Merida was incredibly hot when I was there so I decided to do one of the half day optionals that included swimming in something called a Cenotes. A Cenotes is basically like an underground cave with water which ended up being quite breathtaking and a great way to escape the heat :-). I have uploaded a few pictures here
. The interesting thing about this particular optional was how we ended up getting to these three Cenotes. It started out with an everyday van ride to a remote town outside Merida which took the better part of an hour to get there. Then we took some motorbike taxis with a cart that is capable of holding generally two and sometimes up to four people. This was really a short part of the trip but was a lot of fun. These little bikes were able to get up to pretty decent speeds and brought us to a little out of the way village which has a horse and carriage ride to each of the cenotes. Now this is not your typical horse ride. Four people can go into each cart/carriage and they all are simply lifted onto a very small railroad track (probably two feed wide) and pulled by a horse not probably the size of a pony. This series of things really made this optional quite the adventure to get to. Once we got to the Cenotes they were so cool, refreshing and beautiful that we all wanted to stay there all day. Only one of the Cenotes looked kind of dangerous at first but was easily the most breathtaking. It started out looking like a giant hole with a rickety looking ladder going way down, but once you got there it was really amazing. The pictures shown in the above link should give you some idea. Please note that I didn't take a lot of pictures as my camera is not waterproof so I copied a few pictures off of a friend.