After Palenque we started making our way north into the Yucatan Peninsula for our first views of the Caribbean.
We drove through Campeche with a few stops before we started cenote hopping in the Yucatan. Our first stop was a little cenote called Chihuan between Merida and Chichen Itza.
Cenotes are basically sinkholes filled with water and Mexico is filled with them. Most of them are interconnected by the vastest underwater river system in the world.
Each cenote is incredibly different and this one was very small and completely enclosed in an underground cave. The water was crystal clear, calm and temperate. From the surface you were able to see pretty deep and you could see the occasional fish swimming by as well.
We camped there overnight and had use of the cenote pretty late, even having the whole thing to ourselves a number of times. It was incredibly relaxing and a great way to escape the sweltering heat.
The next day we didn’t make it very far as we came across another cenote called Yokdzonot. This one looked more like the typical cenote you see if you look them up. A round hole that’s about 50 feet to the extraordinarily blue water with tons of what look like vines (actually roots from the trees above trying to get a drink) hanging down.
We got there around 11 and decided to call it a day. We spent the night in Houdini right across the street.
The next day we headed to Tulum and stayed on the street across from the beach. A van of young overlanders from Spain, parked next to us. They were on a 6-month trek from Vancouver to Panama.
The next morning we headed to Chedraui (a department store similar to Walmart) and saw so many overlanders. We didn’t even get to speak with them all. We did meet a woman who has been traveling solo for over 4 years in her van, which she had people write on as well, while making money for the trip by selling jewelry she makes.
We also met another couple from Argentina that has been traveling all over Latin America for the last 10 years!!! They have a beautifully converted bus, had their daughter on the road and just keep going on their amazing adventure (and our families think we’re crazy for doing this for a year.) There were other buses and vans and even a couple of regular RV’s in the parking lot…it seems like the place to be for an overlander.
We spent that night however, at another cenote nearby called Dos Osos. This cenote was very large and built up with intricate details but the blaring dance music killed the vibe a bit, luckily it didn’t continue into the night so we were able to get some sleep before starting to make our way south.