Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cenotes! and Ek Balam

I had never heard of a cenote and I'm still not sure what exactly they are, but they are so cool and beautiful! We visited this first one, Cenote Ik-kil, near Chichen Itza, early in the morning and had the whole place to ourselves. There was a beautiful park, gardens, restuarant and hotel on the same grounds. This first picture is a view from the top of the cenote. It had nice stairs built all the way down to a platform at the water's edge. We went swimming in the deep, surprisingly warm water with lots of fish :) Check out the video at the bottom of this post.
Those are tree/plant roots hanging all the way to down to the water. There was also water 'continuously raining' down into the cenote.
View from the cenote looking up
Omar swimming
Cenote Dzitnup, further down the road. We climbed down stairs into a cave to see the cenote. The water in this cenote was shallow and an amazing color of blue

The picture below shows the only natural source of light into the cave, the other bright light in all the pictures is an artificial one.

Next stop, more Mayan Ruins at Ek-Balam. Ek-Balam recieves fewer visitors than other ruins in the area and is currently undergoing excavation and renovation. The buildings were built between 100 B.C. and 1200 A.D. This first picture is of the Caracol.

These are the round platforms of the Caracol

View of the central pyramid from the top of Caracol

Another view of central pyramid, it's 98 ft high, 525 ft long and 197 ft wide and you can climb to the top! Under the grass roofs are various doorways and chambers with well preserved stucco work, undergoing renovation.
And this is from the top, with a view of the rest of buildings.

Cenote Ik-Kil
video

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