Mexican Cenotes: Eden

As a follow on from Chac Mool & Taj Mahal, I know I promised you even more Cenotes from mexico and I got a bit side tracked with other things but I didnt forget. Here is my post about the aptly named “Eden”.

From the surface Eden is like a huge swimming pool – very open. In fact some of the kids were jumping off the platform into the water below and some were trying to balance on the rope strung across the middle. In fact it seemed as though it was a busy swimming area for the local families.

In fact they gave us strange looks as we donned all our gear and slipped beneath the water. Once you’d passed all the commotion (being careful that no one landed on your head of course) you could enter a long dark tunnel. Out the other side was calm, empty and very beautiful.

In fact Eden has a little bit of everything. The muck-about swimming area, the cavey tunnel with small stalactites ,the striking sunbeams and a lovely little mangrove area full of tree roots and small fish.

We were able to get out & change lens to macro to enjoy the fish life in the swimming area after we’d seem the cenote itself… I think we all really enjoyed that after several dives with wide angle only:

This little Cichlid Fish protects his babies by trying to hide them in the moss.

And I enjoyed watching these two having a fight over the females…

but they called it a draw and no one got hurt or eaten.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed my little slice of Eden.

Mexican Cenotes: Taj Mahal

Continuing on from yesterdays mexican cenote post here are the photos from Taj Mahal Cenote.

WOW. This was some place. We had to wait for ten or so mins in the half dark before the sun came out from behind some clouds but when it did it was breathtaking. The photo above is Mario swimming through the sunbeams. The photo below is Eleo:

While Alex & Eleo were mucking about posing for each other I swam up to the surface and took some split level shots – it was amazing that you could still clearly see the blue watery sunbeams still so brightly even from the angle at the surface:

We had a little tour of the inside too ater we were done playing in the sun…

The stalactites (above) were less impressive than those at Chac Mool but the haloclines (where the salt water creates blurry layers of water) were still amazingly cool. You can see the layer more clearly in this photo but it doesnt do it justice.

Since its so dark in the caves you really need an underwater tripod like this one here that Alex is setting up and also preferably a camera that goes to high iso with little noise.

This was the entrance & exit to the cenote… most of them have some form of stairway or natural rocky steps to help you in and out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos from the Taj Mahal Cenote, next up Eden….

Mexican Cenotes: Chac Mool

Cenotes are sinkholes in the jungle that are filled with fresh, cool, clear water and often have extensive cave systems. The cenotes we visited in Mexico all had a very different feel to them so I’ll do once post for each.

Today I’d like to tell you about the Chac Mool Cenote system. Its actually 3 cenotes all joined together. Little brother (mainly just a jump in point for easy access to the other two), Kukulkan and Chac Mool.

The main attraction was the light (for which you have to visit in the morning) streaming into Kukulkan. We jumped in at little brother and swam through a little cavey passageway to Kukulkan. Here are some of the photos I took there:

The other main cenote in this system is Chac Mool itself. The surface of this cenote was covered in a softgreen alge making the light diffused and the water look green.

This one is more interesting inside with all the large stalactites and stalagmites. And also and interesting halocline effect where layers of salt water mix with fresh water making everything in the salty water layer appear blurred. It was very surreal (I thought I had something wrong with my eyes)!

There was a little air pocket too where we were able to surface to see some little stalactites all over the ceiling (see Mike below and the photo at the top of this post).

Thanks to Mike my long suffering dive model/buddy/partner for coming into the caves even though he wasnt all that keen to. And to Mario from dive Aventuras for guiding us. And to Karen Doody for hooking us up with the lovely condo that we all stayed in. And to Alex and Eleo who we stayed with for the two days before the whaleshark trip started and had a great time. Next up Taj Mahal Cenote….