Growing up on a lake in Minnesota, I spent approximately *90% of my childhood in the water. I canoed out to the nearest island, took a million years of swimming lessons, spent a lot of time throwing things in the water and then retrieving them.
So when I heard about the limestone swimming holes of the Yucatan I thought
a) “Hooray! A new body of water to swim in!”
b) (“But really it’s just a swimming hole, right?”)
You guys, cenotes are The Most Magical Swimming Holes That Have Ever Happened. They’re insanely, unnervingly clear and deep and like something out of an 80’s movie involving adventures, and teenagers, and maybe a airplane crash on an island.
Technically, a cenote is “a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.” Realistically, they’re magic, all over the Yucatan peninsula, and cheap to visit.My friend and I showed up at Crystal Cenote outside of Tulum dorkily early and happily paid $7 to spend as much time as we wanted at two different cenotes. We padded down a short path to a swimming hole that looked like something from Goonies
* Tall diving platform? Check.
* Rope swing? Check.
* Ropes strung across the hole so you can sit on them (or walk on them and pretend you’re a tightrope walker. You know. Hypothetically.)
* Smart little fox dog who leads you down the path and watches over you
* Water that’s so clear you’re not sure how deep it is and sort of have to give yourself a pep talk to jump in
We spent the next three hours as the only swimmers at the cenote, taking turns on the diving platform, and sitting on the ropes watching our shadows on the rocks beneath us. Amazing. If you’re traveling through the Yucatan make sure you stop at a few!
Have you ever swum in a cenote? And was it insanely magical?
* slight exaggeration