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The Path to Xibalbá: Cliff diving across the Yucatán Peninsula

Jonathan Paredes and Orlando Duque
Date: 19/02/2021

The magical sinkholes spread over the Yucatán Peninsula are the red thread on the pair's five-day journey from Mérida to Valladolid as Colombia's cliff diving legend Orlando Duque embarks on this trip with Jonathan Paredes. It was here that the 31-year-old Mexican launched into his professional career in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series back in 2011.

Their search leads them to a dozen of the most distinguished and magnificent cenotes of all different levels of difficulty and characteristics.

"Some years ago, we came here to compete in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and we always talked about coming back for a road trip and to explore the offerings of this amazing area," explains Duque, who topped the podium during Paredes's debut in 2011.

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Paredes leaps into a cenote during his diving road trip. Photo: Jose Duch/Red Bull Content Pool.

A place of inspiration for both divers, the return to cenote Ik Kil, where all three Mexican legs of the World Series took place to date, was genuinely meaningful for the 2017 World Series champion. "I finally fulfilled one of my dreams in the company of my best friend and came back to where it all started 10 years ago," said Paredes. "I hope this is the beginning of many more adventures yet to come."

During the trip, both athletes not only discovered new locations for diving, but were also introduced to the Mayan culture, its rituals, culinary art and traditional ball game.

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Experiencing some of the Mayan culture. Photo: Bruno Dimat/Red Bull Content Pool.

The achievements of this special journey were documented in a three-episode series for Red Bull TV, and they're all available to watch here now.

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