Cenotes are sinkholes that expose water from underground. They’re formed from the collapse of limestone back in the Mayan times. Cenote Ik Kil is one of the best cenotes in Mexico. It’s 85 ft below ground level, and 130 ft deep. Vines hang from the top, and waterfalls descend from overhead. The biggest surprise is the black catfish that swim in the cenote. The view up above is enchanting, but seeing the darkness below is an even crazier thought. Mayans used to come to the cenote for relaxation and ritual sacrifices. You can really feel the history when you’re there. Here are 5 tips and tricks for visiting Ik Kil:
- Take pictures
There are multiple levels to this cenote. I’d recommend capturing a photo on each level. The coolest shot is probably from the top, but the best view is from the bottom.
- Get a locker
It’s cheap, and it’s worth it. You don’t want to be worrying about your stuff. The place is generally crowded, and the locker is so convenient. I happened to be there when Mexico was on their version of March Break so the place was packed!
- Don’t forget to shower
After changing in the locker rooms, make sure to rinse off. Before heading down to the water, you have to shower. Don’t worry if you forget the guard at the top will remind you to rinse off. It’s a requirement in order to enter the cenote.
- Make sure you jump
The jump may look intimidating at first, but you’ll regret it if you don’t jump. Also, just because I’m a proud sister I have to say my younger sister did a front flip off the cliff. Get creative when you jump!
- Bring food
There is a café there, but there’s still not much to choose from so I’d recommend packing a snack or a lunch depending on how long you’re there.
- Appreciate the moment
I know this one is a given, but when you’re swimming in the cenote take everything in. The view up above, the streaming water falling around you, the empty darkness below you, and more. It’s no mystery why the Mayans came there to relax.
Cenote Ik Kil was one of the stops for Red Bulls Cliff Diving World Series for three years. Take a look at their most recent dive.