Touring the ruins and snorkeling in our first cenote
Tulum Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
- Day 2
- Highlights: Tulum ruins, snorkeling in a lighted cenote at Hidden Worlds
- New Mosquito bites: 40
- Receded mosquito bites: 0
In the early morning we headed to grab a bite to eat and then out to Tulum ruins. The Tulum site is small, and the actual buildings are unimpressive, but the site is incredibly picturesque. An ancient fort sits, as it has for hundreds of years, right over the bluegreen waters of the Carribean ocean. The The sun is bright and the sky clear blue. Giant iguanas slowly motor around the green lawns posing for pictures as they pass you. A winding wooden staircase leads down to a white sand beach under a cliff where the waves lap the land.
We wanted to go early to avoid the scourge of tourists that go later in the day, which we successfully accomplished - only a handful of other tourists were there by 9am. We however did not avoid the scourge of mosquitos that lay waiting for the tourists at the entrance. This only being day 2, we had forgot to purchase bug spray -- I was completely swarmed by at least 3 mosquitos at a time, constantly circling, landing and sucking in rotation. By the end of the day by legs were swollen and red.
Since it was still early, we caught a collectivo on the main road and headed out to Hidden Worlds Cenote, one of the more built-up cenote "adventure parks" in the Tulum area that offered cave diving and snorkeling tours along with varioius ways (zipline? jungle cycle??) tourists could explore the jungle at a nice fee.
I really wanted to go cave diving, although I was pretty sure I would die in the process. The previous year, I had completed a 2.5-day sped-up beginner's course to get my PADI dive license in Honduras. Luckily, the course was pass/fail because I soon found out that I am not well suited to scuba diving. Suffice to say, diving is a sport that requires the ability to multitask underwater, and I am the kind of person that cannot rub her belly and pat her head at the same time. The highlights of my course included my bra top coming off during the required swim test, a weird tendency to float belly up in the water, and, without fail, needing to pee immediately after I had put on 30 pounds of neoprene and equipment. Nontheless, there was my face, beaming up from the card that stated that I, Mimi Ji, was a certified diver, and it was worth the 2 gallons of salt water I inhaled, the 4 days in which my ears did not pop, the hour I spend lying face flat on the dock due to sea sickness and the embarrasment of shoving my ass into a skintight rubber suit, because I, Mimi Ji, could now go anywhere in the world and strap on an oxygen tank and see the wonders of the underwater world.
Well, apparently not. Hidden Worlds didn't think I was experienced enough to go on the dive tour, because I would most likely careen into some precious stalagmites that "would not be repaired until the next ice age". So we went on the snorkeling tour instead.
The snorkeling tour ended up being really cool. The underwater spires are all lit up (something we did not see at other cenotes) so you can see them in more detail. It's about $20 a cave and there are two caves you can choose from. They will be quite insistant that the water will be very cold in order to sell you on a wetsuit rental, but I went without and thought it was fine. Johnny, on the other hand, would have rented a waterproof snoogie if they had one. We got to keep our snorkers at the end of the tour. I asked if I could have the mask too, but that was pushing it.