Mundo Maya Blog
About this blog
Travelers to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras in 2012 can expect a yearlong celebration of Maya culture, past and present—and Moon Maya 2012 author Joshua Berman is blogging about all of it.
- Maya 2012: A Round-up of Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras
- Reporting for National Geographic on Maya winter solstice in Belize
- Maya calendar cycle celebrated throughout Central America
- Feliz B'aktun! The New Dawn is Here: The First Sunrise in Caracol, Belize
- Maya Calendar 101: What Does “December 21, 2012” Really Mean?
- Gifts for Mayaphiles
- Books on the Maya: Suggested Reading for 2012
- Izapa Sunrise Story by Mary Jo McConahay
- Tranquilo Radio Tour 2012: Seven hours straight of talking about travel
- Tune in this Wednesday! Maya 2012 author Josh Berman on a radio show near you!
- End Maya-Aztec calendar confusion now!
- Q&A with Maya Experts on Satellite Imagery of Archaeological Sites
- Maya response to 'doomsday' 2012 stories
- Only a couple of rooms left for "The Great Return: Copan 2012" tour of a lifetime!
- 5 Questions about Traveling in the Mundo Maya for Rafael Garcia
Visiting Rio Secreto Cenote in Quintana Roo, Riviera Maya, Mexico
The first thing you notice as you descend beneath the jungle floor is the clarity of the water. Our headlights pierce straight through the underground river to the calcite bottom, at the same time that they illuminate a million stalactites and stalagmites (I finally learned how to distinguish these words - stalagmites has a "g" for ground, so they are the ones that grow upwards). The Rio Secreto Nature Reserve is only a few minutes drive south of Playa del Carmen and is a popular half-day tour.
When we arrived, we were taken in a van deeper into the forest, then asked to strip down, shower off all body oils, sunscreen, and bug dope, and don wetsuits, booties, and helmets to hike to the cave entrance. There an older gentleman, Don Manuel, lit a bowl of copal incense and bathed us in its sweet smoke as he made an invocation in the Yucatec Mayan tongue, asking that we be allowed to enter xibalba, the underworld and, more importantly, that we be allowed to exit, which we did, ninety jaw-dropping, clear-water-dripping minutes later.
Photo by Gerardo Chaves