Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

Located outside the village of  Abalá, Kankirixche is a secluded cenote with a crystal-clear pool big enough for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Around midday, the sunlight reflects off the water, turning it a transparent, turquoise blue. 



One of the closest swimmable cenotes to Mérida, Xlakáh is tucked away on an archeological site dating back to Maya times. The pool sits at ground level and is exposed to the elements. One end has rocks that visitors can use for jumping into the deep water.

Santa Barbara Cenotes & Restaurant

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

Santa Barbara Cenotes & Restaurant is home to a couple of cenotes, reachable by a 10-minute bike ride. Clean, modern facilities, floatation devices and on-site lifeguards make this spot particularly suitable for kids or elderly visitors. 

For More History: Take a Day Trip

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

Located 80 kilometres south of Mérida, the UNESCO-listed ruins of Uxmal give an insight into what was one of the most powerful cities in the Yucatán Peninsula during the Maya empire. The well-preserved, 35-metre-high Pyramid of the Magician, the ornate Governor’s Palace and its large ball court were all estimated to have been built during Uxmal’s heyday between the 7th and 10th centuries. 

[This story appears in the February 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]