The first highlight from my recent Mexico trip that I wanted to share with you all is Ik Kil Cenote. The entire reason I woke up one morning in February and called the first travel agent Google spat out to book my flights for March was to see this. After reading Jessica Stein’s blog back in 2013, I haven’t been able to get this enchanted location off my mind. It was part of my New Years’ resolutions to cross off
one destination on my bucket list and it’s only April and I think it’s safe to say that I’m off to a great start.
I decided to live a little and booked myself on a private tour on my birthday. Whilst it was the pricier option; it made my day so much more enjoyable because I was allowed to do everything at my own pace. Being a solo female traveller in Mexico was a fresh experience where I wasn’t sure what to expect and who I’d meet. Walking down the street one night I met the lovely Limwerg from Mexico Grand Tours who I’ll admit, came across a little too friendly at first but after just five minutes; I realized that he was just a genuinely a happy-go-lucky guy. He offered to help me find a driver for the day that would take me around to all the sinkholes I wanted. To my surprise he also decided to sacrifice his day off to be a private guide and translator for me. Living up to the typical blogger stereotype – I also turned him into my dedicated photographer for the day (thanks Limwerg).
We set out bright and early from Cancun and the drive to the Yucatan took over two hours however we did make a few pit stops on the way at lesser known cenotes run by locals.
What to expect
We arrived at Ik Kil just before midday to avoid the afternoon onslaughts of tour buses from Chichen Itza. Ik Kil is one of the most popular cenotes in Mexico located in Yucatan and only 10 minutes away from Chichen Itza. The sinkhole is nothing I’ve ever seen before, 26 metres below surface of underground fairytale-like scenery. The lush greenery that cascade from the roof just amplify the mystique of the location with nothing but echoes of amazement from all visitors reverberating throughout.
For those who don’t feel overly confident about their swimming abilities then I would suggest having a life jacket on standby in the event you might need it. A surprising majority of the visitors did wear life jackets but I opted out.
The radiant emerald water was incredibly refreshing and jumping off the limestone platform for the first time was exhilarating. I had read that the cenote was occupied by thousands of inquisitive black catfish and that occasionally; they would nibble on unwary swimmers but I hadn’t noticed them at all. The water was rather deep and jumping in from the platform took me quite some time before I could resurface but then again, I’m an average swimmer at the best of times.
Of course, my excitement of finally being at Ik Kil completely obliterated my fear of deep water – and mind you the water in Ik Kil is about 40 metres deep – so what do I do when I arrive? You guessed it; I sprinted up the stairs to the top platform and jumped right in without hesitation – ok, I may have hesitated for a second, just a second though before I took a running leap. Then I did it again. And again. And then once more.
I opted to not focus too much on the photography of this place as I’m sure that there are thousands (heck, millions even) of postcard perfect photos flooding search engines. Instead, I brought my GoPro and Bebop2 with me to show you a glimmer of what I experienced here.
Almost every place you’ll visit in Mexico will have some sort of admission fee in place but nothing that will break your bank. The entry into Ik Kil is $6USD and additional costs for locker and life jacket rentals. You are required to take a shower before heading into the water to wash off the chemicals from sunscreens and insect repellents that travellers tend to bathe themselves in.
I also recently stumbled across diving videos of the Redbull 2014 Cliff Diving Competition that was held at Ik Kil. Can you imagine? Diving 26 metres into this wonder would be another experience I would love to have. Now where do I sign up for diving lessons?
Enjoy the video guys!
Filmed using: GoPro Hero 4 Silver and Parrot Bebop2 Drone
Music: Chemicals – Tiesto & Don Diablo ft Thomas Troelsen
Image Source: Shutterstock