You probably read the title of this post and thought to yourself “Geez, Shermans! Stop all the blog posts about cenotes!” and we don’t blame you for those
unsupportive reasonable thoughts. But we can’t stop! We keep exploring new ones and we must share all the deets with you, our loyal followers. But feel free to skip to the pictures and then move on with your day. We won’t know so we won’t be offended.
We document all of our cenote visits for several reasons: 1. They are just so cool, we want to write about them. 2. There is no real cenote review website and we thought it might be helpful for other travelers when they are exploring this area, and 3. They are all so different but also similar, this is a way to keep it straight in our own minds about which ones we liked the most. But mostly they are just so cool, they are all blog-worthy.
Recently we went back to Zapote, which is on the Ruta de Cenotes that starts in Puerto Morelos. Zoe and I were not with Dan and Haley when they went the first time and they really wanted us to experience it. I think Haley really wanted to practice driving again too. So off we went. I won’t describe it again because Dan did a great job of telling it like it is in his earlier blog post, but it still doesn’t do it justice. It was just so cool! There’s always that “wow” moment when you first see a new cenote. You have so many questions. How did it get here? Where is the water coming from? Where does it go? How in the world was this one discovered out here in the middle of nowhere? If I go in, what
monster surprises await me? If I scream and no one is around, will it make a sound? What just brushed up against my feet? So many questions, so much anxiety, so little time.
So Zapote was all that it was described to be and Zoe and I loved it. Zoe hesitated at jumping in to Zapote so Dan threw her in, which caused tears and momentary child-initiated emancipation. But it’s hard to be mad for long when you’re swimming in a cenote. Dad apologized, tickled, and all was forgiven.
The zipline at Palmas was too high for me, the ninny, but we loved the lake-like water and the turtle made his appearance once again. Zoe loved the zipline until her last run when she landed a little sideways and belly-flopped her forehead on the water. There were more tears but she recovered quickly. We determined that this would be a great cenote for the famous Sherman Football Game. Anyone who has been to a swimming pool with us knows this game. We have yet to play it at a cenote but now we know to bring the ball next time.
But a cenote outing isn’t complete without visiting a new cenote to add to our list. So after checking out Zapote/Palmas we went to La Noria, which was on the same road. The sign said it was about 1200 meters down the road from the secondary (which itself is off the main road) so off we went. It was bumpy and rocky but no problem for our trusty Honda CR-V. It felt long and the signs continued to tell us that it was just a few more meters. We doubted their accuracy but at least we knew we were on the right path.
We get there and park and we are the only ones there even though it’s a Saturday. We see two holes and realize that this is another one of the cave cenotes, like Kin Ha, where there are simply one or two large-ish holes that you climb down into. These are pretty freaky but we went in anyway. Note: the guy said it was $10USD per person but we said we had pesos, not dollars. So he charged us 150 pesos per person, which is about $8.28. So always bring pesos.
So we went down and I must say it again; it’s freaky. It’s quite dark, there’s tons of bats, there are stalagmites and stalactites, some of which have connected, and the water is blue but cold. There were a few ropes that you could swing from and there was a zipline and a few inner tubes. Toys! Yay! Bat poop on the toys! Booo!
It took awhile to work up the nerve to go in. I finally decided to model the behavior for the girls, knowing that if I refused to go in, they wouldn’t go in either. So I grabbed hold of the rope and swung out, expecting to swing back and land back on the platform. I figured that would be a good first step. Well, physics doesn’t work like that in reality, so I swung out and just hung there over the water. I had no where to go but in the water. I held on for as long as I could but finally dropped into the water and did Micheal Phelps-level swimming back to the platform (it was a distance of about 6 feet, but still). At this point Haley is laughing so hard she can’t stand up and Dan is still finishing up the payment above ground so he’s wondering what all the screaming is about down below. Honestly it was hilarious, if you can call fearing-for-your-life-while-your-kids-laugh “hilarious”.
Eventually we all went in, with Dan being the last one (he was very resistant to the cold water). We played on the tubes, we worked up the nerve to swim to the dark corners to touch various stalactites (I was convinced they would fall and pierce our heads with their sharp points) and finally we swam to the very dark corner and checked out the other tiny hole where you could climb down into the water from above.
We did that a few times, did the zipline, did the zipline/inner tube combination that ended up making Zoe tear up for the 3rd time that day and finally called it a day; a good day. A few tears and panic attacks notwithstanding. But it’s all worth it for our beloved cenotes.
If your cenote cup has yet to be filled, here’s a video on YouTube that Dan put together with some scenes from the day: Sherman Family Fun at Noria