Knowing surreal places is one of the things I love to do most when traveling. And to take advantage of the heat, Paulo and I chose to go to Tulum, more specifically the Yucatán region in Mexico, which is a place with beautiful natural landscapes, peaceful energy, history and a lot of mystery. There, we met some cenotes and one of the 7 wonders of the modern world, called Chichén Itzá.
Tulum is on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The place is an ancient Mayan port city, in addition to having many beautiful beaches. The great fame comes from the cenotes and also from a super imposing construction, which is a large stone structure, called El Castillo or Kukulcán Pyramid. If you enjoy history and peace, this is your place. I have listed everything you need to know to go to Yucatán and discover the cenotes around the region!
Cenotes in Tulum
Cenotes are natural pools formed by underground rivers that were revealed thousands of years ago by the collapse of rocks in the region, which have been corroded by the action of rain. In other words, they are concentrations of water below the level we are at, with an entrance of light coming from above, that form a beautiful image <3 Basically, they are access points to vast networks of cave systems that are still unexplored today.
There are many stories about cenotes – whether you believe it or not. However, one thing is a fact: the Maya used cenotes as their only source of water! That’s why they believed it was a sacred place and gateway to Xibalba, that would be the underworld. Furthermore, they thought that the god of rain, Chaak, lived at the bottom of these sacred wells. There are also versions mentioning that in these spaces rituals were performed to ask for rain and good harvests, with evidence of human sacrifice – archaeologists have already recovered artifacts of gold, jade and ceramics and human bones: O
The first we went was the Ik Kil cenote, which is 26 meters below ground level and 40 meters deep. The place is known for remembering the Tarzan film, as it has many roots of hanging plants, which form a beautiful effect. In this, the infrastructure is great for tourists of any age. It has buoys and ropes to help swimmers, stairs to enter the water … Another point is that the water in this cenote is more dense and sweet, a little heavier, so it is recommended to swim with a float.
Where? Hwy 180, Km 122
How much? MXN 80 = R $ 18 (2020 values)
Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
Best time: first time, which has fewer people and you can enjoy it better, then it gets crowded!
Suytun Cenote, from what we learned before the trip, was one of the most used ceremonial cenotes by the Maya. The theory arose due to the catwalk with stage in the middle of the cenote, where at noon the light is exactly over it. But, when we got there, we found out that the walkway was built by the owner of the place, not long ago! What will be the truth? Mystery … The water is a beautiful turquoise blue, just 5 meters deep, which allows you to watch the fish without going into the water. However, the cenote is not very well looked after and there is not even a shower nearby or care to know if people are entering the water with sunscreen, insect repellent or makeup (which, in the long run, degrades the environment).
Where? is Carretera Ticuch Km 8 S / n, 97780 Valladolid, Yuc., Mexico
How much? MXD 120 = R $ 28 (2020 values)
Best time: at noon, the light is on and illuminates the center of the catwalk well, but before there are fewer people 🙂
Essential tip: As there is no control over the entry of people with protectors, repellents, makeup, be careful not to enter these products in the water.
Chichen Itza + Sacred Cenote
Visiting Chichén Itzá gives you that thrill of going to one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The monument is also on the UNESCO Heritage List, as it is one of the most important political and religious centers of the Maya. In short, it is an archeological zone to have that adventurous experience + history class.
The tip is to start at the Kukulcán Pyramid, and if you are there on 20/21 March or 21/22 September, there is a natural phenomenon where the lights and shadows project the image of a snake on the pyramid’s stairs. Then, go to Juego de Pelota, considered the largest in the Americas, where there was a game in which the loser was played from above the pyramid. And finally, the Sacred Cenote, with a large mirror of water that draws attention by the rounded wall, probably sculpted by the Mayans.
Where? is Highway 180, km 72 east of Mérida
How much? from R $ 206
Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm
The Gran Cenote is a bonus, since we didn’t go there. But, as it is very famous we couldn’t leave it out of the list. It splits in two, one open and clear and the other more closed. That is, to access, it is necessary to go swimming under a cave: The
In it, the colorful fish share space with the turtles – it is good to take a waterproof flashlight to ensure more visibility. To get to the “indoor pool” you have to go swimming inside the cave. It is north of Tulum, on the road to Cobá. Although the best time for him is at 14h, when the light hits exactly his opening cavity, this is also one of the peak times.
Where? Quintana Roo 109 | Located on the highway to Coba, Tulum 77796, Mexico
How much? R $ 65
Hours: 8 am to 4:45 pm
Best time: at 2pm is when there is the best light, but also when there is more people: /
About going to Tulum!
Air tickets for one person vary between R $ 2500 to R $ 3000, but can reach up to R $ 2700 depending on the time of year. The hotels are from R $ 2000 to R $ 2400, to stay 7 days in a 3 star hotel.
What better time of the year to go?
Peak seasons are between November and January or March and April. These seasons have less rain, they are not very hot and there are no hurricanes, which usually happen between June and September. It is good to remember that in high season it is also when everything is fullest, after all, everyone wants to go at the best time, right?
What’s up? Which one will you put on your travel list? Comment here for me! There is a video on the channel showing our experience there. Take a look to give that desire to travel too and share it with us. Oh, we’ve already gone to other places in Mexico and have a blog post here 🙂