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HOMUN CENOTES

From Merida Mexico

Day 18 -Tuesday, February 20, 2018. After enjoying another hand-delivered Airbnb breakfast, and feeling better about my ailing feet, we departed for the Cenotes de Homun. Knowing Homun was only 3 kilometers from Cuzama, we took a bus with Centro (city center) on its windshield to get close to the Noreste bus terminal where the Cuzama colectivo parks. We knew we would find the Homun colectivo in the same area. Sure enough, the Homun promoter immediately recognized us with a big smile and confirmed it was the Cenotes de Homun he was indeed pitching.

Homun tour package is $300 Pesos ($15.65 USD) and promises to visit five different cenotes including a chicken or pork supper at the family restaurant, Las Palmas, at the end of the tour. His friendly son (all of 15 years old) would be our moto-taxi driver and guide. Entrance fees are separate and paid at each cenote. I showed him my list of cenotes recommended from Yucatan Today magazine, and they matched up with his list. The colectivo is $30 Pesos each ($1.57 USD), and within fifteen minutes, the van was full and ready for the hour drive to the to the Homun.

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Moto-Taxis at Homun

from Merida Mexico

The smiling Homun promoter made sure we got off at the right place – right in front of his small family restaurant, Las Palmas, where our moto-taxi was waiting. His young and friendly son proceeded to take us on a wild bone-jarring ride several kilometers down a rock-strewn country path to the first two cenotes - we loved it! Halfway it rained hard with a driving wind. The small canopy over the moto-taxi does not provide much shelter. Thankfully, it was a warm rain and didn’t last more than five minutes. Although his dad spoke some English, our young driver didn’t know any English, and we didn't know much Spanish. No worries, we relied on lots of hand gestures, head nods, smiles, and the Google Translator app. It was great fun.

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#1. Santa Maria

Touring the Five Cenotes de Homun

Santa Maria Admission -  $30 pesos.
The Santa Maria cenote turned out to be an adventure trek into a beautiful cave filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and narrow entrances. The interior environment was warm and humid. (I did think of the Mayan women making sisal hats). After a bit of traveling under and around, we arrived at a small cenote with a bright blue pool to dip into. It was mesmerizing and photogenic, but we passed on swimming in this one. Our young guide seemed to promise bigger cenotes ahead.

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#2. Yaxbacaltun

Touring the Five Cenotes de Homun

Yaxbacaltun (ya-bahk-al-toon). Admission - $50 Pesos ($2.61 USD).
Our young tour guide was right, the Yaxbacaltun cenote was incredible. We took a stairway 30’ down through a small hole in the ground where a gigantic Alamo tree was also growing. About a third of the way down the ladder, the entrance opened up into a vast cavern with large formations. We landed on a large wooden platform in the middle of the water where a swing rope dropped you into the deepest part of the jewel-colored water. Snorkeling was hypnotic. Yes, we enjoyed swimming and rope-swinging in this cenote for a long time.

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#3. Bal-Min

Touring the Five Cenotes de Homun

Bal-Min (bahl-min) admission was $50 Pesos ($2.61 USD). The Bal-Min cenote was another small cave with a sturdy set of stairs and just big enough to accommodate another large Alamo tree. We landed on a large island in the middle of the cenote. This cenote had beautiful cave formations that provided great snorkeling.

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#4. Tza-Unjun-Kat

Touring the Five Cenotes de Homun

Tza-Ujun-Kat (Ta OoHoon Cot). Admission was $50 Pesos ($2.61 USD).

This cenote was my favorite although Yaxbacaltun with its swing rope was a very close second. The underwater formations were mesmerizing and we spent a long time exploring all of its nooks and crannies. 

 

Las Palmas Family Restaurant

Homun Mexico

Our young guide also brought along a mask and snorkel and enjoyed snorkeling as much as we did. It got late, so we decided to pass on the visit to the last cenote, Santa Rosa, which turned out to be unfortunate.

 

Back at his father's restaurant, Las Palmas, we were ready to eat. The restaurant was just a couple of plastic table and chairs under a canopy in front of their house. The Mrs did the cooking, and the husband (our driver) was the waiter. The food was awesome. We started with a bowl of excellent chicken soup filled with bow-tie pasta, carrots, and other veggies. Next, we each got a charbroiled half chicken on a bed of rice with vegetables and shredded lettuce. On the side, 20 hot tortillas and a strange but delicious spicy sauce. We wrapped the rice, lettuce, and a few drops of hot sauce up in the tortillas and took one bite of the tortilla and one of the chicken. It was delicious.

$700 Pesos ($43 USD)

Total Cost for Homun Day Trip

The cost: $120 pesos for the colectivo to and from Homun. $230 pesos for admission fees into the cenotes. $300 pesos for the bone-crunching ride to the cenotes plus the dinner. $50 peso tip for our 50-year-old guide. Total: $700 pesos ($43 US). Not bad for another spectacular day.

When we returned to Merida, we walked through the wild and chaotic market to reach the bus stand to catch the Carranza metro bus to return to the Airbnb. Sadly, Wanda’s laptop screen started to go erratic. That will make journaling our trip difficult.