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“A different way to spend the day”

Ranked #13 of 41 Tours in Merida
Attraction details
Saxtons River, Vermont
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A different way to spend the day”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

This place might be hard to find. If you can get to Cuzama, you need to drive south out of the village and as has been noted watch for the groups waving flags. The red flag group is first and they want you to pull over to the right, ignore them. The next group, yellow flags I think, are past the red flag group waving at you to come to them. That is the group you want. When you get to this group they will describe how you have to drive another mile or so and you come to a small village (you will have seen the small train tracks for some time now), someone will wave where to park and another will appear to be your trolley driver. A horse will be hitched to the trolley, you climb aboard and are off. It takes perhaps 10 minutes to get to the first cenote. Each cenote is nice, the third one is the most challenging to climb down into (worth it!). The second one may be most challenging to get out from the water. This trip is not for the squeamish or for people who are claustrophobic. Also, your enjoyment of the pools may be affected by how many people are using them at the time you appear, we had one pool essentially to ourselves and another so crowded we decided not to jump in (two out of three was fine for us). There are bathrooms at two of the cenotes, but no water was running and the toilet not usable at the first one (the other bathroom was fine). You pay at the end of the trip. I think we paid around $20 with a tip. The horses appeared to be treated OK, they did have to trot along to pull the trolley but there was no whipping by our driver. I did not see our horse get fed or watered, but there did appear to be some water available for horses at one or more of the stops. The trolleys are light, the driver lifts them off the track when a trolley coming the other way has to get by.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank VT_Herring_Hill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vermont
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good day trip; some things to beware of”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I agree with the other reviews. I am writing to note a couple of possible issues with the tour. We went with a company called Maya Era. We signed up for it at the main square in Merida. It turned out that the tour was in Spanish. That was our problem, because we didn't think to ask when we signed up. The co-tour guide said he would catch us up on the narration, but I guess he lost interest, because he never did. It was a great group of people, and fortunately my wife speaks a little Spanish. The second point was that on the way to Cuzama, the tour guides attempted to enlist us for a side trip at the end of the day to Izamal. The pitch was that the restaurant in Cuzama was very busy and we would have to wait a long time, and so the 45 minutes additional driving (and back? not sure) would just have been spent waiting in line. Only problem: there was no one else, literally, at the restaurant in Cuzama, and the food was great. He also failed to mention that there would be an additional cost for the side trip. Fortunately, another member of the group needed to get back to Merida, so the side trip was nixed (although the co-guide seemed a little miffed). It would have been interesting to see Izamal, but it is a long day already to do the 3 cenotes, and if some people wanted to go and others not, it doesn't seem fair to announce the plan after the trip has started. Some things I liked about Maya Era was that they provided life vests (nice for just floating about and looking up at the ceiling) and snorkles (but probably not sanitized, so you take your chances).

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank VermontDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Freakin' Fabulous Fun!”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Travel by small horse drawn carts on a two hundred year old dusty track to three underground caves to swim in extremely deep, cool, crystal clear water. The cenotes are on an old agave plantation and the railroad transported product. The first cenote is the largest and has a step wooden staircase. Entrance to the waters are on slippery rocks. People who needed life vests brought their own. The second cenote is smaller with an even steeper staircase and swimmers either jump 10 feet into the water or enter on slippery steep rocks using a rope. The third cenote is entered by what looks to be a well-sized hole. Swimmers climb 20ft down a ladder into total darkness. Once in, there is some light from a hole in the roof of the cave. Bring your own tp and hand sanitizer because the bathrooms at the first cenote don't have paper or running water. The toilet at the second cenote was a spot behind a large tree.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Okiejer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“awsone!”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

3 sinkholes (cenotes) that are a natural beauty and the experience has no comparison.
Downfall is the ride with a cart pulled by a horse on a railroad.
It kills your back on the 3 hour experience you spend 1.5 hours on the cart.
This is not for little children the ladders are wet and steep and when swimming no place to sit or grab, you must be a decent swimmer.

The experience is unique, need to be there early in the morning as the railroad is for both directions.
This is a must go while in Merida.

Dinner at Hacienda Teya

Helpful?
1 Thank conchg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“First time Cenotes.”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Lovely experience, third cenote is our favorite, spectacular light beams breaking through the hanging roots, go there early, avoid the weekends (place is packed with locals and tourists alike. Will do this again next time in Yucatan.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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