Dan here. I’ve been asked by the
boss editor-in-chief of this here blog to write up a little ditty about mine and Haley’s trip out cenote hopping a couple days ago. So here we are. Doing the bidding of our school marm…
Haley mentioned that she was wanting to do something outside the house and asking when we’d be going to some cenotes again. Since Zoe was still under the weather and we have to jump on every opportunity Ms. Introvert Haley gives us to get her out of the house, it was decided Dad and Haley would have a day out together.
Short Version: We had a blast.
Long Version: We got on the road at the ridiculously early hour of about 1pm (neither of us are morning people). We decided to try some more cenotes on the one road they call “Cenote Route”. I can’t recall the Spanish spelling for it and I’m too lazy to look it up… so suffice to say, it’s the road with a bunch of cenotes on it. (
School Marm Editor’s note: Ruta de Cenote)
We decided to go as far as we could on the route, to get an idea of how many there were. We traveled a good 20 minutes on the road and we were about to turn around when we saw what is probably the farthest cenote from the main freeway that most people would probably be willing to make the trek for. It was called Popol Vuh. So that was our first stop.
really sucked wasn’t all that good at all. It was an open one (read: not inside a cave with a small hole for an entrance), but it was deep (ground to water surface, I mean) and only one entrance into it. The water wasn’t clear and the one zip line it had (which would have made it marginally worth the cost and effort) was out of service. So we didn’t even go in the cenote. It cost $70 pesos per person (US$4.03) and we didn’t even get wet. We just returned the life jackets and left. I kind of felt bad for them. They were already the furthest cenote out and we were the only visitors there. At least we donated $140 pesos to their eventual demise continued success.
We took the route back towards the main freeway. We had already decided we were going to hit Zapote today since it was one that the family had plans to go to next anyway. It’s on the same dirt road as Kin Ha. Sometimes you’ll find multiple cenotes being run by the same people. This is one of those. Zapote is the first one you come to but when you pay, they ask if you want to JUST hit Zapote or do you want to pay to access both Zapote and in this case, Palmas? We paid for both of them. Kind of pricey as cenotes go, but they were both very unique and worth the time and money. Total for both of them was $300 pesos per person. That’s about US $17 each.
Zapote was pretty impressive in that it is basically a very deep hole and not that big in diameter. You first approach it as you walk out onto a platform. Then you peer into a large hole and the water is a good 30 feet down or so. There’s a platform above this, too. We definitely didn’t jump from either of them as that was just plain lunacy.
But there’s a staircase that winds down to the water and there are several other places from which to jump. One was about 3 feet lower than the “crazy” one you initially encounter. Then there was one about half way down (both Haley and I jumped from that one). Then there was one about 5 feet off the water. We both dove from that one.
What made Zapote kind of neat is how the walls of the cenote could be seen as far down as probably 20 or more feet under the water line. And the shape of the entire cenote reminded you of a large snake opening it’s mouth. It was so deep that you couldn’t see the bottom. It had vegetation on the walls under the water that looked like lily pads. And bubbles would just appear from the depths, here and there. It was
freaky very cool. The bathrooms are pretty cool, too. Make sure you see them if you’re visiting Zapote.
We played around at Zapote for about 30 minutes or so. When we first got there, we were the only ones there. But then a large group showed up. So we took off for Palmas. The lady said that it was within walking distance. So we traipsed off with our squeaky flip flops and
chaffing wet swimsuits. We walked for 3 hours about 15 minutes and then decided that we should probably go back for the car because there was no telling how much longer the walk was and then we’d have to walk all the way back, to boot. So we were better off just cutting our losses for the sure thing. We got back to the car and took off on the same road we had just been walking down. Turns out the access road to Palmas was about 50 more feet from where we turned around to go back to the car. #facepalm
Palmas is probably our favorite centoe so far. It is absolutely gorgeous. The flora and fauna is kind of like the set of Gilligan’s Island. Nice raised platform to dive from. It has several staircases that descend to the water’s edge and the zip line is the best one. It’s not so high that it’s considered crazy to tackle, but definitely high enough that your adrenaline will seek out whatever religion you may practice, for advice. The water is very clear and it’s a WARM cenote. Zapote wasn’t exactly cave cold but it wasn’t open-cenote-warm, either. Palmas was very comfortable.
After another 30 minutes or so, we were ready to leave. I had a surprise waiting for Haley. Whenever I do something with the kids without the
overlord Mom, I try to make it a tad bit more memorable than our regular outings. On this one, I was going to hand Haley the steering wheel of the car. Zapote is probably 3 or 4 miles off the paved road. So I was going to have her drive, for the first time, on this dirt road from Zapote to the highway. I took a video of that experience for posterity. Linked below. (I said the date wrong… somehow I’m still in 2015. Not sure how that happened. No, I wasn’t having a stroke or anything.)
So that was our last Tuesday. It was fun. Love spending time with my family. Each and every one of them.