Have you been along the Ruta de los Cenotes, the highway west from Puerto Morelos that leads through the jungle to a chain of beautiful cenotes and eventually links up with the village of Leona Vicario on Highway 180?

Rustic signs beside the Ruta de los Cenotes road indicate turn offs for jungle trails leading to cenotes open to the public such as Las Mojarras where you can zip line, dive in from a tower or just enjoy the view.

The seven mouths that give the Siete Bocas cenote its name glow gently as the sunlight penetrates the turquoise depths. The strange rock formations in this cenote are incredible.

Next stop along the Ruta de los Cenotes is the mysterious underground pool of Boca de Puma. Located in a private jungle reserve, this cenote offers a variety of adventures ranging from snorkeling and zip lining to rock climbing, rappelling down a cliff wall and biking. There is also a chiclero camp where you can learn how the sap of the chicozapote tree was harvested in the area and used to make chewing gum.

Finally, follow a winding trail to Verde Lucero, an open cenote in a forest clearing where another rustic zip line provides hours of fun.

As an alternative, sign up for the Xenotes Oasis Maya trip offered by Experiencias Xcaret and explore four very different cenotes in one day, trying your hand at snorkeling, zip lining and kayak. The four cenotes are named in Maya after the four elements: K’áak or Fire, Há or Water, Lik’ or Wind and Lu’um or Earth. All are filled with crystal-clear water and strange rock formations, and each has its own charm.

Expert guides point out native flora and fauna as they escort you along jungle trails, explaining how cenotes are formed and their importance as sacred sites for the ancient Maya. They will also tell them about Mayan mythology, including the tale of the Aluxes, the guardian spirits of the forest and the milpa or cornfields.

Xenotes, Oasis Maya is for small groups of visitors and includes the use of snorkeling gear and a life jacket, a gourmet picnic and transport.

Staff at the Thomas More Travel desk can also recommend many more cenote parks for you to visit further south in the Riviera Maya.


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