Merida was our first "Mexican" town in Mexico. (I don't count Cancun as Mexican) We arrived after spending the day in Chichen Itza, its a nice place. We were bang in the centre of town which was very nice to walk around, the place had a nice feel to it, friendly people and some good food with insane drinks.

We had a trip out to the cenotes. A cenote is a sinkhole which is filled with water, the Yucatan Peninsula has lots of them. We went to three about an hour's drive out of Merida. Just getting to them was half the fun, we drove into this little town, then got onto horse drawn railcars for a long walk out to the scrub.

The rail network is from the days of the old haciendas. They would transport the henequen back to the hacienda by rail. It reminded me of the sugar cane trains in Queensland.

The cenotes themselves are amazing. The first one we went to is just a hole in the ground with a ladder poking out of it, and it's a small hole too. With my backpack, it was a bit of a squeeze. You go down the ladder, its pitch black and you're standing on something wooden. Slowly your eyes adjust and you can make out the top of the cave, you strip down to your bathers and jump off the edge, hoping for the best.

It is a complete leap of faith. It was about eight foot down to the water which is warm and fresh and crystal clear. There are holes in the rock above which let in light and eventually you'll be able to see the inside of the cave. The water is about 20-25m deep and you can see the bottom as if its just there. Absolutely amazing.

The next cenote had a bigger hole leading into it and was probably my favourite. A little more light, more room. It was great. The third one was the biggest and had the most people. I swam right to the end, which was about 60m from where you got in. You could see in the wall the large black opening to the cave system, a very creepy feeling.

Apparently its possible to go underground from one cenote to the other, but considering they were about 15 minutes apart above ground, if I was going to be doing it, I would want a very good air supply.

I still can not get over the clarity of the water. Clear is not the right word for it, it was almost as if it wasn't there, just a blue tinge. I was surprised at how warm the water was, about 23C someone said, so you can just laze there and let everything else just pass you by.

Merida Cathedral
11:56am 19th March 2012
675x900 177kb

Government Palace in Merida
11:59am 19th March 2012
1200x900 330kb

Merida Cathedral
12:01pm 19th March 2012
675x900 220kb

Covered walkway between the cathedral and museum of art in Merida
12:02pm 19th March 2012
675x900 178kb

Plaza Grande in Merida
12:12pm 19th March 2012
1200x900 302kb

Merida Cathedral
12:14pm 19th March 2012
1200x900 276kb

One of the entrance ways to a hacienda
12:12am 20th March 2012
1200x900 372kb

Abandoned machine house of a hacienda. Here they would process the henequen, a type of agave cactus which they turned into rope
12:16am 20th March 2012
1200x900 252kb

Stone walls in the village of Chankanan, on the way to the cenotes
12:22am 20th March 2012
1200x900 490kb

Our horse and rail cart (truk) to take us to the cenotes
12:36am 20th March 2012
1200x900 418kb

Sophie and Michael
12:41am 20th March 2012
1200x900 259kb

Sophie and Michael again
12:52am 20th March 2012
1200x900 388kb

It's 7km to the first one
1:01am 20th March 2012
1200x900 291kb

Tamryn and myself, heading out to the cenotes
1:01am 20th March 2012
1200x900 260kb

Cenote Bolonchoojol, Apparently called the Nine Holes Cenote because there are nine holes in the roof
1:24am 20th March 2012
1200x900 232kb

Cenote Bolonchoojol - to get to it you climb down a narrow ladder
1:41am 20th March 2012
1200x900 258kb

Cenote Bolonchoojol - Then it opens up to this huge space
1:41am 20th March 2012
1200x900 310kb

Cenote Bolonchoojol - With crystal clear water
1:42am 20th March 2012
1200x900 270kb

Cenote Bolonchoojol - Thats over 20m deep
1:42am 20th March 2012
675x900 183kb

One of the openings of Cenote Bolonchoojol. Don't fall in, its a long way down
1:52am 20th March 2012
1200x900 387kb

One of the truks passing us
2:02am 20th March 2012
1200x900 511kb

Another of the horse drawn truks
2:04am 20th March 2012
1200x900 509kb

Making our way on the old hacienda tracks
2:04am 20th March 2012
1200x900 339kb

Our group lazing back at Cenote Chansinic'che
2:32am 20th March 2012
1200x900 299kb

Going for a swim in the cenote
2:32am 20th March 2012
1200x900 284kb

More fooling about at Cenote Chansinic'che
2:33am 20th March 2012
675x900 211kb

These were over the roof, not sure if they're wasps or some kind of swallow
2:33am 20th March 2012
1200x900 309kb

The Mexican group fooling around the cenote
2:34am 20th March 2012
1200x900 319kb

Imelda, James and Mathijs, leaving Cenote Chansinic'che
2:45am 20th March 2012
1200x900 319kb

Jumping into the cenotes, yes, I do hold my nose
3:34am 20th March 2012
675x900 148kb

Mathijs Leaping into Cenote de Chelenta
3:36am 20th March 2012
1200x900 262kb

Lazing about the cenotes
3:38am 20th March 2012
1200x900 307kb

Cenote de Chelenta
3:39am 20th March 2012
675x900 169kb

James on the steps of Cenote de Chelenta
3:39am 20th March 2012
675x900 225kb

A temporary bull fighting ring in a town we passed
4:24am 20th March 2012
1200x900 425kb

Courtyard of out hotel (Hotel Caribe in Merida
5:22am 20th March 2012
675x900 255kb

Windows details of Casa de Montejo in Medina
6:30am 20th March 2012
1200x900 304kb

Casa de Montejo in Medina, just your average home of a conquistador
6:31am 20th March 2012
675x900 181kb

There was a dancing demonstration at the front of the City Hall in Merida
11:21am 20th March 2012
1200x900 291kb

Imelda and her drink in Medina
11:50am 20th March 2012
675x900 206kb

Michael and his drink
11:50am 20th March 2012
675x900 150kb

The gang and their drinks
11:50am 20th March 2012
1200x900 273kb

Sophie and her drink
11:50am 20th March 2012
675x900 169kb

After a drink or two, things start to get strange...
11:51am 20th March 2012
1200x900 311kb

Fishing boats on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico near Campeche
2:15am 21st March 2012
1200x900 289kb

<-- Go back Images and content © Ryan McConigley, 2012
Not to be used without permission, for profit, etc.
Last modified: July 02 2023 04:35:23.
Contact: web *at*