It was two months ago that I discovered cenotes. I was invited to a nature park in the heart of the Riviera Maya to swim in one.
I packed my bag for a day trip, hopped in my rental car and buzzed down the long stretch of highway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
I have to admit; when I first heard the phrase “nature park” I thought it would be something like a theme park. I was proven wrong. Very wrong! The nature park I was invited to is more of a nature preserve, acres and acres of preserved Yucatan jungle, cenotes and white sand beach nestled next to the Caribbean Sea. The name of the park, Hacienda Tres Rios Nature Park and it can be found just a few miles north of the infamous Playa del Carmen.
This is where I was introduced to cenotes and the natural beauty of the region. As a nature-loving environmentalist that comes from much colder regions in the north, I was awed by the beauty of the preserve and even more so by the cenotes. I spent a few hours touring the mangroves, listening to the guide enthusiastically describe the differences among various types of plants and palm trees. And although I found it all very interesting it wasn’t until I jumped into the centoe that nature had my full attention.
I had two options, enjoy the cenote from above and kayak or become one with the cenote and snorkel. I chose the lader and for this I am very thankful. The cenote, led to a river which carried me out to the beautiful blue sea. As I made my way out of the cenote, and as the river current gently carried me closer to the warm salt water, my face was fully submerged and my eyes were wide open taking in the underwater world. Marine life, rock formations, plants, tons of fish were all right in font of me. I was captivated.
As a writer, explorer and an environmentalist, I give this particular activity and this particular resort two very big green thumbs up. Although cenotes can be found in parts of Asia, in the Americas, they can only be found in the Yucatan where the blue and green waters that fill them make them all the more special.