I jumped. I really did. I still can’t believe I did. But I did. I climbed the limestone steps and hopped into the 40 meter deep sinkhole called Ik Kil. And while Ik could’ve Killed me (had to do it), it didn’t.
Instead I swam with the sunlight peeking through the top of the cave. The rich turquoise waters hiding schools of fish freely going about their day. Vines reaching in from the top of the cave almost like curtains playing with the light.
Ik Kil is one of Mexico’s best known cenotes. These incredible structures happen when the limestone gives in and collapses to reveal a deep pool of water within the cave. There are around 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatán peninsula alone.
These underground pools were used by the Mayans as a source of water, but they also considered them sacred. They often performed rituals in which they threw valuable items into the water and some tribes also practiced human sacrifices. Jewelry and human bones have been found by archeologists within Ik Kil. It is also believed that Ik Kil was the personal bath of Mayan Kings and their families.
Today this cenote is one of the most visited ones due to its proximity to Chichen Itza. So it gets pretty crowded. The trick is to arrive before the lunch-hour tour-bus rush. Early morning dips with the cenote practically to yourself will have you feeling like a Mayan king.
And when you climb those limestone steps and look into the deep, dark water below you remember…
“Those who don’t jump will never fly.”
Adult: MXN $70
Children: MXN $35
Carretera Costera del Golfo
3 KM away from the archeological zone of Chichen Itza, Chichen Itza 97757, Mexico