Cenote Sac Actun is the longest underground river system in the world and we recently swam through it. Part of it. A tiny little part of it. And by “swam” I really mean “doggy paddled while wearing life jackets”. Whatever, we floated and snorkeled through an underground world and it was fantastic!

Cenote Sac Actun Entrance
The entrance. There better be something good down here

Located deep in the jungle outside of Tulum, Cenote Sac Actun is also known as the Pet Cemetery due to the enormous amounts of fossilized animal skeletons found in the caves during their exploration. Difficult to get to and accessed via a ladder in what appears to be an old well, this cave system is not very well known outside of the cave diving community. We’ve been told that most people stick to the more accessible cenotes such as Dos Ojos or Cenote Eden and for the most part Sac Actun is largely left alone. True to it’s reputation, we saw no one other than a couple of cave divers suiting up on the surface and the denizens of the dark – some bats and a few pale little fish.

Cenote Sac Actun
I thought Lord of the Rings was fiction until I heard “Precioussss” echo out of the dark

We spent a wonderful day exploring the interlocking caves, caverns and their connecting streams all without really leaving the water. It’s not hard to understand why these places were (and continue to be) so special to the Maya people not just as a life giving source of freshwater but also as incredibly important spiritual places. We found some truly breathtaking spots but rather than try to adequately describe Sac Actun I’d rather just let the video below do the talking.

Deidre and I both experienced a bit of an epiphany in this incredible place, something along the line of,”Wow, this is really my life and this is what I now do on Sundays.” ¬†Well, at least until football season starts.

UPDATE: As of 2/17/17 only guided tours are offered at a cost of approximately $30 US a person which includes snorkel, mask and life vest.