The cenote of Aktun-Chen: take a bath underground

  • 08 March 2015 03:22:04
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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!
underwater photos, underwater photos blue
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