Swimming Holes at Cuzamá

Sun comes out and so do we. Joy and I ventured out to visit ‘cenotes’.

Off, by bus, to Cuzamá. Much of the road is one lane, a little tense when trucks or other buses come our way. Once in town and puttering along in a motor powered bike built for three, we are told there are many cenotes in this area, hundreds!

Today we take in three, Cheletún, Chansinic’che and Bolonchoojal. These are located on a huge ranch with an old hacienda, Chunkanan that still stands from the days of ‘green gold’, when henequen was king in this area.

Henequen comes from the agave cactus and looks like a green yucca. Its fibers produced rope and other fabrics used all over the world until oil brought in synthetics to replace it. Now the place is in ruins but parts of miles of mini-track still remains and are used for carting tourists back and forth across rocky jungle full of cacti, vines, and all sorts of pointed and thorned plants.

Much of the henequen plants still grow abundantly here and the carts were once used to transport crops to the processing plant at the hacienda. Some production continues here but not like the ‘old days’. (more can be found here if you are interested) http://www.belize1.com/BzLibrary/trust408.html

We transfer from bike to rail cart that seats 4 (plus our driver), sharing the $200 peso cost with a young couple from Montreal. Our first cenote stop we get 30 minutes in the true ‘underworld’. As we climbed down, warm moist air replaces cool dry air from above. There is no way to describe how clear this water is. If it was not blue (from being so deep) and a few fish I might have not known it was there. The only light came in from whatever opening there was above and shown into the water like a heavenly spotlight into this world beneath.

Bats flapped, not happy I am sure, with our intrusion to this underworld. Although they had been cut off and taken away, there had been petrified tree trunks down here and they still stood about 10 inches high. Many stalactites and such hang from the ceiling and fall from the walls from mouths of intersecting caves.

Such heavenly blue water!

The Yucatan is said to be above an enormous underground river, many cenotes and caves that wind for many miles. Some of these cenotes are so deep no ones knows yet how deep they really are (or what is down there!) The ones we visited today are up to 115 feet deep. Fossils, Mayan art and pottery, tools and stories of a Mayan prince and princess being lost fill these places and many are yet to be explored!


  • Steve & Joy,

    Looks divine. In a small way reminds me of Jacobs Well and other places in the Hill County. I believe Jacobs Well to be 2600 feet deep (I may be wrong on the depth but it is extremely deep) and the water (at least when I last visted it about 35 years ago) was clear as could water can be.
    Keep having fun and be careful!

  • Just north of Tulum, on the Yucatan coast south of Playa del Carmin, there is a small river or very large creek of quite clear jungle water which ends just inside the beach road in a big perfectly round 30-foot deep cenote. At the bottom, on the seaward side, there is a hole big enough for a hippopotamus which all the water goes into with great force.
    Out in the surf between the shorebreak and reef, in front of the Casa Cenote (or Cafe California, depending on which sign you see first, anyway try the nachos con pollo) there is another cenote, about the same 60-foot diameter but shallower which has a deep hole that very rapidly spews out the crystal-shimmering mix of fresh and salt water common in the lagunas which have springs.
    We dove both cenotes, but the 100-yard stretch under the road and the Casa Cenote to the beach was a thrill-ride no one dared to take that day. Maybe no one ever has, and lived to tell.

  • Weren’t these caused by the impact crater, or they are part of the crater, that supposedly put an end to dinosaurs? Everyone talks about extinction, but I am not sad that T-Rex is no longer with us. I really want to visit now!!

  • The beauty is felt from here. Your serenity is evident and it seems like Heaven On Earth.

    We are looking forward to sharing visits with stories and more pictures.

    Your gallery of pictures are ” the experience” for us. Thank you for sharing.

    Will check for the remainder of photos you mention.
    So happy to see that you are both enjoying the journey.

    Bro R and Sis V

  • WOW what beautiful things and places you get to see. And, wow what a fantastic photographer you are or he is!! Thanks for sharing.

  • beautiful pics. i miss my yucatan.

    with very little imagination, the 15th pic, ‘pool leading to cave’ almost looks like michelangelo’s sistine chapel painting w/ angels descending from the heavens.

    and i’m not even stoned,


    thanks for sharing

  • ooh! The water is so beautiful!
    Glad you are out running around having fun.
    Did you find a place to live yet?

  • That looks awesome! Was there anything living in the water besides ordinary fish? Like cave fish or crustaceans? maybe a mollusk or two? What kind of plant life was there?

  • Steve,

    David Langley sent me the link to your website. Great!
    My wife Caroline went to the Yucatan in 06 with family.
    It looks like we went to a lot of the same places. Thanks for sharing and connecting. Enjoy your adventure.

    Best Regards,
    Steve Such

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