Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau

Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau

August 16, 2005 13:36 ET

In Cancun, an Eco-Adventure of a Lifetime Awaits

CANCUN, Mexico--(CCNMatthews - Aug 16, 2005) -

Some of the World's Most Exciting Natural Wonders and Thrilling Escapades Can Be Experienced Only a Stone's Throw Away From the U.S., in the Mexican Caribbean

Nestled snuggly on a bed of limestone between the Caribbean Sea and the jungles of the Yucatan, Cancun and its surrounding areas offer myriad opportunities for diversion for eco-nuts, wild adventurers and those who fancy themselves a bit of both. From kayaking in azure seawater and rappelling into a freshwater sinkhole to observing flamingos and other birds in their natural habitat, an adventurous traveler's every need is sated in this nook of the world.

"It will, in fact, take more than one visit to fully take advantage of what the region has to offer," said Artemio Santos Santos, executive director of the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). "With so much to explore, it is imperative that travelers get moving as soon as they touch down in Cancun, so as to avoid missing any of a number of exhilarating adventures that await in the ecological wonders that envelope us."

Among these adventures are:

CENOTES

Unique to the Yucatan, cenotes are freshwater sinkholes formed by water percolating through the porous limestone that coats the peninsula. Considered sacred by the Maya, cenotes are truly natural wonders that are primarily accessed via rappel.

One of the area's best cenote experiences can be found in Hidden Worlds, an eco-park in which visitors can scuba dive or snorkel in the crystalline waters of four cenotes - Dreamgate, Bat Cave, Dos Ojos and Orquideas. The park features three dive departures and six snorkeling tours daily. More information is available at http://www.hiddenworlds.com.mx.

SCUBA DIVING

The opportunities to scuba dive in and around Cancun are innumerable. Instructors and dive operators offering introductory and advanced scuba diving sessions can be found in many hotels, marinas such as Aquaworld, http://www.aquaworld.com.mx, and eco-parks such as Garrafon, http://www.garrafon.com, which lies on the southern end of the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres.

ECO-TOUR OPERATORS

Among the operators that offer day-long eco-adventures in and around Cancun are Alltournative, http://www.alltournative.com, and Mayan Eco-adventures. Alltournative's tours combine cultural enrichment and eco-adventures, with trips to the massive archaeological ruins of Coba and excursions that include zip-lining and cenote rappelling.

Mayan Eco Adventures' signature tour is the Ek-Balam Eco-Adventure, which also combines culture with adventure for an unforgettable experience. Participants are first transported to an era long gone with a visit to the recently discovered ruins of Ek-Balam, only to later find themselves a world away in the remote jungle of Nuevo Xcan taking part in activities such as zip-lining, cenote rappelling and biking.

ECO-PARKS

The Mexican Caribbean boasts an incredibly diverse - and incredibly exciting - mix of parks devoted to adventurous fun. These include, among others:

-- Xel-Ha, http://www.xelha.com, an eco-park and natural aquarium south of Cancun whose name in Maya means "where the water is born"; comprised of creeks, lagoons, natural wells and ancient caves in which visitors can swim, snorkel and explore the marine life of the Mexican Caribbean.

-- Xcaret, http://www.xcaret.com, a grand eco-cultural park located south of Cancun at the site of ancient settlement; available activities include swimming with dolphins and snorkeling in two underground rivers that combine freshwater and seawater.

SELVATICA

Touted as Mexico's first "extreme adventure park," the new Selvatica lies squarely between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and sits on 247 acres of mid-to-high level jungle. Here, visitors take part in the thrilling "canopy tour", an extreme zip-lining course - the longest circuit in North America - consisting of 24 platforms. The park also boasts secluded bike pathways and a 160-foot-wide cenote. More information is available on http://www.selvatica.com.mx.

BIRDWATCHING, WHALE SHARK SIGHTINGS AND MORE

Northwest of Cancun lies a tiny, tranquil island where time is suspended and nature prevails. It is Holbox. And, in the waters surrounding it, visitors can observe flamingos, a host of other splendid birds and, if the season is right, the massive and majestic whale shark.

SIAN KA'AN BIOSPHERE

South of Cancun lies Sian Ka'an, a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering one million acres of coastal jungle that is home to more than 350 species of birds. Visitors to the park are greeted upon arrival by an experienced biologist who offers a thorough overview of life in the park; later, they are taken by boat through the area's wetlands, where natural wonders come together with archaeological marvels - Mayan ruins - that date back at least 2,000 years.

About Cancun

A mecca for travelers of all types, with treasures for every taste, Cancun is the perfect getaway. The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau invites visitors to experience the warm hospitality and natural wonders of Cancun and the spectacular variety of resorts and spas right in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean. For further information and images, visit http://www.cancun.info.

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