There’s so much outdoor swimming to be had in Chiapas that I´m becoming quite the connaisseur(e?) of southern Mexico’s waterfalls, rivers, cenotes and lakes. And a few beaches. So much so that I’m hereby inaugurating the tag Swim Review!
This is in spite of not being an enthusiastic fan of swimming*, but my partner’s merman-like draw to the water drags me in as well, and most of the daytrips from where we live involve the boardshorts and bikini. The latest excursion, and the most pleasant for some time, was Chukumaltic cenote near Comitan and the other wildwater sweet spot, waterfall El Chiflón.
Chukumaltic is a cenote, but different from the ones on the Yucatán peninsula where they tend to be small and often deep and cave-like. This one is in Chiapas, within easy reach of San Cristóbal and even closer to Comitán, and is big and round as a European pond. But it’s Mexican-geology-deep like the lakes at Montebello – someone said 80 meters and I believe it. The water is clear and cold and the depth teases your sense of bravery, daring you to put on goggles as you’re floating in the middle and look down, and refrain from thinking about sharks and krakens. That said, if you manage to ignore the pull of the depths, you can treat it as a delightful swimming pool and do laps until you ache – the water is perfectly calm, there’s a lovely view of the edges of the cenote and the trees and birds, and it’s a good size, about 150 meters in diameter, so you can get up to speed without bumping your nose on the edge. The downside is that there’s only a small amount of space to leave your things – if a few other parties got there before you, you’ll have to balance yourself and your stuff on rocks an din bushes.
*You get wet. It’s hard work getting to the water and then there’s waves, or mud, or currents, or swimming dogs, or lots of picnickers, or shouting boat thugs, or rocks, or batshit, or swindling panicking depths. And when you get to a calm body of water and try to do exercise by swimming laps it’s so boring you might as well drown yourself.