What’s a girl to do? Just when you think you’ve seen all the cenotes you could possibly ever wish to see, along come seven more!
Set on a beautiful ranch near a tiny Mayan village about an hour outside of Mérida, ‘Los 7 Cenotes San Geronimo’ is a full day cenote experience. Yes, there are a grand total of seven magical cenotes for you to enjoy. Feeling spoilt yet? Keep reading.
Having heard only good things about this sustainable tourism project and excited about the opportunity to spend the day in a series of virgin cenotes, I was lucky enough to finally visit this summer and I can honestly say that after my day there, I could not stop smiling.
There are so many things that make ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ a wonderful day out but here are my Top 10 reasons why I absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun day out near Mérida:
1. It is cenote intensive!
There are thousands of cenotes in Yucatan but, as you might have seen from reading about other cenotes on my blog, it often takes time, effort, your own transport and a sprinkling of local knowledge to find them. That’s why ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ is such a great option for families or groups who don’t have the luxury of weeks and weeks in the Yucatan to explore – in this one day trip you can experience all of the different types of cenote (open, closed, partially closed etc) whilst also learning so much about their formation, spiritual function in Mayan belief and unique qualities. Its like an ‘intensive course’ on cenotes! Sign yourselves up!
2) 100% Natural!
All too often cenotes that are exploited for tourism are made so ‘tourist friendly’ that they end up loosing lots of their natural beauty and mystique. What I loved at ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ is that the emphasis is on enjoying the cenotes in their natural state. There is no concrete, no crowds and no roads. Except for tastefully installed natural wooden steps and platforms, the cenotes are exactly how they were found – wild, deep in the jungle and full of mystery.
3) Mexican hospitality at its finest!
Our day was all the more amazing for the top class hospitality we received from start to finish. From the efficient pick up in Merida, to the friendliness of all the staff, the coffee upon arrival and the excellent three course Yucatecan lunch. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we felt looked-after, happy and welcomed. Lots of extra little touches made the day even more special, for example we were serenaded by the happiest man in the world during lunch, who sang in Mayan and delighted us with his romantic songs. We even had the chance to try an ancient Mayan drink made from tree sap – let me know how woozy you feel after a few sips of balché!
Riding a bike through the jungle, miles and miles away from the nearest town, plunging off platforms into the magical waters, walking through dense jungle and listening out for wild animals…the ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ experience really will make you feel like Indiana Jones! You can take it at your own pace, but you’ll feel like a true pioneer (and you’ll have the aching legs the next day to prove it).
5) Flora and Fauna of the Yucatan 101!
If, like me, you are a bit of a nature geek, you’ll really appreciate the knowledge of the plants and animals that the staff will share with you. On our way through the jungle we learned so much about the names and uses of different trees and plants, the types of birds we saw at the cenotes and the Mayan names of flowers and animals.
6) Disconnect – Reconnect!
Being surrounded by incredible nature all day long – far, far away from the hustle and bustle of Mérida – was a real treat. As the ranch is in such an isolated location you really do feel a million miles away from the city, almost as if you were in a different world. The chance to reconnect with nature was so special and is so rare in our busy lives. And after all of the adventure of the cenotes we even had the chance to relax in a beautiful dipping pool as we waited for our lunch…lying back and smelling the sweet aroma of the food on the grill…dreamy! What better way to disconnect?
7) Eco-friendly and ethically responsible
Not only are the cenotes left as nature intended but the whole operation is eco-friendly and small scale. The toilets are eco, the food is locally sourced, there are no plastic bottles in sight and great care is taken to ensure that guests leave the zone exactly as they found it. The staff who look after the ranch and cook the delicious meals are all residents of the nearby village. At ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ the emphasis is on respecting nature and the local people.
Every day only one group can visit ‘Los 7 Cenotes’, so you will always have the whole ranch to yourselves and you certainly don’t have to worry about crowds. Not only this but the team also makes sure that each day the experiences you share are specially adapted to your group – old, young, fit, unfit, children, grandmas, lots of time, short on time – no matter what the make-up of your group, the staff take your needs and wishes into account and plan the perfect day, including fun dynamics and special discoveries just for you.
And don’t worry – you don’t need to be a group to book at ‘Los 7 Cenotes’. You can go alone, in a couple or with a friend – the staff will accommodate you in the best way possible.
We were blown away by some fantastic surprises along the way…I can’t say much more, you’ll have to see for yourself…but be prepared to be left speechless! The final surprise was the highlight of the day for me and I’m still thinking about it weeks later. Are you ready for the ‘Los 7 Cenotes’ surprise?
10) Local knowledge!
I learned a lot about the history and culture of the region from talking to and listening to the guides. They told us a fantastic story about a local Mayan warrior Nachi Cocom who is famous for jumping into a cenote to escape from the Spanish soldiers. I came away from the day feeling like I had a better understanding of the town of Sotuta and the stories and traditions that surround it.
So that’s it, my Top 10 reasons why I loved ‘Los 7 Cenotes’. Find them on Facebook or on their website. From the moment you get in touch you’ll be looked after by their fabulous team – whens the last time you took a walk on the wild side?
Have you already been to ‘Los 7 Cenotes’? Tell me about your experience in the comments below!