Where the eye can’t reach
Deep below the earth surface, there is a whole different world, exciting and mysterious. It is the world of caves and caverns, underground lakes and rivers, amazing plants and weird animals. Today we will venture into one of the oldest and most spectacular caves in Mexico – the cenote of Aktun-Chen, a magnificent Mayan sanctuary and the jewel of our natural park
. But first some information on what cenote is and how it is formed.
The birth of a wonder
‘Cenote’ is actually a Mayan word that refers to any subterranean chamber filled with water. It appears when the cave ceiling collapses forming a natural shaft opening outside. Some cenotes are simply vertical sinkholes with no underground entrance, others belong to bigger cave systems and can be accessed from below. The Aktun-Chen cenote lies in the heart of a beautiful cave situated in our park
. Let’s go back in time and find out how it was born.
· Long before the first human set foot here, the Yucatan peninsula was part of a giant ocean reef covered by several feet of water. It all changed during the Ice Age when the ocean level dropped drastically laying the reef bare. Over the years, the coral died and was swallowed by jungle.
· Because of its porous structure, the platform of the perished reef was strongly affected by forces of nature resulting in the formation of the so-called ‘solution’ caves. They emerged where the alkaline limestone was dissolved by acidic rainfall. As the limestone grew thinner, a great number of the caverns collapsed.
· Eventually, the Ice Age ended causing the meltdown of the glaciers and the rise of the ocean level. The coming water flooded the caves turning them into cenotes as we know them now.
An adventure you can’t miss!
Being the only source of water in the heat of the jungle, cenotes had a sacred status in the Ancient Mayan culture. The Mayans believed them to connect our world with the invisible spirit realm hidden underground. You don’t have to be one of them to feel awed by this incredible place! Sparkling mesmerizingly in the bright tropical sun peeping through the cave vault, the emerald cenote of Aktun-Chen
is sure to take your breath away! It looks just like in one of our underwater photos
: blue, green and silver in a swirl of dazzling flashes, crystal clear down to the last crack in the bottom and irresistibly fresh, calling for you to take a dip… You can dive into its chilly embrace and explore its deepest corners equipped with a snorkel and a camera to take some underwater photos of your own! Don’t miss such a splendid opportunity! 40 feet of true adventure are waiting for you in the Aktun-Chen park!
At the natural park Aktun-Chen, we are always happy to welcome guests from all over the world. We try to make your every visit memorable, so we carefully monitor the park’s condition and try to bring something new to the touristic amusements every year.
Perhaps, you have already taken a tour around the unique underground caves of the park, among stalactites, stalagmites and precious natural lakes. In Spanish, they are called cenotes, which means "wells." They can be found only in Mexico. Cenotes appear because of loose limestone soil subsidence. Over time, the bottom of such caves gets filled with water and transforms into a unique natural attraction. They look very mysterious. Actually, when the Maya used to live here, they believed that these reservoirs serve as gates to the reign of the dead.
The emerald cenote of Aktun-Chen is one of the most beautiful on the entire peninsula. It is definitely worth seeing at least once in a lifetime!
Today, our tourists are happy to visit and explore the cenotes. We recently made a big renovation: we have conducted the evaluation of the caves’ ecosystem welfare and checked the safety of the touristic paths. Now the underground grotto tours will be even more comfortable!
To admire the beauty of the updated caves, you do not need to wait for the summer. Mexico has a holiday season all year round. Come here to enjoy the local unique culture, food and, of course, nature in the park Aktun-Chen. Photos cannot convey all the beauty of the Mexican cenotes!