A Day Trip to Valladolid, Yucatan
Have you ever been to a cenote?
A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.
Let me first say - there were several firsts for me while on our Mexico journey. One was that I had never visited a cenote before. I had seen them on some of the Mexico youtubes I've watched, but cenotes were not high up on my list of places to go!
Near Mérida, almost no surface water exists, but several cenotes are found across the state. Located about 2 hours from Mérida, Cenote X'Keken and Cenote Samula are popular cenotes to visit in Valladolid, Yucatan.
However, since we were in the area....why not?
We visited Cenote X'Keken on our trip.
There are a lot of steps (some are uneven) that wind down to into the deep dark cavern. It can be a bit slippery so best to hold on to the side rail. Once you are down there you can sit on the rocks and just slip yourself into the cenote or...you can jump! (lifejackets are available upon request). The water is clear and cold. There are ropes strung across the centote and you are not supposed to go outside of the roped area. Many people swim out to them and hang on.
Our group had a great time, swimming around. It's very pretty but I sat on a rock on the edge and immersed myself into the water but never swam out into the middle area.
Call me chicken if you want to!
Most cave cenotes have fresh water that has been meticulously filtered by the earth, making them so clear and pure that you can see straight through to small fish frolicking in the plant life below. ... The Mayans revered cenotes because they were a water source in dry times; the name cenote means 'sacred well' Source Lonely Planet
Also and not to be forgotten, we visited the city of Valladolid, where we had lunch and did a little exploring. Many expats are choosing to live in Valladolid rather than Mérida. Valladolid's colonial buildings include 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, with an ornate wooden altarpiece, and baroque-style San Gervasio Cathedral. Casa de los Venados has Mexican folk art and furnishings. Cenote Zací is a sinkhole pool with stalactites. The underground cenotes of Samulá and X'Kekén are southwest. Farther west is the Mayan site Chichén Itzá.
If you dare....
Come take a trip with us to the underworld!!!
A day at Cenote X'Keken (youtube link)
or watch below
My Consensus : Valladolid is a cute little town and I can see why people would like it (it's about 1 hr 45 mins from Cancun) but I think I prefer Mérida. Not enough access to services for me and I wouldn't want to have to go 1 hr 45 mins to Cancun or 2 hours to Merida for shopping.