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Camping with kids at Cenote Maní-Chan

09 may 2023
4 min. de lectura

Grutas en Cenote Maní-Chan by Monica StarlingNestled in a jungle near Homún, a family-owned cenote rests beneath a natural oasis of grass, pathways, and trees. My daughter’s preschool class had been looking for a campsite alternative to our regular beach place, and after returning twice already, it’s safe to say we found one. The campsite is extensive enough to keep the little ones entertained, yet small enough to keep them in view (after reminding them not to wander off into the cave or woods, of course).


There’s a bathroom on top of a hill, a clearance to make a campfire, and a kitchen that offers meals. Maya ornaments and potted plants decorate the place and give it a playful charm that hints at the stories, adventures, and magic that’s yet to come.   


My nine-year-old wanted to explore the cave right away. Its opening leads into the crystal-clear waters of Cenote Maní-Chan, just steps away from where we were setting up our tent. The cave was easy enough for my six-year-old to navigate, and I imagine that on the hottest day, we would have gone back and forth more frequently between the refreshing cool waters and warm hammock breeze.   


There are two larger cenotes nearby that can either be walked to by nature trail, or driven to by guided cart. Cenote Clotilde is semi-open to the sky, and Cenote Caliskutz is completely enclosed by stone. We ended up walking to the closed cenote where we enjoyed a refreshing swim and the big kids could climb on the rock formations. The wooden stairs can be challenging with small children, so be ready to help them. Life jackets are available on site.


We ordered a delicious Poc Chuc meal for dinner, and as the night drew on and the adults took too long talking, our marshmallow-hungry kids rounded up some campground hosts to help them build a campfire. We learned that the friendliness of the family working there comes from a love for their land and a pride in their project. They answered our questions with stories that made us want to hear more.  


After the lights were turned out and the workers had gone home, all that was left were lanterns, a full moon, and the stars. Imaginations are bigger at night, and even my nine-year-old found herself believing in the Aluxes (mischievous mythical beings made of wind) they’d told her about that day. A huddle of pajamas moved about, looking for flower petals and stones and other such gifts to leave behind for their invisible friends. At midnight, we finally got them back to their tents, until the morning would bring new adventures.


Homún, Yucatán

Cel. 999 420 4852

IG: @cenote_mani_chan

FB: Cenote Maní-Chan

Mon.- Sun. 8 am - 6 pm Camping (includes 2 cenotes): $200 pesos 2 cenotes : $150 pesos  3 cenotes: $250 pesos 

Olivia Camarena Cervera

Author: Olivia Camarena Cervera

Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.

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