I just got back from a week-long Mexican vacay and it. was. incredible!!
I traveled with my family, along with my boyfriend and my brother’s girlfriend, to Riviera Maya, Mexico. This was my very first time traveling to Mexico and let me tell you, spending a week there in the middle of July was HOT! 100 degree days and crazy intense sun is definitely tolerable though when you get to swim in beautiful pools and the beachfront gulf. We stayed at Riviera Maya’s Marina El Cid Resort and I truly can’t say enough about it’s beaches, bars, pools, restaurants, and excursions (plus, the margaritas were to die for of course!).
On our second day there, we booked our few excursions for the week. There was one excursion in particular that we chose to do, the Mayan Oasis Xenotes, which was completely unlike anything I’ve ever done before. This was an all-day excursion where we were taken around to four individual cenotes in the area. We learned that “cenote” literally means “cave with water” (pronounced suh-noh-tay) and that there are three different kinds of cenotes: open, semi open, and closed. Our experience included two open, one semi open, and one closed. Anybody that knows me knows that something like this (heights, dark caves, and potential sea life) is typically NOT my thing and I was very apprehensive at first, but I have to say it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done and I LOVED it! Luckily, through this excursion company each group had their own individual photographer for the day, and again, anybody that knows me knows this made me VERY happy! The pictures he took perfectly captured our entire day.
The first cenote we visited was considered a closed one, meaning there is a small opening in the ground leading to an underground enclosed cave. Looking back, this one was by far my most favorite of the four cenotes we visited, mostly because of the crystal clear turquoise waters inside. To get to this cenote, we first climbed up onto a wooden platform that was about 100 feet off the ground, then we repelled down about 200 feet through the mouth of the cave into the water.
Once we landed in the water, we took turns jumping into the water from a rock cliff that was about 20 feet high
Knowing me, this took some major talking-into from the fam (LOL), I was of course the last one to finally jump in
Fun Fact: The things that look like giant ropes hanging from the top of the cave are actually the roots of the trees that are above ground!
Our tour guide took us around the cenote to explore for a little while. Luckily for me, cenotes are fresh water caves so the only sea life we saw here were tiny cat fish (phew!)
The second stop was the first open cenote we visited. This one looked more like a small lake than a cave since it is no longer enclosed like it used to be hundreds of years ago. We got to cliff jump and zipline into the water at this stop and oh my goodness it was SO MUCH FUN! Austin and Connor were the only ones who chose to cliff jump because, well… our tour guide called it “The Mayan Sacrifice” if that’s any indication of how long of a fall it was (in my opinion, the pictures really don’t even do the height justice on this one). Austin jumped first and his scream on the way down definitely made Connor hesitate even more than he already was before taking the plunge hahaha
Once we got the Mayan Sacrifice out of the way, it was time for the zip lining! There were two zip lines to choose from, one with a handle and one with a basket seat
Side Note: experiences like this one are exactly why I invested in a GoPro!
Me & my favorite guy 🙂
My little bro & his girl
I’m going to take a guess and say that our tour guide was telling us something very serious in this moment because I’m really not sure why we all look so intense haha
Our third stop had sort of a bonus cenote because it had two parts; the first part was semi open and the second part was fully open! They provided us masks to snorkel and explore through the first part 🙂
This one was definitely the coldest of the cenotes!! (I’m pretty sure we all screamed a little inside after stepping off that ladder)
Snorkeling our way through!
After we snorkeled our way to the small tunnel in the cave and walked through, we were handed a paddle and stepped into our kayaks to explore the open side!
Side Note: Connor & I look a little more in sync in these photos than we felt in the moment 😉
Austin & Erin 🙂
Our fourth and final cenote was open and sunny with so much to do! We started off with a water slide and then headed over to another round of zip lining.
(You can tell by my face that this one was a little higher than I would have liked)
Shout out to Connor and the Lifeguard for talking me into this one!
After we landed in the water off the zip line, our tour guide lead us through a water fall and a quarter mile swim to the opposite end of the cenote
To finish off our entire Xenote experience, Connor and Erin jumped off the final cliff! (again, I don’t think the pictures do the height enough justice haha)
If you ever find yourself in Mexico looking for a great excursion, the best suggestion I could give you is to fit this into your trip. I would highly recommend this experience to anybody and everybody!
And that completes our Mexico Xenote adventure 🙂