Wednesday is usually the day Jim and I bicycle north to Calle 88 where there are few people. We walk the whole length of the beach and then swim (usually less than fully clothed). But today we decided to take the public minibus system of Colectivos to Cenote Azul, about 15 miles south of Playa del Carmen. Cenotes are pools of cool, fresh water that gather in the rock structure of the Yucatan Peninsula. They are fed by underground rivers. We read on the internet that it costs 50 pesos to enter and understood that there was food available, so we packed only water and a couple oranges for nourishment. When we arrived we were the only visitors. The only food available was junk food at the entrance kiosk.
The path into the cenote was made of limestone and wandered a bit up and down until it came to two small pools that were reasonably deep. Deciding to continue on we were well rewarded. The trail ended at a stone clearing facing the totally open cenote pool with a cliff on the far side. The fresh water was a cool 71 degrees, outcroppings of limestone showed white through the clear water, and millions of fish varying in color from brown to blue to green to yellow cruised about looking for food.
Jim jumped in and I followed. We were in paradise alone with the fish that nibbled at our toes when we stayed still. In the middle of the largest pool, the water is quite deep and a few subsequent visitors jumped from the cliff above. I walked the trail to the cliff and was encouraged to jump by a young couple who had joined us, but I replied, “Soy pollo,” I’m chicken. There was a great gecko perched up there asking to be photographed and a bird’s eye view of the setting.
The cenote was marked on the highway by this simple sign. The driver of the Colectivo was told where we were going and announced it upon arrival. The bus trip cost 20 pesos each. Dark clouds threatened us upon arrival along with the sound of thunder in the distance, but not so much as a drop of rain fell. We returned home refreshed and delighted to have discovered another ideal location in Paradise.