Cenotes Are Super-Buenisimo!

Published: June 2nd 2011
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I didn’t see the signs. Literally, there were massive signs pointing the way and I missed all of them. I was looking for something more modest, more homemade, not two-story tall signs and bright orange arches welcoming me to the ruta de cenotes. So I missed the first turn off, and then the second. I knew at some point I was bound to turn right at a T (which is what the french man running Casitas Kinsol in Puerto Morelos told me. Of course, he also gave me directions to a restaurant around the corner I never found). So I’m driving along the turn-off and now I’m looking for a dirt road. Great, found one! Except this is more like two parallel ditches pretending to be a road. It keeps getting worse so I pull over to turn around. Ya know what, I can go half a kilometer more. So I do. And voila! I found Cenote la Puma. Huh. The guy who almost runs me over with his truck tells me I needed to go the other direction. “Derecho” – it’s at the end of the road heading in the other direction. Off I go. The “road” gets a little better. And then it gets worse. I keep wishing I had Stephanie's Land Rover (see last blog) and simultaneously thinking how proud Dave would be. Can this possibly be right? Eventually, the road leads me to a toothless man who tells me I’ve gone too far. He actually gives me better directions than the two before him and in due time, I’ve arrived.

Cenote 7 Bocas, like all centoes, is comprised of an undergound river/cave. This one happens to have 7 bocas (mouths), which are basically sinkholes. The earth has fallen in to reveal the beautifully refreshing waters below (for a way better explanation, see the wikipedia entry here). Here, at Cenote 7 Bocas, they’ve roped a course inside the cave so that you can safely travel from one boca to another. After paying 100 pesos, the wife of the caretaker family shows me the different bocas. Two of them you can climb in and out of. One is only set up like a well with a bucket at the end of a rope. The third is wide enough for people to jump off of into the water below. Bocas 6 and 7 are reserved for scuba divers. You’re allowed to swim or use a kayak to maneuver your way around the cenote. An older Mexican couple was there too and along with one of the sons of the family caretaking the cenote (maybe they owned the property?), we all jumped in together having a spectacular time enjoying how totally awesome the caves are. The ceiling has stalactites galore. The water is lovely. The french man suggested I go between noon and 2pm when the sun is directly overhead and beaming into the water. Great call. The sunlight brightened up the water of the cenote into a magnificent blue color (see videos). With my goggles, I could see how the rays of light pierced the world below. If I were ever going to be beamed up or beamed down somewhere, the beam would look just like this, I’m pretty certain. After we all splashed around a bunch and took a couple of jumps through Boca 3, I went back underground with my camera on one of the kayaks (hence, the videos).

You can’t come to this part of the world and not hear about the cenotes. Every road is speckled with signs pointing left and right to cenotes, cenote parks, cenotes with ziplines. I wasn’t quite sure why there was so much hype. Now I know. Cenotes are super-buenisimo!

Videos of the inside of the Cenote 7 Bocas here.

(by the way, getting back to the main road was ridiculously easy but less of an adventure!)

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