Snorkeling a Cenote

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Having passed up the reputable diving in Cozumel due to the cost, Dave and I decided to visit one of the local Cenotes for a little snorkeling instead. The enormous sinkholes well known all over the Yucatan Peninsula, many offer tours, swimming, and even diving opportunities. The Grand Cenote, about 2 kilometers outside of Tulum, was chosen because it was within walking distance. As with our other tourist destination in Tulum (the Ruins), we highly recommend the visit, but recommend you rent a bike. Don’t opt for a long walk, like we did.

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Another walk in the hot sun, this time down the side of a long, straight, fast-moving highway. It wasn’t our smartest moment, and we both got a little cranky at the idea of another monolithic hike along hot asphalt. Luckily, a stop at a street-side grocery store saved the day. (A Note: if your husband gets moody, a canned mix of Tequila and grapefruit juice can change his mood right around… And luckily Mexico manufactures this in spades– find it in the soda section).

We were elated to finally see the sign for the Cenote come into view. 100 pesos got us into the little park surrounding the main attraction, where a look-out area over the sink hole offered a rickety staircase down into the abyss. The Cenote is a freshwater pool essentially sitting within a cavern. The pool is colder than the ocean water, and is the home to tiny tetra-like fish, freshwater black fin fish, catfish, and turtles. We had the pleasure of finding two turtles swimming in the back of the Cenote, hidden amongst an under hang that dropped deep into the ground. The dramatic karst formations that exist under the cenote’s waters are the biggest attraction, and it is no wonder why people come from all over to see this. Quite literally a cave underwater, we saw stalactites, stalagmites, and watched divers zig zag through the deep water below with flashlights.

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