A Cenote, Chedraui, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and My Trip Back South to Belize

One of my favorite parts about visiting the Yucatan is the cenotes.   Cenotes are sink holes in the limestone that exposes the fresh ground water underneath.  They are part of a huge system of underground caves and rivers.  They seem to be almost everywhere.  And some are much better than others.(Interesting trivia fact:  The Chicxulub Crater is located off the north Yucatan coast.  It is thought to be the crater left from the giant meteor strike that wiped out the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago.  Did you know that?)

While camping on the beach at Xpu-Ha, we packed up for a day to visit a cenote and do a quick shopping trip in Tulum.   Our camping neighbor, Ricardo, had scoped out all the area cenotes the day before and pointed up in the direction of the very best.  The Garden of Eden cenote.
It cost $50 pesos to enter.  We were there early.  A small group of divers was gearing up in the parking lot but we were the first ones in the water.  This cenote is deep and crystal, crystal clear and surrounded by tropical flora.

You can see straight down to the limestone bottom in what must be 30-40 feet of water.

The wall slopes to an underwater cave…we watched about four divers disappear under there for about forty minutes.  YIKES.   It’s also perfect for jumping.   (There are some pretty cool YouTube videos out there of the diving experience.  Take a look at this:  Video El Eden Cenote.  It’s even better than I remember!)

Well…perfect for everyone but me.  I was a giant chicken.  After about a half hour, a troop of kids and parents arrived.  Even the 6 year olds were jumping off this rock cliff with reckless abandon.  This place is a GREAT spot to bring the kiddies.  These guys were having the time of their lives.  For a few hours, it’s a great change of pace from the beach…and super close by to Playa and Tulum.

This is my poor attempt at capturing Dani making her jump.

This cool clean water is the perfect place to soak and swim for a few hours…maybe snorkel and even dive.  Ricardo, our cenote guru, also suggested the Dos Ojos cenote (there are SO many to choose from between Playa and Tulum).  We didn’t make it.  But if you check it out, definitely let me know how it is.  I need to get started on my guidebook “The Hidden Cenotes of the Yucatan” ASAP.  Donations, of course, are welcome.

We headed to Tulum next to do a bit of shopping at their new-ish Chedraui.  Pronouced Shed-rou-ee, it’s the original Mexican Wal-Mart and has a huge food section.  I can go there and moon over the fruit, vegetables and cheeses for hours.

$19.90 pesos for a kilo of gorgeous Hass avocados?  Less than $2 usd?  It is too good to be true.

Holy selection of tuna.

We stopped in Tulum for some local tacos first.  Cesar was in constant search of tripe tacos.  We never found them…but the pork was delicious at this joint just north of town.

Time to pack up the perfect camping area at Xpu-Ha…sniff, sniff.  I love my little tent and this beach.

Ready for the drive south.  We stopped on the way in the only big town between Tulum and Chetumal,  Puerto Felipe Carrillo.

It is a small totally non-touristy town that sits a bit inland but it is right on the main road.  The locals seem to be of Mayan descent for the most part.  And this town serves some delicious tacos el pastor.  (Will also be featured in my guidebook “The Tacos of the Yucatan”…I have lots of writing to do.)  It’s a good rest stop as you drive south.

I also bought some beautiful and CHEAP local fabric.  Dani is promising to make me some Mayan print pillows.
We then drove back to Lake Bacalar and our favorite campsite for the night.
The puppies were huddled up at dawn for warmth.
All packed up again, we drove 30 minutes south to Chetumal where I boarded the San Pedro Belize Express back to San Pedro.  I had such a great time, thanks Dani and Cesar.  I really hope I can meet up with these guys later in their trip.  Colombia I’m thinking…

I miss the fruits of Mexico already…but don’t worry…I’ll be back.  Very soon.




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  • Love the local fabric, the wall of tuna, and don’t even get me started on all those mangoes…thanks for another great blog post! Looking forward to your books. 🙂

  • Me

    I have so many books on the back burner…hmmm…