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Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

St. Louis, MO USA
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100 posts
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Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

Hi ,

We have a family celebration and are staying in Solimon bay! Ages 8-80, we want to experience a cenote but don't want a touristy experience!

Have heard of hidden works, labNaha, and Xel-ha . Any thoughts???

Thank you!!

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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1. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

here is the thread I use for the Akumal forum

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g499445-i9177-k5056…

Big D
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for Tulum, Dallas
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2. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

Those are all touristy cenotes. My 10 yr old and I drove to Zacil Ha Cenote a few weeks ago and had the place to ourselves. It's a smaller cenote but very nice. Excellent and secure steps leading down to the water. A changing hut with a typical bathroom - that would be no toilet seat...very common in non touristy areas.

Anyway...it costs 50 pesos per person. They also rent snorkel gear and life jackets on site - not sure of those prices since we didn't need them.

They also have a small snack and drink stand.

Big D
Destination Expert
for Tulum, Dallas
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3. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

I should add the location. :-)

It's on the Coba Rd. you will go past Gran on your right. Zacil Ha is on the left. First you will see a sign for Car Wash. Zacil Ha is immediately after that.

Trail, Canada
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4. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

The cenotes you mention are touristy and costly and are large time commitments . Of the three Labna Ha is closest and perhaps the least commercialized but still has zip lines and that sort of things .

We did go to an even closer and very uncommercialized cenote , called Yax Kin , not too far from the Soliman highway exit off the southbound lane . While the cenote isn't commercialized it's structure has been "improved" in places with concrete . We spent several hours there on loungers with no one else but staff present . There are two ponds to see , one with crystal clear water but some floating pond vegetation that detracts from the swim and the second pond which is only 25 yards away has muddy water but is surrounded by quite a large stone surround and wall , far too large for the less than classic , current , cenote conditions and possibly an ancient structure . The ruin part is a pure guess because the time and money involved to build the surround just couldn't be justified by the low traffic return expected . The odd presence of cloudy water so close to clear water is just one more example of the bizarre underground plumbing in the area that makes cenotes possible .

I really only mention it as a nice little jungle walk , as close to Soliman as possible although nothing seems all that close to Soliman on a hot day down their access road . If you only wanted to walk or perhaps a few swimmers out of the group you could likely negotiate a package deal with the ticket person , it's that kind of place .

My answer to your question is Dos Ojos which would be my answer to anyone but especially those based in Soliman Bay as it is also very close to you . It is a busy place but no fake lighting or statuary or zip lines . You can hire a guide and gear as needed and sometimes transport back to the cenote that is two kilometers down a public , potholed dirt road through some mixed jungle . You would have to drive past Dos Ojos to find a retorno to turn around and come back in the southbound lane .

Doing this would have you drive right past the Xel Ha archealogical site , a small government run , inexpensive ruin with hardly any other users at any given time and almost perfect for the mixed group you have . There is some shade and another cenote to see but not swim in and small ruins both out by the highway and back by the pond .

Dos Ojos is just a quarter mile or so up the highway to cool off afterward .

If you wanted one more very simple inexpensive cenote experience you could go a few miles farther north to Xcacel beach before turning back south . The turnoff sneaks up on you but Xcacel is an undeveloped beach with it's own little cenote pond down a short beach/jungle path . There are no services other than a washroom but there is no charge other than say a 50 peso donation to park .

The information below is from a loco gringo thread a while back looking for quiet simple experinces . The ruins at Muyil fit very nicely with your group if you have transport . If you rent a van and driver the top trip with Xcacel and no rushing is a about three to four relaxed hours or so .

RE: Old timers need suggestions for cenotes or ruins - 7/21/2013 9:09:26

Dos Ojos is still quite un commercialized but a busy enough cavern style cenote with plenty of structural interest and sunlit chambers . Some of the bidness involves divers who swim beneath you and disappear subteraneously while lighting the structure for you as they go . 100 pesos per person as a base price , more with gear rental and guide as required . If you will need snorkel gear at Dos Ojos you can stop at Akumal Bay first to rent gear for both places if you wish .

Xel Ha the small and almost deserted ruin is just before this on the highway , 50 or 60 pesos entry . Cool off after the ruin .

A couple miles back toward Akumal Bay is Xcacel Beach with it's own little free cenote and short walk in to it from the otherwise undeveloped beach . 50 pesos entry for the car or by donation .

Yal Ku lagoon and Halfmoon Bay add easily to an Akumal Bay day and La Buena Vida is a beachside stop to consider too .

We also love Coba and Muyil . Muyil has a jungle walk and rickety lookout tower depending on mobility issues for climbing the tower .

locogringo.com/research/beaches/xcacel.html… Xcacel

locogringo.com/past_spotlights/oct2002.cfm… Coba

locogringo.com/past_spotlights/may2005.cfm… Xel Ha

locogringo.com/past_spotlights/dec2002.cfm… Muyil

Lastly you might enjoy Manatee cenote at Tankah Bay , one bay north , with a restaurant to park at and base from , Casa Cenote . You can walk between bays on the shore or a path from Chamicos but I think it is quite a distance .

Enjoy

League City, Texas
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5. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

We stayed in Soliman Bay last year and would hang out at Chamico's at the south end of the actual bay (walking distance from all of the homes on soliman bay). It is a really cool open air restaurant w/ great food and margaritas). Anyway, Chamico (the owner and VERY nice man) had his nephew take us thru a gate off of his property and I would estimate about a mile down the bumpy road is a cenote called "Casa Cenote" or "Manatee Cenote". It is definitely un-touristy and there are some guys there that will rent you life jackets snorkling stuff etc. It is very close to the beach and there is a small boutique hotel and restaurant/ bar right across the street if you want to eat/drink following. Very nice..it is on a old bumpy road. I would just ask Chamico if you are interested in going yourselves or ask him if his nephew can give you a lift (a nice tip would be appreciated!) Have fun!

League City, Texas
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6. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

BTW, I found a youtube link to "Casa Cenote" (aka Manatee Cenote)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqo2ThSk_3Q

Southern California
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7. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

Casa Cenote also has a very nice Sunday BBQ, ate there this last May and had great tender brisket and ribs, along with beans and broccoli slaw (so yummy) and french bread, 170 pesos.

8. Re: Cenote advice for family staying in Solimon Bay?

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