Swinging Into the Yucatán

 

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

September 12th, 2020

A week-long vacation in Mexico. How does that sound?

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

We’ve transitioned from magic carpet to jungle vine with today’s post. We’re swinging into Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to explore the local landscape. We’ll be here all week.

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Here’s J dropping from a rope into Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman near Valladolid, Mexico. We stopped here for a cool dip in June, 2018. The Yucatán Peninsula holds dozens of cenotes — deep, fresh-water sinkholes that sometimes merge with the inflow of salt water from the Caribbean Sea.

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

These fresh-water pools have eroded vertically in the limestone over centuries, while the ocean salt water travels horizontally inland through the sub-surface water table. Where these two types of water meet underground is where cave networks, artifacts and big questions come together in a brackish mystery of Mayan civilization.

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Swimming in a cenote is both fun and freaky — the lush vegetation and blue water hold the allure while the depth is an endless thought below you. Where does it end? And what does it end with? Luckily, at some cenotes, there are life vests and guide ropes strung side to side to make you feel a little less uneasy about the mystery below the surface.

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Tomorrow, I’ll repost a story about Tulum, then we’re heading to Ek Balam, Cobá and Chichen Itza for a series of new posts diving into the region’s remarkable history. Of all the places I’ve traveled to around the world, the Yucatán Peninsula is the only place where I’ve felt an unspoken reverence for an intangible force I can’t put into words.

More tomorrow!
Kelly

Post of the Day: Adding a bit of light to the darkness as we get through the pandemic together. This series features travel photos from my archives, shared with you while staying close to home.

15 comments

  • There is a mystery around the Maya, although this civilization is not so ancient and continuity with modern times exists, not everything is known, enough to make it intriguing. It is this part of mystery that makes it uneasy. I am curious to read more and to see again these great sites left to the visitors’ thoughts.

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  • This place looks so out of the world beautiful, and yes, the unknown depths, the cave networks you mention and the Mayans makes it so mysterious. Old forgotten temples inside jungles on mountains, secret caves behind waterfalls leading to the temples, sacrificial altars… Eagerly waiting for the next episodes. And the Tarzan jumps look like such a fun way of getting into the water ☺️

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  • Great blog Kelly. I’ve shared this on my facebook feed to show people this place/ paradise exists and your Compass and Camera blog is a must read. Excellent blog and thank you for sharing this with us.

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  • Those endless depths have always freaked me out! And look at all those people gathered on the ledges in the last pic – my Covid-influenced brain just can’t take that in properly – haha!

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  • Great post. We were amazed by the cenotes. Did you get a chance to dive in one? Pretty freaky!

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  • I once spent an evening and easy morning in Chichen Itza without tourists. It’s easy to see where you might feel an ‘intangible force,’ Kelly. And I’ve peered into the depths of cenotes and wondered about what lurks beneath the surface. 🙂 Once— grin— I even tried swinging from a vine. Heck, Tarzan could do it; why not me! I just made it across the creek when the grapevine broke. It was when I was around 12 and as usual I was out wandering by myself with only my dogs. I’m damn lucky I didn’t break something. Great photos. Looking forward to your Chichen Itza post. –Curt

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  • Pingback: Repost of the Day: Tulum |

  • This is so other-worldly! Beautiful scenery and fun times for you. I wouldn’t be brave enough to do the water things, but I’d love touring the ruins!

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  • Oh fun! We loved the cenotes even though it was pre my hip surgery and I could barely walk. Nevertheless I dragged myself down, and then back up all those stairs at several. Wasn’t gunna miss out! Love the gif of J!
    Alison

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  • As our April trip to Mexico (a tour between Mexico City and Cancun) got cancelled, perhaps this next set of yours will allow for a virtual reprieve. Although, I don’t know that cenotes would have been part of it. I would have gone diving instead…

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    • Well, you can actually dive IN the cenotes! But it is a scary thing to do — and I have not tried it. You have to follow ropes through the tunnels and caves to make sure you can get back out and, more then ever, make sure you don’t run out of air. Hope you stick with diving in the ocean! Fingers crossed you can rebook that Mexico trip next year. Sounds like the perfect route!

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      • I’ll leave cave diving to the hard core. Too dangerous for my risk tolerance. I am hoping vaccines will show up by early 2021. Maybe that’s an advantage of being a little older; we can say we’re “at risk”, and get ahead in the vaccine line.
        Our tour company allows us to reschedule up to 18 months after the original booking, which would put us in April. Much past that and I think the weather isn’t as good.

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      • Great idea! Get in that line as soon as you can. Hope you’re able to rebook in time.

        Liked by 1 person

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