Mexico Underground River & Underwater Adventures Article
Mexico underground river & underwater adventures in Cancun & the Riviera Maya, Yucatán Peninsula
Mexico underground river & underwater adventure article written by Travel Writer Linda Jackson, Editor Active Caribbean
Enjoy this introduction to magical Mexico undergound river and underwater adventures. A few “must-do” underworld Mexico vacation adventures and activities to discover…
Cancun Underwater Sculpture Museum
Underwater naturalist, fully qualified diving instructor, award-winning underwater photographer, and sculptor extraordinaire, Jason de Caires Taylor has created considerable waves of interest in his art in the Caribbean. It’s like no other… it’s surreal, unique… he creatively transforms passive entities into extraordinary reefs bursting with vibrant life.
Located off the Cancun coast, in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, internationally acclaimed sculptor Taylor has submerged 500 life-size figurative sculptures – known as the Museo Subacuá de Arte (MUSA), dramatic works of art that showcase our underwater world, so naturally beautiful and so often not appreciated to the full. Taylor’s ‘living’ works of art have a mysterious air, they act as artificial reefs attracting not only corals and fish but tourists too – cunningly luring tourists away from the Caribbean’s delicate natural reefs which, in turn, gives the reefs valuable breathing space in order to rejuvenate.
These works of art, weighing more than 200 tons are divided into two different galleries and located in the waters around Cancun, Punta Nizuc and Isla Mujeres. They spread over approximately 420 square meters. One gallery sits at between 6m and 8m deep (suitable for both snorkelling and diving) and the other at just 4m deep (snorkelling only allowed). The sculptures collection, called the “Silent Evolution”, are constructed from materials which boost marine life and the local eco-system. Tours are available to see the sculptures – transport to the diving/snorkelling spot is by speed boat. Snorkelling above and diving amongst these underwater sculptures is surreal – the sculptures apparently resemble people from a local fishing community: they also include a man sitting at a desk, his dog at his feet; a young girl looking up at the surface of the water, and six men with their heads buried in the sand.
English-Guyanese Jason de Caires Taylor (born 1974) graduated from the London Institute of Arts with a BA Hons in Sculpture and, in 2006, founded and created the first underwater sculpture park in the world – in the Caribbean – off the west coast of Grenada. Soon to follow, in 2009, were his 500 sculptures which were submerged off the Yucatan Pensinsula (Cancun coast) and then in 2014 he placed a 60-ton sculpture, “Ocean Atlas” – which is five meters high – in the waters of the Bahamas. Taylor is currently in the Canary Islands working on another underwater creation.
Exploring the Cancun reefs with BOB
Another Cancun underwater adventure is by BOB – a breathing observation bubble. Can you imagine scooting around the Cancun reefs in a personal mini-submarine? Sounds fun doesn’t it. The electrically-propelled “scooter” apparently dives to depths up to 24ft and allows riders to experience scuba diving WITHOUT actually scuba diving!
Underwater tour of the Cozumel Barrier Reef
The world’s second largest barrier reef lies off the coast of Cozumel – it’s an underwater paradise for divers. But non-divers needn’t despair as the coral reefs can still be seen looking through the large portholes of a 48-seater submarine which submerges to depths of nearly 100ft.
Mexico underground river – Cenotes – the secret Mayan underworld
Cenotes, natural sink holes, are numerous in the north and northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula – they are formed by the collapse of the limestone. The fresh water in the cave cenotes is crystal clear and pure, having been systematically clarified by the earth. Always present as a reliable source of water during droughts, the Yucatan cenotes were revered by the Mayans who believed they were a gateway to the gods.
Many of the large cave cenotes are open to tourists (who must be accompanied by a qualified guide): some of them are absolutely spectacular with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. There are networks of caverns, the cave floor can be uneven, and in places tree roots have burst through the cave ceiling. Swimming is necessary on some tours and overhead clearance through the caverns can be as little as a few inches. At well-organized Rio Secreto – a spectacular Mexico underground river – after a safety briefing and donning the provided wetsuit, water shoes, hard hat with flash lamp, and life vest – visitors venture deep into the caves, walk down narrow paths, swim through turquoise waters, see stunning stalactites and stalagmites, and experience what pitch black really is.
Mexico underground river adventure – a magical underworld
While Cancun and the Riviera Maya have a plethora of attractions above ground, exploring the Yucatan Peninsula’s magical underworld as well as its surreal underwater attractions should not be missed – they offer extraordinary sights, amazing experiences, and truly memorable Caribbean adventures.
Images on this page are copyright of www.linda-jackson.co.uk, Rio Secreto