Frankly, before going to Mexico, I had never heard the term ‘cenote‘, which refers to a deep natural sinkhole, typical to Yucatan peninsula, but as soon as I heard the description and searched for images, I had no doubt I had to see those! They’re very different in appearance, size, history, accessibility. I’ve seen several cenotes, including the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza, but I was impressed most with two smaller but more secluded ones, that I was able to visit thanks to Miguel (who I got to know thanks to Couchsurfing again – have I mentioned how much I value that site?).
So, imagine yourself in a dry forest, and then you see a hole in the ground like this one.
It’s just slightly bigger then the rabbit’s hole that brought Alice to Wonderland, and it feels like something magic is waiting for you there. It has a simple ladder that invites you to go down.
It looks like it’s got a small exit to a magic garden all the way down in the end of the cave…
But in fact, it’s just a reflection of the entrance, because the water is so clear, you can barely see it from above!
When we arrived to this cenote, we were lucky to have no one else around, so surely enough I got naked. Skinny-dipping in cenotes, definitely something to remember!
After a while we heard some people approaching to the cave, but it was the time to go further anyways. This truly marvellous cenote is called Dzom-Bacal and is located in the end of a dirt road in the midst of a deciduous tropical forest south of Merida. Since the road was barely used, we felt comfortable to bare it all and enjoyed our walk in the buff! It felt so right in that warm and dry weather.
As it was just the beginning of spring, which in this part of the world is linked not so much to the warmer weather but to the arrival of rains after dry ‘winter’, most of the trees
didn’t have leaves were naked too.
Ironically, the most naked tree of all was a cotton tree, easily distinguishable by its fruits with cotton fibres.
Boneto tree was also full of fruit, but they were not ripe.
But besides trees, the forest was full of shrubs, cacti and agaves, so it was practically impenetrable,
except for the parts where barren limestone didn’t let plants to grow over.
So, we didn’t go away from the road much,
just to look at some flowers once in a while.
I used to have a similar species of cactus at home, it was nice to see its wild counterpart in natural habitat in a blooming state.
Some trees started blooming too, I bet this forest was going to turn into a beautiful garden as soon as rains would become more frequent.
It was so nice to walk there just like that, surrounded by beautiful nature and caressed by the rays of the setting sun.
We found a trail that didn’t seem to be used by cars at all, but unfortunately we didn’t have much time to explore it.
We wanted to see one more cenote in the area, X-batún. This one looked a little more developed and touristy, but probably because we came so late, last visitors were leaving just as we arrived. So, guess what, we were lucky to be able to go skinny dipping in X-batún too!
This cenote was more open, so banyan trees hung their long roots graciously from the edge of the upper level all the way down to the water. We let it all hang out too, and enjoyed a bit of splashy splash time on the warm evening.