Carnival Cruising to Dzibilchaltun and some Cenotes!

Elizabeth and her cruising family of 8 from Oklahoma was treated to a double shot of cenote fun today, when they arrived in Progreso on the Carnival cruise ship. 

After finding them and getting them into the vehicle, we quickly drove out of Progreso and headed for the town of Caucel, quickly becoming a suburb of Merida, what with its new shopping centers, housing developments and even a Walmart, which is always a surprise to folks who didn't expect to see the giant chain here in Merida. 

In Caucel, we had a great breakfast of pulled pork (cochinita) sandwiches along with local drinks like horchata, watermelon and dragonfruit aguas.  Bought some mini-bananas and were entertained by a local man singing songs in front of the church, who also told us that his daughter was marrying George Bush's son. Really, that's what he said. I figured he was a bit on the loco side but he was entertaining nevertheless and provided some folkloric background entertainment.

From there, off to the first cenote of the day, the Kambul cenote in Noc Ac. 

This is what you see when you arrive.

Noc Ac is a tiny cenote, near enough to Merida to avoid the 90 minute or so drive from Progreso that the other, more cavernous cenotes requires. For the kids, who when they arrived said "where are we going to swim??" since there was no open pool waiting, it was a refreshing start to the day which was turning out to be a hot one!

There's cool, crystal clear water in there!

The wooden ladder into the refreshing water below.

Here you can see the color of the water and the ropes in place to help you get around inside. The cenote is very deep, from 10 feet or so near the opening to 50-60 feet in places.

Swimming in the cenote.

After that refresher stop, we headed across to Dzibilchaltun, the Mayan ruins site and home to another cenote, where the family enjoyed a tour of the site and another, larger cenote. This one is open to the sky like a swimming pool and features lily pads and flowers and tiny fish that will exfoliate your skin for free. 

On the shady trail towards the Temple of the Seven Dolls at Dzibilchaltun.

The Temple of the Seven Dolls, named after archeologists discovered seven clay figurines during the excavation and restoration process. You can no longer climb this structure.

The cenote is a busy place on cruise ship days and so the water gets a little stirred up. The fish are happy though: lots of exfoliation potential.

Some kids like to jump in the deep end.

Others like to lie very still and watch the fishes through their goggles.

This champion "noodler" caught himself one of the fish.

After breakfast in the small town of Caucel, swimming in two cenotes and exploring the Mayan ruins, Elizabeth and her family went back to the ship with many fun memories and the experience of a truly unique excursion designed just for them!