The underwater exploration team of the Great Maya Aquifer, finally connected two of the largest flooded cave systems in the world, and documented a 220-mile portentous cave located near Tulum.
One of the most amazing natural attractions that the Riviera Maya has to offer is its pristine cenotes, natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock, which has revealed a secret subterranean world of flooded caves.
Robert Schmittner, the exploration director of the Great Maya Aquifer project has been looking for this connection for 14 years. Year after year, his hard work has added new tunnels and galleries to this underwater labyrinth. After 10 months of intense work, his team of cave divers managed to achieve the connection of two of the world’s largest flooded cave systems known as Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, both located in Tulum, Quintana Roo.
“Traveling hundreds of kilometers among caves mainly submerged in Quintana Roo, it has been an effort of more than 20 years, of which I have dedicated 14 of these to explore this monstrous Sac Actun system; now, everyone’s job is to conserve it,” said Schmittner.
These hundreds of kilometers of underground passages have become true tunnels from time and, among other things, they protect the remote and recent history of the state of Quintana Roo.
Guillermo de Anda, a researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and Director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project believes that this immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts. Along this system, we have documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture. says de Anda.
This finding is also very valuable because this system supports a great biodiversity that lives thanks to this huge reservoir of fresh water.