We leave Chichen Itza as the sun starts to bake our skin. It wasn’t very hot when we arrived this morning, but it is certainly hot by the time we exit. A swim would be refreshing just about now. We’re in luck because we’re headed to cenote Ik Kil.
A cenote (see-no-tay) is a large sink hole. They were one of the reasons the region was so valued by the Mayans and conquer worthy for the Aztecs. Water was an important commodity.
There are many cenotes in Mexico that have been turned into tourist attractions/swimming holes. Different tour companies take guests to different cenotes. One of the reasons I chose Holbox Adventures was because they take guests to cenote Ik Kil.
As soon as the van parks, we know that we are in for something special. The grounds are lovely. Palm leaves dangle lazily from trees. Delicate pink and red flowers pop out from well manicured bushes.
One of the pluses of cenote Ik Kil is their facilities; clean and ample. We split up and head into changing rooms to put on our swimsuits. For a few dollars we rent a locker to ensure that our clothes stay dry.
At the request of the cenote, we rinse off to remove anything (sunscreen, hairspray, etc) on our bodies that might contaminate the cenote’s ecosystem.
We make our way down the stone tunneled stairs
stopping for a moment to gawk at the view below. The sight is magical. Pictures really can’t convey how cool it is to see the hanging vines reaching down to the greenish-blue water.
At the bottom, steps carved into stone advance to the jumping/diving ledges.
I’m not feeling the call to the challenge, so I make my way to one of the ladders.
The water is chilly but I waste no time and submerge my whole body. It was the right thing to do because the water quickly transitions from icy to refreshing. I splash around. I swim back and forth under the waterfall because it’s super fun. It makes me giggle.
Little grey fish skillfully dart around my body, never coming into contact with my skin. When you are in a pool you always have the ability to find an area where you can touch down/stand, but not in the cenote. It's deep, deep, deep. I imagine that it could be a little disconcerting for those who are not experienced swimmers.
Shannon and I switch spots for a moment so we can get pictures, then we tuck our stuff in a safe corner and swim together until it seems like it must be time to go.
This is the best day. I take it all in for one last moment. I’m sad that I must leave this beautiful place and I wish that it wasn't so far away. How nice it would be to hop over to the cenote on any old Saturday for a nice refreshing swim.
We change back into our dry clothes and make our way to the van. I suddenly hear a rumbling sound in my stomach. Swimming really works up an appetite and as fortune would have it, lunch is our very next stop.