Yucatan Cenotes and Cave Diving
Yucatan cenotes are the premier destination for fun and cave diving. Most of the Cenotes in the state of Yucatan have had little thorough exploration and mapping while the extensive sub-terranian network of the Mayan Riviera, the name used for the coastline in the state of Quintana Roo, has had extensive exploration since the beginning of the industry in 1980.
This system is found in a 10 kilometer area inland from the Caribbean coast stretching from Cancun south through the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve down to the city of Chetumal.
For cave diving Yucatan is the premier destination. Known for its cenotes, any opening in the limestone allowing access to underground water, Yucatan has a vast number, numbering in the 100’s if not 1000’s.
These cenotes have been the only sources of water in the Yucatan for millennia since there are literally no surface rivers to be found in Yucatan due to its limestone karst.
Cenotes are formed from underground rivers and through the millenniums surface water erodes and weakens the ceilings of caves, themselves formed by water erosion, thereby causing the ceiling to collapse and expose the underground river to the surface.
These openings have served both humans and wildlife as the prime source of fresh water in the Yucatan and you will usually find Mayan ruins, villages, towns and/or cities built around these geological formations.
Yucatan cenote and cave diving affords the cave diver the opportunity to experience a multitude of underwater formations and an underwater world that was formed through various stages of flooding and dry stages allowing for beautiful formations including stalagmites, stalactites.
These stages of flooding and drying out were caused by the rising and lowering of the seas through the millennia.
These underwater environments are extremely fragile and delicate and great care must be taken not to break these structures nor disturb it.
Divers follow lines that have been laid by fellow divers. Swimming through these caverns where only a very few men have ever been is truly a unique adventure.
Additionally, Yucatan cenotes diving can be extremely dangerous and must only be undertaken after obtaining training and experience with qualified dive instructors. There currently exists many diving tour operators in the Mayan Riviera area. This experience is for the elite diver. But with the risk comes great gains.
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