Secret Swims in Sacred Cenotes - My memories of Mexico, Pt 4

After ruins visiting and temple climbing, we had worked up quite an appetite. Lunch in Mexico is around 2pm, which for me, is late as my corporate body clock operates with a midday lunch alarm.

We headed to a Mayan community where lunch was waiting for us, and boy, did it smell good. What a quaint little set-up it was though – tables and chairs set up under a thatched roof, with some of the cooking being done outdoors in what may have been the traditional Mayan way, but which I am sure was done for the benefit of tourists. Still, it was nice to see the tortillas being fried right in front of us.

Inside our lunch area

Frying up those tortillas - which were really good, by the way. We had seconds and thirds

Lunch was delicious, lemme tell ya. We dove right in to the meal that was piping hot and in ready supply and included tortillas, honey potatoes (nom nom), black beans, lentil soup, chicken in a mole sauce and salads, and of course, there were three degrees of salsa - mild, spicy and muy caliente! lol.

Section of the lunch buffet

About to dig in - so hungry and this was all so yummy

After lunch, a post-lunch coffee (even the Mayan community understands the power of coffee) and a rock in the hammock, we were off to a nearby cenote. The most interesting part of this visit though was the welcome. We were given a traditional Maya shaman welcome, complete with chanting, sprinkling of water, and welcoming words. By this time, I was really a bit tired, but the cenote was calling.

A cenote is a natural underground river caused by the collapse of the porous limestone bedrock. It is cavernous almost, with cool (read: cold) water and which was central to Mayan civilisation, and which they believed was a portal or channel to the gods. These beautiful underground pools are great for swimming, if cold water and bats do not deter you. Shamelessly, bats are not cute to me, and my cenote adventure was quite brief but it was oh so lovely. There are about 7,000 cenotes across Mexico, some more popular than others and which are heavily marketed towards the tourist crowds. The quieter ones, like the one we visited, are just as beautiful. There was a rustic little outdoor shower where we could wash off our Sephora and Bath and Body Works products before getting into the cenotes which are environmentally protected and which generally are water sources for these communities.

Cenotes are environmentally protected so showers before swimming are a must
- to wash off sunscreen, anti-perspirants etc

View from ground level down into the cenote


Afterwards, we took a slow stroll through the rest of the village which was very different to what one is normally used to and where life is a hybrid of modernity and traditional Mayan culture, and where life is generally much simpler and less hectic. It was a long day, but it was a good day and I took a nap on the way back to Playa del Carmen to relax for the rest of my stay there.

One of the homes in the village - love the decor


  1. No. Way. This sounds magical. I've never heard of a cenote before--thank you so much for sharing about your amazing experience. And that food--YUM!

    1. You would LOVE it, girl. This could be the Caribbean-ish break we talked about! :)

  2. I am so glad you are back! I missed these posts.

  3. Wow that looks amazing! I really hope to visit one day :)

  4. That looks so amazing! What a beautiful place.


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