Aktun Chen, Mexico
Aktun Chen is a Mayan term which essentially translates to ´cave with an underground river inside´. Located just 107km from Cancun, along the Riviera Maya, between Akumal and Xel-Ha, this cave system is believed to have been formed 5 million years ago. Comprised of three caves, each heavily decorated with backdrops of numerous stalactite and stalagmite formations, Aktun Chen is also home to a 12 meter deep fresh water natural well or ´cenote´. The largest of the three caves is a staggering 600 meters long, and benefits from a small amount of indirect lighting improving security and visibility.B
Before and after exploring the Aktun Chen caves, visitors are free to enjoy the tropical rain forest and exotic wildlife. Visitors can take a trek through the jungle trails or join a rain forest tour on board four-wheel all-terrain vehicles. Upon your arrival at the Aktun Chen, you will be welcomed by an authorized tour guide. The tours usually last between about an hour and 15 minutes and 2 hours and will inform visitors about the history of the area, as well as its ancient inhabitants, the Mayan civilization. On exiting the cave system, there is a small restaurant that serves native dishes and cuisine, delicious tropical fruits, ice-cold beer and beverages.
Aktun Chen is open daily from 9:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m and normally, the last tour is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. However, during the peak summer months of July through August, it remains open until 7:00 p.m with the last tour scheduled at 6:00 p.m.