Hey guys! here are some tips for foreigners visiting cenotes in Yucatan.
1) Food and restaurants
- Since most of the cenotes have become touristic sites, getting a bite to eat near by, sometimes can become a little pricy. Therefore, it would be best for you to prepare food before you go, like some sandwiches , snacks or some fruit, that way you make your trip more enjoyable and accesible to your pockets.
2) Traveling in a group
- If you come for a longer trip and plan to visit many tourist attractions in addition to the cenotes, it is best to find travel companions, this way can help you save some coin and it´s also a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends!
3) Getting there
- Transportation should´t prove difficult. Roads are in very good condition, so there would be no major problem to go to any of these places. In case you get lost you can always stop in one the many little villages that are always close by of the interstate, almost all the time people will gladly help you and show you the way, and many times there´s many unwritten attractions in this little towns, like abandoned haciendas, etc.
4) Checking your car before you go
- Although federal highways in most parts of the state are in very good shape as we previously mentioned, we strongly recommend to check everything before hitting the road. Oil levels, coolant, brake fluid, tire calibration, are amongst the things that we recommend you keep an eye on. Also, keep in Mind this is not the U.S. or the Autobahn in Germany, so going above 120 km/h. is not advisable.
5) Appropriate clothing
- Depending on when you visit Yucatan this can vary, but a great part of the year is always hot/humid weather, which will make you sweat a lot! Remember to keep that in mind when you pack, wear comfortable and preferably cotton or synthetic fabrics, flip flops, cargo shorts, shades, a sleeveless shirt, hat and sun block (our recommendation is + 50) are a MUST.
- Now, try to keep hydrated at all times as many people coming from cold weathers can get what in Spanish we call “Golpe de Calor” which is like a “hot flush” that can ruin your day trip. Regarding insects, during the day this is not a problem because is too hot for many bugs, the problem comes early in the morning, sunset and in the night. You can prevent mosquitos bites by using bug repellent and keeping the mosquito net of your room closed.
6) Accessibility and personal belongings
- The majority of the time, Cenotes are underground and the accessibility is not for everyone, remember to look it up online to see if you can make the descent.
- Now, when you reach the bottom, leave your personal belongings in a backpack preferably waterproof, as many people come out dripping water everywhere. I myself had an Ipod touch that I left on top of my towel and one kid came out and accidentally knocked into the cenote, and that was the end of my precious music lists. So, learn from my experience and plan ahead.
7) Swimming and snorkeling
- Cenotes have a beautiful and unusual underwater scenery, snorkeling and diving is allowed in almost all of them.
- To snorkel you don’t need but your mask and snorkel and your´re set. Now to dive is a different story, there´s a lot of groups that go diving that you can check out online.
- In case you do not know how to swim very well, don’t sweat it, you can rent the necessary equipment with most guides before taking a dip in its fresh an cristal clear waters, the prices are around 40 and 60 pesos for the rent.
8) Keeping the cenote clean
- Bring extra plastic bags for storing wet clothes and trash you might generate. It is also advised that if any type of contaminant is near the cenote, we kindly ask you to pick it up in order to help preserving the cenotes in good condition.
- Take your camera with you! keep in mind that the natural cave like formation that we call cenotes are unique in the world, so you wouldn’t want to miss anything of it. If your camera is a GoPro like, is even better as you can swim with it and take amazing underwater shots.
- Wear comfortable shoes that can get wet in most cases. Normally the lower parts of the cenotes are cave like, so they´re filled with stones and moss so it can be a little slippery. Also, bring a pair of flip flops so your feet can dry in case your shoes get wet.
Always keep in mind that the Yucatecan cenotes are fragile and beautiful ecosystems, people here is proud of their natural inheritance and therefore they expect foreigners to respect and keep the cenotes clean at all times.
So now that you have these little tips we hope to make your trip more enjoyable, and pleasurable.
2015 TYT Newsroom
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