Cascades of Aktun-Chen

  • 20 October 2015 00:00:00
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The world of mysteries

If you are longing for new unforgettable impressions, you should definitely try caving in Mexico! Imagine that you are roaming in the depth of an ancient cave, gloomy and eerie, full of enigmatic stone sculptures and vague echoes. Life here runs quietly and slowly, following its own unhurried pace. You can easily lose track of time wandering along endless underground passages and gazing at spectacular cave sceneries that unfold before your eyes. Ghostly visions of stalactites and stalagmites, majestic columns and arches shimmering in the darkness join into a breathtaking landscape the likes of which you will never see on the earth surface. One of such formations is called cascade. Let’s find out a bit more about it.

​Cascades: what are they and how are they formed?

·         You might not realize it, but the Yucatan Peninsula is actually a former coral reef laid bare during the Ice Age, with a porous limestone platform hidden underneath a layer of soil.

·         When it rains, limestone easily gets dissolved by acidic rainwater which seeps underground carrying mineral particles into the cave.

·         Cascades appear around large crevices where water runs down the cave walls rather than trickles or drips. Once it comes into contact with dry air, dissolved calcite hardens again mounting in layers that resemble draperies or curtains.

·         There are cascades of different size and thickness. They can even vary in color! Depending on the mineral composition of the soil, you can see cascades with a tint of grey, brown, or white.

·         Although cascades may seem very sturdy to you, they are actually rather fragile and can be broken even simply by touching them. Keep that in mind while caving and try not to do any damage to cave landscape!

Venture underground!

You can read a book about cascades and flip through hundreds of photos, but it’s way better to see them with your own eyes! With an immense number of caves on Yucatan waiting to be explored, it shouldn’t be a problem! You can start by visiting our fabulous eco park that boasts one of the oldest caves in Mexico. This 5 million year old grotto contains a rich array of amazing underground formations, including cascades. Although the cave is pretty long (about 700 yards), all of its passages are perfectly walkable, so you won’t need any special caving equipment. When you’re done with the dry part, you can take a refreshing bath in a beautiful cenote, a gateway to the Underworld and home to rain spirits according to Mayan legends. Snorkeling among its ancient rocks, with swarms of nimble fish circling at arm’s length and timid shrimps hiding in the cracks, is a truly unforgettable experience! Discover a whole new world lying beneath the earth surface and feel the spirit of long by-gone times in the Aktun-Chen cave!

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