Fifty years ago, traveling the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula required a machete and a strong sense of adventure. Today, the coastal region boasts luxurious and very civilized ammenities.
But if you venture into the jungle on the inland side of the highway, you will discover a world that has changed little since the time of the Mayan Empire. This is the realm of the cenote, a geological feature that has brought the Riviera Maya world renown.
Cave divers were the first to visit the cenotes of the Yucatan, These crystal-clear pools of water were discovered deep in the jungle and provided cave divers with a liquid portal to an amazing underworld.
It wasn't long, however, before they realized that the unique nature of these giant, overhanging caverns would allow open-water divers to experience the majesty of the aquatic underground, without ever losing sight of daylight through cavern openings.
For those who do crave a taste of salt, operators big and small offer trips to the fringing reefs and walls that stretch northward from the ancient splendor of Tulum to the modern marvels of Cancun. The realm of available diving adventures ranges from beginner-friendly trips to the protected waters of Isla Mujeres marine park to encounters with pelagic predators and whale sharks on off shore banks.
In this land of contrasts, nature holds its own against the civilized world.
For More Information
Rivera Maya Adventuras
Abyss Dive Center
Blue Parrot Hotel and Beach Bar