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HomeTravelA place to go: Tulum, Mexico

A place to go: Tulum, Mexico

Imagine an escape, a place where species from all times would overlap in the current day. In a place where fears seem small and horror stories are nothing but a bedtime treat—Alex Agisilaou was looking to leave areas congested with social media presence and tourism traps. He wanted to find an adventure outside of the usual scope of Cancun, Mexico and took a trip to the intriguing Tulum, Mexico instead. 

Agisilaou would immerse himself in what past visitors described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The name Pet Cemetary reminds a select few of the famed Stephen King novel, while the location gives an edginess that would often get portrayed in the movies of Tim Burton. 

Being a natural-born adventurer, Agisilaou used the website AtlasObscura like he does for most of his trips and thought he would be swimming with the fossilized bones in the water. That was not the case. He was only underwhelmed because he thought there would be many more bones to see. 

One would think that an ancient animal burial ground has the potential to breed negative energy. However, due to the limited amount of fossils Agisilaou saw after not being able to dive, he said ‘No’ definitively, further emphasizing the need for a diving certification to see the entire graveyard.

The Pet Cemetary is a place for people to go who want to get off the beaten down-tourist paths; it is open every day except Sunday and only costs USD 25. They offer both snorkeling and diving. With nothing but a short dock to help divers in and out, everyone entering will have to swim. Those who fear water might try to avoid this endeavor as the Cemetary is an underwater lake.

Before going into this cenote, visitors will get a crash course about the dos and don’ts of the Pet Cemetary. During your debriefing, you will get asked to take a shower before heading into the depths of the experience. The shower is necessary because of the ever-growing stalagmites that are a significant feature of the experience. The stalagmites were discovered during the 80s and are said to stop growing if any oils from your hand were to touch them. Agisilaou admitted to breaking a stalagmite during his time in the Cemetary with a devious smirk.

The Cemetary is a particular type of cave known as a Cenote; each one is a sinkhole that receives rainwater pile-ups over years that cause the formation of underground lakes and rivers that most of the time you can swim in. After discovering the extraordinary cenote, scientists concluded that the sinkhole was used as a disposal pit long ago before the water table rose and flooded the animals’ mass graves after finding fossils of animals that have been extinct for thousands of years.

Your trek to the Cemetary is one drive away from Tulum. Agisilaou said that he had to drive on a dirt road to get there, “Getting 15 mins into the first road through the jungle, all you see are iguanas and animals around in the jungle.”, he went on to explain the animals he passed with a smile in his eyes. 

Group instructors advise divers to take caution and avoid bumping into the rocks as little as possible. They also emphasize the importance of sticking with a buddy, as did Agisilaou in his interview, saying that the severe darkness mixed with the likeliness of getting lost is a recipe for disaster. The river system that the Pet Cemetary is connected to consists of 800 caves, some of which have yet to be explored. It also has little crevices that make it very easy to get stuck in. It is required to be certified to dive here.

The water is immaculately clear, with one of the few marine lives inside being blind fish. As you float through millions of years of history in the dark, think about the feelings brought to light. Introspection is the main feature of this continuous Cenote experience.



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