Cenotes Unlock the Secrets to Underwater Mayan Mysteries

Almost 15 years ago, a team of Mexican archaeologists found three human skeletons; one of them was carbon-dated to be 13,600 years old. In 2008, divers located the remains of a MASTODON as well as a human skull that might be the oldest evidence of early man in the region.

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MASTODON bones and ancient human skulls. What other secrets are down there?

 

Where did they find those ancient treasures? They found them, and much more, in cenotes.

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What are cenotes?

Cenotes (se NOH tays) are surface connections to underground bodies of water, and in the English-speaking world we know them as sinkholes. Ah, but they are so much more here in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Explore inner space…

There are an estimated 6000 cenotes in the entire Yucatan Peninsula, forming a vast underground network of caves, caverns and the source of much of the fresh water for the entire area.

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Some of the better known cenotes in our home state of Quintana Roo.

 

The best-known cenotes are large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter, such as at Chichén Itzá.

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Cenote Sagrado, the Sacred Cenote…at Chichen Itza an important body of water used for ceremonial rites

As far as swimming is concerned, cenote water is often very cool and clear, as the water comes from rain water filtering slowly through the ground, and where there is little or no direct access to sunlight. Some cenotes are open, where sections of cave roof have collapsed revealing an underlying cave system.

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Unlock the door to a whole new world…

 

There are four main different types of cenotes, named for their shapes.

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1. Jug or Pit cenotes are those with a surface connection narrower than the diameter of the water body, shaped like a bottle.

2. Cylinder cenotes are those with strictly vertical walls.

3. Basin cenotes are those with shallow water basins

4. Cave cenotes are those having a horizontal entrance with dry sections.

 

Take a Cenote Tour and Be Ready to Have Your Mind Blown

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The following tours have some stunning cenotes as one of their features. In some you can swim in, rappel into or just simply admire for their natural beauty.

1. Chichen Itzaalong with visiting one of the Seven Man-made Wonders of the World, visit the Cenote Sagrado and swim in nearby Ik Kil.

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Ik Kil, a stone’s throw from the Chichen Itza archaeological site.

 

2. Xenotes-from the same people who brought you Xcaret, Xenotes brings you four Cenote experiences, named for Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

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3. Coba Mayan EncounterYour unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track adventure tour then begins: exciting zip-line flying over a lagoon, rappelling down into an incredibly beautiful cenote where you can enjoy a refreshing swim before going up again.

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You can still climb the Nohoch Mul pyramid.

 

4. Akumal Snorkel Extreme TourTogether with your guide, fly above the trees of the Riviera Maya by zipline, snorkel at Akumal among turtles, fish and coral. Then rappel like an adventurer, and marvel as you make your way along the underground rivers of the Mayan cenotes.

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While white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters of Cancun and the Riviera Maya may have brought you here, the mysterious and stunning beauty of the jungle is what will stay with you forever. If you want to see, hear and feel what it was like to be in the Garden of Eden during your holiday, reserve a cenote tour today.

Click on the different cenotes tours above or click here to enjoy the highest quality affordable tours and excursions in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

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We are Ecotourism-Cancun, and we bring you ultimate vacation experiences in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the entire Mayan World.

 

 

Six Tips to Save Your Cancun & Riviera Maya Vacation!

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So you’ve booked your vacation to the Mexican Caribbean. You’ve scoured the Internet for information on the places you might be visiting while here, and that’s a great start. Here are a few tips to help make your holiday even better by saving you time, money and effort.

 

1. Bring biodegradable sunscreen to protect your skin and to protect the water.

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Fish, plants, people and other living creatures DEPEND on clean water. Using Biodegradable sunblock helps protect those water supplies.

 

Note: in some ares, like cenotes, sunblock is not permitted at all, as that water is a direct supply of drinking water for local Mayan communities.

 

2. Bring a hat, swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes, and extra water for trips to Mayan archaeological sites.

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Most archaeological sites are pretty far inland, very far from the sea breezes that keep us cool in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The humidity can get pretty high in some places, so dress accordingly.

You’ll be doing a good amount of walking at many sites, so bring sneakers or hiking shoes if you have them. Bring a swimsuit and maybe even a change of light clothing in case you can take a dip in a pool, cenote or stream to relieve yourself of the heat.

An extra bottle of water in a backpack can help protect against dehydration if you don’t have an adequate supply nearby. And remember, we can get sudden downpours, so one of those plastic rain ponchos in  your backpack could be a lifesaver.

 

3. Bring a camera, or charge your phone to 100%, or bring an extra charger, as you’ll want to record this place forever!
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A little preparation can go a long way on the day of your tour. You’ll be seeing and doing things you may never see or do again, so record them for posterity!

 

Some tours sell photos of your experience, but they can get pricey, so snap away. Cameras, especially flash, are not admitted in some areas and in some places, taking photos is prohibited altogether.  Always ask permission first.

 

Buying a waterproof camera or buying one of those plastic containers for your camera or phone might be a great idea to get stunning underwater shots and to protect your equipment!

 

4. Bring mosquito repellant in case the bugs are biting.
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 If you’re visiting an archaeological site or cenote or anywhere near the jungle or even the lagoon, a little container of insect repellant (biodegradable if you can find it) could save you some heartache.

 

The local brand to look for is called Autan, in case you can’t find Off! Also, don’t wear colognes or perfumes or heavily-scented lotions or creams so as to not attract unwanted critters.

 

5. Bring CASH for tips, photos and shopping.

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A lot of the places you’ll be visiting on your vacation are set up to receive credit and debit cards. That being said, there are remote places  on your tours where cash is the only acceptable currency. Bring pesos (like 100 U.S. worth or more if you need it) just in case.

 

Also, make sure to let your issuing banks back home know you’ll be on vacation in Mexico to avoid credit/debit card authorization issues.

 

As for shopping, if you’re out in a remote community, buy your travel souvenirs from local vendors. You’ll get good prices, and it provides a sustainable income for outlying communities that would otherwise affect local environments negatively.

 

6. Check with your tour provider or rep to be clear on ALL costs and services included and not included in your trip.

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Again, a little preparation goes a long way on vacation in a foreign country. Don’t assume things will be just like back home. You aren’t back home.

 

As about optional or extra costs, services or charges. For example, on boat trips, sometimes you may need to pay a dock or pier charge or tax, or a fee to local environmental authorities when visiting natural protected areas.

 

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These travel tips are brought to you by ecotourism-cancun.com your online home for tours, excursions and the best and most affordable vacation experiences during your holiday in the Mexican Caribbean. Contact ecotourism-cancun.com directly with any question or doubts, and see how you can save time, money and effort and ENJOY!

 

Check us out on Facebook, and don’t be afraid to like and share our page and information with your friends and family!

 

Experience Isla Contoy-True Caribbean Island Wildlife

Isla Contoy Wildlife

 Isla Contoy

At 25 miles (40 km) away from the busy vacation capital of Cancun, Isla Contoy is a pristine and protected island, where you can observe and enjoy thousands of birds, fish, and other wildlife in a virgin island setting.

Established as a protected natural reserve by the Mexican government, access is restricted to a maximum of 200 visitors per day so as to minimize the impact of tourism on the island’s natural resources.

 

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There are no permanent inhabitants living on the island. There is, however, a dedicated team of scientists who make Contoy their temporary home as they study its precious animal and plant wildlife. The visitor’s center and research facilities will make you feel like you are producing your own NatGeo show!

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Activities to Enjoy on Isla Contoy:

The Contoy Island Tour from Ecotourism-cancun.com will take you to live an amazing adventure on a virgin island, complete with a visit to the ecological museum…a key feature of this Mexican Caribbean ecotourism tour.

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  •  Sail through the wonderful waters of the Caribbean until reaching the carefully protected reef at Isla Contoy.
  • Marine biologists will teach and delight you with a magnificent explanation about the wildlife that inhabits this place, also known as Bird Island.
  •  As you explore the island and swim in its pristine waters, you’ll feel what it would be like to spend time on a deserted island paradise, far from land and where you are a part of nature.

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  •  Manta rays will swim right up to you long the beach.
  • Enjoy a delicious grilled fish for lunch, part of that morning’s catch freshly brought to you by fishermen from the nearest island.
  • On the way back we will take you to Isla Mujeres to enjoy a little island shopping in their picturesque “downtown” area.

 

Isla Contoy is truly one of the jewels of the Mexican Caribbean! If you are coming to Cancun or the Riviera Maya for your next vacation, definitely make sure to spend some time on Isla Contoy! Contact ecotourism-cancun.com today and check out our Facebook page and if you like our information, give us a like!

Marvel at Magical Mayan Mysteries at Cobá

 

Cobá

As  one of the world’s top vacation spots, sometimes visitors do little more than spend their time on the beach, at the malls, at nightclubs or visiting only the most popular archaeological sites like Chichén Itzá.

While Chichén is one of the most  important Mayan archaeological sites, there is MUCH more to our area. Here we’ll tell you about an amazing Mayan experience in Cancun and the Riviera Maya that will make your holiday here extra special,  with features, tips, and a link to find out how YOU can marvel at its wonders!

Cobá is the Mayan site where you bring out your inner Indiana Jones. With thousands of unrestored structures there slowly being discovered,  you can enjoy a more authentic Mayan experience.

At about two and a half hours from Cancun, this massive Mayan city is well worth the travel time. Cobá  features:

  • Nohoch Mul-The largest climbable  Mayan pyramid in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. The view from the top is breathtaking.

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Nohoch Mul Pyramid, from the bottom and from the top.
  • Stelae –standing stone relief panels full of religious and political meaning. There are dozens well worth seeing, as the detail and workmanship are stunning!

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Dozens of stelae in amazing condition tell the story of the Mayans at Cobá
  • Ballcourts-so far two different sized Mayan ball courts have been unearthed…will there be more found?

  • The Lake at Cobá-a beautiful area to walk around and enjoy and see brilliantly-colored birds and other native wildlife.

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Cobá is named for its lakes, and you’ll love kayaking in them and ziplining over them!

 

  • Sacbes (sacred white stone paths) lead you to Nohoch Mul. At about a mile from the entrance, you may want to hire a tricycle pedicab!

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The temple at the top of Nohoch Mul. You may want to use one of the “Mayan Limos” to get there…

 

Cobá Extreme,  Mayan Enounter 

The Coba Extreme Tour is your encounter with the Mayan culture and it starts with a 1,500 year-old historical journey to the Ancient Mayan city of Coba.

Your Maya Encounter journey then leads you to an authentic Mayan village, a self-sufficient Mayan community living next to an important part of the region’s lagoon system.

Your unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track adventure tour then begins: exciting zip-line flying over a lagoon, rappelling down into an incredibly beautiful Cenote (sink hole) where you can enjoy a refreshing swim before going up again. Then climb into a canoe and paddle on a lagoon of enormous beauty.

And to end it all, enjoy a delicious traditional lunch prepared by the women of this lovely Mayan community.

Contact ecotourism-cancun.com today and find out more about Cobá, and check out our Facebook page and like it today!

 

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2012 is coming in November!

We know you have been waiting impatiently, but the wait is coming to an end. One of the most expected Playa del Carmen events of the year in the Mexican Caribbean, is the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival and this year it will take place from November 22nd to 24th in Playa Mamitas, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Considered as one of the best jazz festivals of the world, this event combines good jazz, a magnificent fine sandy beach and the accompaniment brought by the waves of the sea at the Riviera Maya. To continue with its traditional success, this year’s Riviera Maya Jazz Festival will have the presence of the great international musicians of Joe D’etienne and his Big Band, the percussionist Pete Escovedo and his latin-jazz beat, Nortec Collective, the group Aguamala, Victor Wooten, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Poncho Sánchez, John Scofield, and Level 42.

Ecotourism in Cancun invites you to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this incredible event to be held in one of the most beautiful spots of the Caribbean, the charming Riviera Maya. We recommend you to be there early in order to get the best seats for the show of your choice.

Learn more about Riviera Maya tours to make the most of your Caribbean vacations!

 

jazz festival riviera maya 2012
jazz festival riviera maya 2012

2012, Festival of Life and Death in Xcaret is here again!

Colorful as it is, the Festival of Life and Death in Xcaret ecopark is about to take place from October 30th to November 2nd.

This is the 7th edition of this beautiful festival full of Mexico ‘s art and culture that will offer plenty of activities for the big and the little ones; from workshops, visual art exhibitions, children theater, the traditional offerings to the faithful departed, a journey to the underworld and to the Mexican Cemetery through the “Bridge to Paradise”, the famous Ball Game, the  play “Forest of Kings” of Dzul Dance Company and the gala concerts with invited personalities such as Jaramar and the legendary mexican singer Lila Downs presenting the show “K’eebanoób y milagros” to decorate even more the splendor  of this wonderful festival evoking “The Day of the Dead”.

Besides, Playa del Carmen will join us in this year’s celebration on the 3rd and 4th of November at Parque La Ceiba and on 4th also at Centro Cultural Caracol Marino. Definitively this is a spectacle that renews itself every year, and in Ecoturismo Cancun we recommend it widely. We are sure you will enjoy it and come back for more every year.

 

Xcaret festival 2012
Xcaret festival 2012

Come to explore Sian Kaan the biosphere reserve in Mexico

Sian Kaan

Sian Kaan, Mayan word which means “place where the sky is born” was the first Biosphere Reserve established in Mexico. It is located south of the state of Quintana Roo, about 2 hrs away  from Cancun. Today is  a World´s Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, and is of high conservation priority for the people and government of Mexico. It is the third largest protected area of the country and is composed of 600.000 acres of tropical ecosystems that range from lowland forest, flooded savannas, mangroves and a portion of the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The reserve is home to more than 800 species of plants and provides habitat for over 350 species of birds, as well as for the jaguar, puma, ocelot, howler and spider monkeys, crocodiles and many species of turtles. In addition, the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an is home to 23 archaeological sites of pre-Columbian culture.
If you want to visit Sian Kaan, it’s best to come to the Riviera Maya or Tulum, were there are nice and green hotels.

Arts & Crafts in Cancun

Arts & Craft Cancun

We are pretty shure that Cancun is going to leave you with a really great impression and your going to want to take a part of Cancun with you. So If your looking to buy souvenirs, items for your home or unique crafts. In the stores and shopping malls in the Hotel Zone of Cancun and market 28 located  downtown of the city and many of the shops located on Tulum Ave. also downtown, are located many local artists, who make use of various techniques and materials for the production of original objects, witch you can take with you and never forget your marvelous vacations in this amazing site.

For example, in cancun you can find items that are carved in wood to produce a variety of products.  Shells and marine debris are harnessed to make utensils, necklaces and decorative figures. Aluminium that is recycled into the embossed motifs of the region or used to make sculptures.

Other typical handicrafts of the region  of Cancun and surroundings are: cowboy hats, blankets, silver jewelry, textiles, clay figurines with pictures of Mayan gods, and so on.
In your visit to Cancun we recommend you visit these places and purchase quality products made ​​in Mexico, where surely you will find perfect souvenirs for your family, friends or that  special someone.

Xcaret, Festival of Life and Death

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Xcaret, Festival of Life and Death

Everyone is interested in promoting and preserving the traditions of our wonderful culture. The Day of the Dead is one Mexican tradition, which happily still deeply rooted in our people, especially in small communities.

We recognize that in large cities, some of us grew up giving more importance to Halloween (of course, it was fun to sing Trick or Treat, disguised as what ever comes to mind, so that we could get thousands of candy) … but despite that, there are always tzempazuchitl flowers, altars to honor our dead, or the skulls of the most ingenious talent.

Those of us fortunate to know Xcaret Park know that what there doing, they are doing it well. And the Festival of Life and Death of Xcaret is no exception. In all of their activities, and they are many, you can notice the effort to make a high quality event which exposes the magic and colorful culture.

If you’re planning your vacation in Cancun or Riviera Maya for octuber/november, it’s worth to match your visit to Xcaret in the days that presents the Festival of Life and Death,  30 and 31 of October and 1 and 2 of November. We would  love to share this wonderful experience with you so don’t miss the Day of the Dead at Xcaret. You will not regret it!

Jazz Festival Live 2011 on the Riviera Maya.

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Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2011

For the Ninth time the Riviera Maya is the perfect setting to enjoy a great musical adventure in the 2011 Jazz Festival, which will take place from 24 to 26 November in Playa del carmen. All concerts are free and begin at 19:00.

You will have the opportunity to hear internationally known musicians like: Jon Anderson, Stanley Clarck, Alex Otaloa, Yellow Jackets, Natalia Lafourcade among other virtuosos that make you shudder with his music.

What better place to enjoy one of the 7 arts in the middle of nature, feeling the breeze on your face and watching reflection of the moon in the incredible Caribbean Sea.

Make your reservation now and travel to Cancun. Do not forget that many other tourist destinations are within a few miles away and visiting the Riviera Maya would not be a bad idea.

Do not forget to go to the Jazz Festival.