your swimmers and shower (open air chain lever affair) before entering the water. A shower before entering a cenote is mandatory throughout the Yucatan to maintain the purity of the water from sunscreen and mosquito repellent and protect these pristine environments.
Another gateway and this time we get stung for a further MX$100 if we wanted to take photos – stupidly (duh) I handed over the cash, because on reflection the lazy attendant wouldn’t have known and didn’t seem to care either way. I wonder if the locally run cooperative know he’s fleecing visitors like this! Anyways, down a roughly-laid path (bare feet in my case) over some painful stones you reach an idyllic open cenote that, again, is straight out of ‘the Temple of Doom’ playbook – an iridescent aquamarine clear pool, covered on one side with a vivid green mat of water lilies. The open cave has tree roots hanging down and touching the water, whilst all around the perimeter of the open cave are stone shelves with narrow gaps to who knows where… the water here isn’t too deep, perhaps 4 metres in parts but in others barely 1 metre, but like all of the cenotes in the Yucatan, they are barely explored and often interconnect for many kilometres, with much larger and extensive subterranean caves beneath the limestone surface.
Back in the car and another short dusty drive to the second cenote on this site, Dzombakal. This one is a partially covered cave with a rock overhang opening accessed by a rickety wooden staircase down to a narrow landing of sorts – and one very slippery wooden ladder to awkwardly launch yourself into the water. Measuring 25 metres by 15 metres, the water here is up to 30 metres deep in some parts and is crystal-clear light blue that shimmers in the filtered sunlight.
There were a few people already swimming in both cenotes, including a scuba diver in Dzombakal, but they soon disappeared, leaving us to the serene tranquillity of this magical site. I guess I’ll never tire of visiting a cenote – there’s something other worldly about swimming in these clear cool waters that have been here, untouched and largely undiscovered, for millennia.
#Yucatan #Cenotes #Mexico #Merida #SanAntonioMulix
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These last posts truly show the magic and wonder of your adopted region. Gorgeousness.