Tulum Mayan Ruins and La Gran Cenote

Tulum Travel Blog

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We got up relatively early, say 9am or so, and after breakfast and with the bicycles rented we were all set, Roberts, Karlis, Nicole and I were going to see La Gran Cenote and the ruins. As it pretty overcast we thought we'd leave the Cenote for the afternoon because perhaps the weather would clear up and it would probably be nicer to snorkel in the Cenote with some sun shining in. Thus we set off cycling towards the ruins. After about 3 or 4 minutes on the bicycles, a slow drizzle started which quickly became a torrential down pour. Luckily we had wrapped the camera in plastic bags beforehand and the backpack seemed water resistant, if not waterproof, at the least. I used my rain jacket to try and cover the backpack to give it some extra protection but that only added minutes and by the time we arrived at the ruins we were all completely soaked. After the initial adjustment to this new disposition of cycling completely soaking wet in the rain and getting more comfortable that my camera was probably safe, I actually really enjoyed the sensation. The air was tropical and warm and it actually was pretty fun cycling in the rain.

At the ruins we initially took some cover, I bought an underwater disposable camera, for taking pictures in the rain as well as for La Gran Cenote later. The rain didn't disappear completely but died down enough that we decided we would just have to tour the ruins in the rain. The Tulum ruins really are set in a magnicifient place, perched on some cliffs above your best postcard picture carribean beaches, they are definitely worth a visit. Right in the middle of the ruins is an accessible beach where we all went for a swim - in the carribean and right in the middle of ancient Maya ruins! Simply incredible!

Afterwards we decided to cycle back by another route along the main road which I think turned out to be quite a bit shorter although less pleasant as you constantly have to watch out for massive trucks coming past. We bought some lunch at the supermarket at the corner and headed back to the hostel for lunch and quick break before setting out to La Gran Cenote.

The cycle to La Gran Cenote is only about 3km or so but after the morning's adventure it seemed to stretch a bit. I need to also add that you are cycling along a pretty deserted road towards Chichen Itza going on only a tiny bit of information, namely someone's passing comment that apparently La Gran Cenote is only a few kilometers down this way.

We eventually got there and it was well worth the effort. The water was amazingly clear and snorkeling in caves full of stalagmites or stalagtites with crystal clear water is just an awesome experience. We had initially got in on one side of the cenote where there wasn't much happening and then paddled/waded accross a sandy patch to what appeared to be another basin that might go deeper. However it was hardly big enough to fit the four of us and dropped away so quickly into darkness that there wasn't much to do there either. I tried to overcome my fear of darkness and skin dove into the black hole but turned around after 3 or 4 meters as I really couldn't see much at all and the only open air access point was the little hole we were all standing in. Having concluded that there wasn't much else here we swam back to our entry point and then around the other side where most of the other people were only to discover the main basin and why they call this La Gran Cenote. I guess it should have been obvious. We continued snorkeling, diving, taking underwater pictures and in general doing whatever caught our fancy until it almost started getting dark and they kicked us out because of closing time. We still had quite a cycle back to the hostel so we wasted no time getting out. Just before though we saw some lights appear in the deepest and darkest part of the cenote, and after a few more minutes it was revealed that there were scuba divers coming back from a cave dive. Seeing how far down they were and being able to dive through the cave without the need to come up for air seemed like an amazing experience and another reason to go and do that diving course in Honduras.
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photo by: Mezmerized