Cenote Jardin del Eden in the Riviera Maya

"Mommy, PLEEEEASE let me jump from the tree, PLEASE!"

Max looking on enviously at the girl in the tree

Uhhh, no. I rarely stop Max from doing something adventurous, but as the cliff was over 4 meters high and the tree added at least another 2, I felt it was my motherly duty to say "no" to a 6 meter leap into a cenote. I love that he is daring (like his mom), but I suppose I have to draw the line somewhere (don't I?).



To his credit, he accepted the "no" with only a minor grumble and proceeded to jump from the cliff. Over and over and over again. People were lined up on the top to take their turn, many hesitating for a long time, some deciding they did not have the courage. Max embarrassed a few "chickens" into making the jump, their friends mocking them saying "The little kid has done it a hundred times, just do it once!"

Playing with the new camera, the "Half in, Half Out" shot

Gorgeous fishies (though they tend to fight!)

I made my leap, then donned my mask and snorkel and proceeded to take a few vueltas around the cenote. Jardin del Eden is one of the prettiest cenotes I've seen, an open cenote with gorgeous underwater rock formations that make it seem like you are looking at the surface of the moon. The fish life is abundant here, not just the little toe nippers and catfish I've seen at other cenotes, but some multi-coloured beauties with big back fins that fan out when they fight with each other, neon yellow plant eaters, tiger-striped bottom dwellers and a plethora of others. We witnessed a cave diving lesson in the open part of cenote, the guide-lines laid out on the bottom teaching the student how to navigate. There are caves leading off from this cenote, I've seen divers appear out of nowhere from openings you cannot see from the surface. The area around the cenote is green and lush, clean and well kept with a couple of palapas set up with tables and chairs, a few hammocks strung around and BIG iguanas who are not shy about approaching humans who are eating and begging for bread.

Max the dolphin

Torpedo Mike

We spent the whole day jumping, snorkeling, swimming, diving deep, reading under the palapa and experimenting with the new camera. I'm learning what works and what doesn't with the new toy (Nikon Coolpix AW100), overall I am really happy with it, just have to nail down my own techniques. Don't move too fast while shooting video, get as close to your subject as possible underwater (sediment interferes big time) and just shoot shoot shoot, something good will eventually pop out. Max and Mike are super models (fierce!) underwater, you would almost think they have gills. Actually, I'm pretty sure Max is growing some, he's happier in the water than out. Just like his Ma.

(Cenote Jardin del Eden is located exactly 100 kms south of Cancun, just a little north of Playa Xpu Ha. The entrance fee is 50 pesos adults, 35 pesos children, open from 7 am to 5 pm, closed on Saturdays. No alcohol allowed, bring your own food and beverages, there are no concessions here. Get there early, once the crowds arrive, the sediment gets stirred up a bit. Please do your part in keeping the cenote and area clean, don't litter, don't damage the plants or interfere with the wildlife! Do NOT wear sunblock or bug repellant, it's really not necessary and can really harm the environment.)


Comments

Kristin Busse said…
Love the pictures! Can't wait to go. Glad you had a nice day. xo
KfromMichigan said…
Great photos! I think you are learning fast.
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