Life's a Big Party in Yucatan; Experience Great Beaches and Unforgettable Scenery in Mexico

The Observer (Gladstone, Australia), July 23, 2011 | Go to article overview

Life's a Big Party in Yucatan; Experience Great Beaches and Unforgettable Scenery in Mexico


Byline: Chelsea Chapman Travelling Tales

YUCATAN in Mexico truly deserves its booming travel industry, its beautiful beaches and its friendly people who know how to party and enjoy life.

I first arrived in Merida, a beautiful colonial town with a surprisingly oscuro (dark) taste of art. Each weekend the main square is blocked off for salsa parties, comedians and markets.

Recently, Shakira also performed a free concert on Progresso Beach.

Akumal, between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, is a research centre for tortugas (turtles) and you don't need to swim far before you see them.

Unfortunately, unless you go early in the morning, you won't be able to swim far before being disturbed by large groups of tourists getting too close and scaring off the turtles.

Throughout the Yucatan and around Tulum there are many cenotes, which are underwater cave systems formed when an asteroid hit thousands of years ago, creating cracks in the earth.

Over the years the caves have been lived in when they weren't flooded and some believe they have been used as a form of Mayan lethal punishment as many human and animal bones, including those of a mastodon, have been discovered.

Dos Ojos is one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. The visibility is amazing and so are the limestone formations.

The second cenote we explored, Caleverna, was reached by walking through the jungle for 10 minutes before we jumped three metres into the sinkhole.

This system was amazing but for different reasons.

It was much more claustrophobic than Dos Ojos and we swam through smaller caves, hydroclines and haloclines.

Hydroclines are where you feel the difference between warm and cool water, while haloclines are even more amazing to witness. They occur when fresh and salt water mix and result in your vision becoming blurry and formations appear warped. …

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Life's a Big Party in Yucatan; Experience Great Beaches and Unforgettable Scenery in Mexico
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