Cenotes, caves and a 6 year old

Old Feb 18th, 2010, 01:46 PM
  #1  
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Cenotes, caves and a 6 year old

We would love to experience snorkeling in a cenote near Akumal that has some caves. Hidden Worlds looks wonderful, but our 6 year old is a bit of a fearful type, so I don't think it would work for us. Are there any places that are more low key, that wouldn't have extensive guided tours, so that my husband and older daughter could check out the caves, while my younger one could stay back with me, and then my husband and I could trade places? Or even a cave with an opening on one end, so it wouldn't seem so enclosed and spooky, but yet still be interesting?
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Old Feb 18th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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Xelha park has a swim-in cave with an opening on top; there's something similar at Xcaret. However, you do not want to be exploring cenotes on your own. Hidden Worlds was fairly straightforward, uneventful, and fun for my kids, but they were not "fearful"; maybe if you showed her pictures from the website of the tour, and prepared her? (Drive in, get wetsuits, climb down, swim around and through, then climb out...). I don't think the snorkeling within a cave is a big deal, frankly; not much to see except the rocks.
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Old Feb 18th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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And, I don't know why I translated your 6 yr old into 8 yr old, but not sure they even take kids that young at Hidden Worlds! sorry...(but I'm still thinking she'd love Xelha, regardless...)
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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Thanks, Sylvia3. We are thinking about going to Xelha, and I wasn't sure if there is a cave there, or not. Snorkeling in a cave looks like it would be kind of neat, but perhaps it is overrated. So many tourist attractions are.
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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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Look at the tours offered by James and Anna

http://www.playa.info/tours-anna-james-tulum.html

We did the Tulum tour and then went to the Gran cenote and the Azul Cenote. They were open and easily to get in and out off. There were several local chilren swimming in the Azul Cenote. Some of their tour do have an age restrictions, but I don't believe this one does.

I would also suggest Xcaret. They have an undergroud river. I don't beleive it would be scary for a 6 year old. There should be lots of people in it. They also have several lagoons for swimming, animals, and exhibits. If not too tired out stay for the night show. There is a Mayan ball game and then a dance show. Comes with or without dinner (extra cost)
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 05:23 AM
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Thanks, KVR - that's a great link. There are so many activities available in that area, it's hard to choose!
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 08:46 AM
  #7  
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I agree. That's why we keep going back. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 05:43 AM
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A follow up in case anyone find this in a search: We went to Gran Cenote, and it was just right for our needs. It's small enough so that my husband and I could trade places snorkeling with our 12 year old and staying back with our 6 year old (who decided snorkeling was not for her), but gave us a sample of snorkeling in a cave.

We also skipped Xel-ha and went to Yal-ku lagoon - cheaper, natural, no crowds, and lots of fish! Akumal Beach was also perfect - great snorkeling and a velvety-soft sand beach. We took taxi's and went on our own without booking tours. Had a great trip!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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I agree with Yal-ku lagoon. My six year old was telling anyone who would listen at the entrance how easy it was to snorkel there! Make sure you get a kids' snorkel vest at home before you go, they are inflatable so easily packable and they make it so easy. My six year old couldn't get the hang of the snorkel so she just had on the mask and came up for air. The eight year old got it though.

For Cenotes, I recommend the ones they have at Coba, or also the Casa Cenote but it's not underground.

You can read our trip report about our vacation with more info here: http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/...ucatan2009.htm
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for reporting back. So many people don't. Providing a report is really appreciated by the people who make suggestions. Glad you had a great trip.
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