Sac Actun – The longest underground river in the world, Tulum, Mexico
The Sac Actun is the longest underground river in the world. It is located in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, near the city of Tulum. In the labyrinth of underground jungle caves, runs the most famous underground river in Mexico. Sac Actún was discovered in 1989 by two American speleologist divers.
The river was formed about 65 million years ago during the meteorite fall. Which caused multiple large damages to the earth’s surface, in particular the formation of cracks and depressions, which were filled with rainwater.
Currently, its length discovered by scientists is as much as 317.5 kilometers, of which 311.7 are flooded. As of 2013, Sac Actun is recognized as the second largest cave system in the world and the longest underground river in the world. Sac Actun, which means “white cave” in Mayan.
The underground river Sac Actun – a treasure trove of useful elements, it contains a lot of minerals. The water here has a temperature of 23-24 C and an incredible crystal clarity. It is a beautiful miracle of nature, for many living creatures this is just a home. It is home to giant shrimps, catfish, freshwater crayfish and several species of bats.
Sac Actun, a landmark of the Yucatan Peninsula and all of Mexico, allows visitors not only to admire the local stalactites and stalagmites, but also to dive into the water to fully experience the beauty of the place.
Journey along the underground river in the Yucatan.
The most amazing excursion of your life: the underground river: the Sac Aktun in Mexico A few years ago, one of the May Indians was hunting in the jungle of the Yucatan, a little north of the town of Tulum. It was a beautiful day and nothing seemed to suggest trouble. Suddenly the Indian fell … and fell for a long time … When the Indian woke up, there was no light around and there was silence. A little later, the Indian began to distinguish a strange sound… It was the quiet, melodious sound of falling drops. The Indian realized that he was underground – according to Mayan beliefs, in the realm of the dead: “Shibalba. The Mayans believed that the Shibalba was only accessible after death, and there was no way back. And in fact – under the ground of the Yucatan there are thousands of rivers that stretch for thousands of miles … The chance that the Indian would find his way out was negligible. The Indian swam through the labyrinths filled with stalactites and stalagmites for several days in complete darkness… Then he saw the light… He was saved.
After a while, the Indian went back with his friends. They found the sinkholes leading to the underground rivers, descended into the depths with the ropes, lit the lanterns and saw a fantastic, unearthly beauty.
Some time later, an Indian bought the area where his adventures took place from the state, installed a generating station, put underwater lights for the underground rivers and opened the place to tourists in late 2012.
The site turned out to be part of an underground river system called the Sac Aktun – discovered earlier in 1989 by accident by two American spelunkers. The river is now the longest underground river on the planet. Its total length is about 215 km.
National Geographic Channel discovered the photos from the site and immediately assembled a film crew and made a documentary about part of this underground river system in January 2013.
I usually bring groups to this underground river a little before sunset, as we can drive deep into the true Yucatan jungle and at the same time visit the local small Mayan village, which has its own large open cenote in the jungle, and the national Indian bathhouse, the Temascal.
The entrance to Shibalba Sac Aktuna is a narrow hole going 15 meters deep, with a sturdy stairway anchored in the hole. In the depths of waiting for us beautiful, wonderful tale. You will remember it for the rest of your life.
We will float through underground caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites of inexpressible beauty. Traveling time from 1 to 2 hours. The water temperature is around 23-24 C.
Of wildlife there are 5 species of bats (safe), several species of fish: Catfish and Transparent fish, giant shrimp and freshwater crustaceans.
Life jackets will be handed out to us, bring your own snorkel masks if possible. Wetsuits and waterproof cameras are recommended. There are toilets and changing facilities on site. Diving with cylinders is possible.
We return from Sak-Aktun in the dark and drive through the night jungle, where sometimes jaguars, snakes and huge spiders – local tarantulas come out on the road. Occasionally, we see sleeping Yucatan pheasants in the trees – their feathers shimmering red, low and green in the light of the lanterns.
Then we stop in Tulum for dinner and drive home.
——– A little excerpt from Wikipedia:
Sac Actún is an underground river.
It is located in Mexico in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula (state of Quintana Roo). The river connects two sets of underground caves over 181 kilometers apart. It was found in late January 1989 by chance by two American speleologist scuba divers who were diving in the underground lakes of the Riviera Maya National Historic and Tourist Area.
Sac Aktun means “white cave” in Mayan. It is the longest of the currently known underground rivers (215 km). ——– Galleries: