Just like Dos Ojos, Yal Ku is a magnificent Mexican cenote – a natural pool of groundwater exposed over time from the collapse of limestone bedrock. Whereas Dos Ojos was formed mostly underground, Yal Ku formed a massive open-air lagoon, stretching out to the sea.

Yal Ku was one of our first tastes of real Mexico after venturing out from the hotel. The beauty and history steeped in these natural phenomenons is incredible. It also played host to our first experiment with underwater photography and modelling. Needless to say we learnt a lot of lessons very quickly in the cool water – which I’ll write about in another blog soon.

As the fresh water mixed with sea water, the visibility and taste left a lot to be desired. But I was just ecstatic to see my new camera bone dry in it’s new Outex housing. Beautiful little fish were everywhere, except around Kristina sadly. I had really hoped for a picture of her surrounded by them.

Kristina was an absolute champion. For her first foray into underwater modelling, she did amazingly. We were able to take everything we learnt to Dos Ojos a few days later, and absolutely nail my favourite shoot ever. Her ideas and energy were electric!

It didn’t take long for us to grow tired of shivering and repeatedly diving under the surface however. We ambled along a windy road, in the right direction most of the time, to a bar we had seen on our way in. It served the most amazing cocktails and dishes, with the hammocks and pirate decor facing the most beautiful sunset. You could even dine from a tiny treehouse if you were brave enough, and have your food delivered by a bucket on string. If you ever find yourself in the Riviera Maya, check out La Buena Vida!


Matthew Thompson – photographer
Kristina Nikitina – model, makeup & styling