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Posts Tagged ‘Mayan Ruins’

Chichen Itza recently named one of the new seven wonders of the world attracts people from across the globe. Visitors come by the bus loads to walk the grounds, view the sites, and ponder the past where both Maya and Toltec civilizations once flourished.

the stairs of a serpent.

However, on both the Spring (March 20/21) and Autumn (September 21/22) Equinox the crowds grow. People come to witness the special illumination of the pyramid steps from the sun and shadows.

The natural spectacle begins when the first shadows appear on the Kukulcan pyramid as isosceles triangles on the steps. The steps seem to make the body of the feathered serpent on the move. As the shadow slithers down it eventually reaches the snake’s head to the spectators delight. An energy arrived for the masses.

The snake apparently (in legend) continues down a path to the sacred pool. The pool, a magical mayan cenote and source of fresh water provides the final resting place for snake’s passage (the energy) as well as other sacrifices based upon the countless rituals performed. The greenish mysterious and murky waters seems to hold more serpents, but secrets.

Although you can’t swim in this cenote (and can’t climb the steps of the pyramid of Kukulkan) you can see witness its power and magic during the days that span the equinox (it happens both a few days prior and post) or even just visit to see the ruins and pool on any “normal” day. There is so much to see and absorb about this wonder.

a view of the sacred pool cenote at Chichen Itza

And to truly understand the ruins and archeology of Chichen Itza and the sacred pool cenote I recommend hiring a tour guide. If you take a tour from Playa del Carmen or Cancun like Xichen one will be included (in spanish and English). Or if explore solo and like guide books, I recommend supplementing the basic book with the Mayan architectural approach guide to enhance the experience. Both helped me on my adventure.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 18 of the 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute. Day 3 of Cenote Week.

A special thanks to Experiences Xcaret (via Riviera Maya) for providing passage to tour Chichen Itza via the Xichen Tour.

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My guide walked toward the cenote, but I couldn’t see any cavern entrance or surface water. Confused my paced slowed even with the sudden rainfall and darker skies. She started to descend. Stairs?

the descending stairs....

A spiral staircase descended below the surface and I followed her into the earth.

After 20-30 steps and still no sight of the cenote I thought, “How deep were we going?” Still deeper we traveled. Fifty steps, maybe more. I didn’t count. But when we finally came to the opening. Wow.

To my surprise a huge wooden deck platform was built over a vast a pool of crystal clear blue water in a deep, hollow cavern. Incredible. And all this infrastructure created underground for this single cenote. And now it was just the two of us. Essentially a private cenote. Simply amazing.

I’ve explored a few centoes in Tulum on a prior visit to the Riviera Maya and recently enjoyed a magical cenote swim at Hacienda Tres Rios, but this was different. I realized each cenote swim was different. All seemed to contain a magic of their own.

The Coba Ruins close by...

When we first arrived, I changed and rinsed to clean off any chemicals as instructed in an effort to keep the cenotes clean. But the few empty shower stalls made me question why this cenote? No one else was here. The itinerary listed Cenote Multun-ha, but I noticed other cenotes closer to Coba. And I noticed other tourists heading to those.

But now looking over this cenote, I smiled to my guide. I thanked her. Apparently, she knew. She knew of this special place. A place that before today I always wanted to swim in. Now I would. A breathtaking moment.

And after I dove in and swam a few strokes in the sacred pool, I actually started to lose my breath. I dove down to pick up a small stone, and surfaced with the need to pause, the need to catch my breath. I sat on the rope across the water surface to rest for a few seconds. Was I ok?

Yes. Suddenly ventilation switched on and oxygen started to be pumped in. And although we lost the calm of silence, I did appreciate a return to breathing normal.  Apparently, the beauty of this Cenote truly did take my breath away.

the breathtaking cenote-multun-ha

Stay adventurous, Craig

Day 17 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute. Day 2 of Cenote Week.

Also, a special thanks to Riviera Maya for being an excellent guide and host. And special thanks for providing my access to this cenote. Magical.

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