Cenotes are submerged cave systems that run underneath much of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sometimes appearing as a simple, muddy-looking hole in the ground and other times impressively forming huge, gaping cave mouths with crystal-clear waters, cenotes are something seemingly from a different world. Eight kilometers outside Tulum will bring the adventurous to Dos Ojos, a large cenote that should be a requirement for area visitors. This is an ideal place for a swim as the waters average 77 degrees all year long. Snorkeling and scuba diving are other options, and the latter especially is worth the effort. Though marine life is almost nil, the real draw of the cenotes are the tree trunk-sized stalactites and stalagmites, eerie tunnels and virtually enclosed caves that often host modest numbers of bats.
Cenote Dos Ojos
Iguana Bike Shop
The Iguana Bike Shop offers bike rentals and tours of Tulum and the surrounding area. Insurance, helmets, bike locks, local maps and safety lights for night rides are included with all rentals. Bikes can be delivered directly to your hotel for no extra charge. The state of Quintana Roo is mostly flat, so tours are appropriate for all fitness levels, and families are welcome. Hugo, the owner of the shop, is a hands-on sort of guy and is likely to offer suggestions and tips. Tours include beautiful coastline, dense jungle and cenote trips, which frequently offer breaks for snorkeling.
Iguana Bike Shop
Satelite Sur por Andromeda Ote. 4
Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico
011 +52 (984) 119-0836
There is no reason to make the long haul to Chichen Itza or even Coba to view spectacular ruins when a short walk will take you to ruins within the city limits. The ruins of Tulum are perched on a small cliff above the water and offer visitors a rare opportunity to view what life must have been like for the Mayans before the arrival of Europeans. Constructed between 1200 and 1450, Tulum played a major role in trade as early as 600 A.D. The structures here include the main temple, the Temple of the Frescoes and the remains of massive defensive walls. It can get warm here, but remember that afterwards you can dive in the sea where trading vessels once docked hundreds of years before.