Ik-kil Cenote and the Balankanché Caves in Chichen Itza


On our first day in Mexico, we leave Cancun behind to go to the state of Yucatán and visit the surroundings of Chichen Itzá. First we bathe in the spectacular Ik-kil cenote and later we explore the Balankanché caves.

I opened my eyes and it couldn't be, it was half past five in the morning. With how tired I was last night and had only managed to sleep five hours in a row. It was hot, too much to be the time it was, but not a heat I'm used to, but one of those that leaves you all sticky. After doing the typical laps in bed for some time, I decided to get up, clean myself and wait until my partner also woke up. About seven o'clock in the morning, I woke up the night watchman of the hostel, who was sleeping soundly on the couch, and opened the door for us to buy the bus tickets to go to Chichen Itza. From Cancun there is only a first class bus that takes you there, so, not to lose it, and as we had enough time, we decided to approach.

The streets were deserted and quite left by the hand of God, with low houses. The garbage bags are at the door and with the heat they gave off an unpleasant smell. The station, which is about five minutes from the hostel, is very modern and we bought the tickets. On the way back I started "making friends." We went to buy water (12 pesos / 0.72 euros) in an OXXO, which is a kind of 24-hour store, and when giving me the change, I told the clerk that money was missing, when what was missing was knowledge of the coins on my part . What a cut! Anyway, with a little bad milk, the clerk explains that everything is there. Well, I deserve it, and all because of the poop of autosuggestion: so much to read in all the forums that Mexicans try to scam you with the change, that in the first store I went I was influenced by a stupid topicazo.

Upon returning to the hostel, the owner tells us that there is no water, although we did not quite understand why (she is American and spoke in English). He comes to tell us something that the town hall does not allow hiring tank trucks before seven in the morning ... but then, did he not have running water? I do not know. While we had a very full breakfast breakfast, we talked with a guy from Hong Kong who was making an odd itinerary on his two-week vacation: Hong Kong - Quebec - Mexico - New York - Toronto - Hong Kong. He explained that he had rented a car in Isla Mujeres and had no driver's license (!) And that he had hit a golf cart. Heavens! In general it was all so surreal that I didn't know if I was awake or still asleep. He also explained to me that to go from the airport to the hostel he had hired the shuttle service in Cancun Shuttle for $ 4 over the Internet, although I have not managed to find the web ...

Hotel Dolores Alba

Before I left the hotel, I began to talk happily with the night watchman who claimed that my last name came from Russia.

- From Russia? Well, I thought it would rather come from Rome.
- No, Romanov man, maybe ... what is the name of the one saved?
- Anastasia.
- Yes, she, maybe she went to Spain ...
- Who knows, like my great-great grandmother.

After this beautiful conversation, we said goodbye and wished us to take care of ourselves. There is only one first class bus that goes to Chichen Itza and after three hours and a horrendous movie (an American one of those that makes you want to get off the bus in motion) we arrive at the door of the archaeological site. Our first intention was to find our life to go to the hotel directly, but upon discovering that there were free lockers for our bags, a new possibility opened up on the horizon. While discussing the different possibilities, we were approached by one of the many official guides who offered their services for 500 pesos (30 euros, fixed price) and tried in all ways that in the end we opted to visit the ruins at that precise moment and be possible with him.

- Maybe there are many people now ... (the entrance was crowded)
- That's not a problem, the entrance is like a bottleneck, once inside you hardly meet anyone.
- What happens is that since it is half past twelve, maybe we die of a syncope because of the heat, better come tomorrow at eight when it opens.
- It's the same heat all day ...
- ... (o_o)

But he failed to convince us and, wisely, we decided to visit Chichen Itza the next day. Once in the parking lot, they told us that a route bus (second class) that for 5 pesos (€ 0.30) would soon pass us at the door of the hotel, and it did so in five short minutes . The hotel although not near the ruins is pretty good. The rooms are like some kind of bungalows that overlook a pool. Although we pass the pool Olympic, because right in front of the hotel, on the other side of the road is the Ik-kil cenote.

Ik-kil Cenote

All the state of Yucatán and Quintana Roo It is formed of limestone, since millennia ago this area was submerged in the sea. Limestone is very porous and that means that when it rains, the water leaks into the subsoil and forms rivers and underground lagoons. Some of these lagoons have been discovered when the roof collapsed and they are called cenotes (from the Maya: tz'onot). But although you think it is a very rudimentary place to take a bath, it is quite the opposite. They are like natural pools where you have to pay admission. Depending on the popularity of each one, more services can be found, for example in the Ik-kil cenoteAs it is very touristy, there are showers, lockers, dressing rooms, souvenir shop and even a buffet restaurant. It must be recognized that it is a joy to bathe in a cenote: the water is cold and helps you quell the horrific humid heat of the Yucatan, the "pool" is semi-covered, so you do not have to worry about finishing prawn by the sun and They are usually in an incredible natural environment.