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Among the many benefits of staying at Moon Palace Cancun during your visit to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is the resort's proximity to Riviera Maya's abundance of natural wonders and fascinating attractions.
On the route from Cancun's vibrant tourism center to the famous Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza lies the picturesque pueblo of Valladolid, a quieter colonial town that's well-preserved in both tradition and architecture.
High-end accommodations, dining and attractions make the city a destination in its own right. Among the area's newest draws is the recently revealed, massive cenote named Chukum-Ha, now open to the public for the very first time.
Chukum-Ha is just one among thousands of cenotes-naturally occurring underground caverns, often filled with freshwater, which frequently feature a stunning rock and mineral formations-that dot the landscape of Riviera Maya, but this 130-foot cavernous sinkhole is among the area's largest.
Having previously been used only as a natural well for Mayan communities, this hidden treasure was finally made accessible by the Aventuras Mayas team, who carefully constructed a series of tunnels and platforms, which now line the walls.
Some of Chukum-Ha's unique features include a continuous flow of water from the underground river, making the waters themselves crystal clear with a stunning turquoise hue.
Its soaring ceiling and vertical walls are highly decorated with astonishing rock formations, and at the top are three natural openings, which allow streams of sunlight to illuminate the peaceful pool below.
Without compromising its natural beauty or structural integrity, Aventuras Mayas has installed a series of adrenaline-pumping features inside the cenote for visitors' enjoyment, including three diving platforms (installed at various heights), zip lines, a rope swing and a 50-foot rappelling experience from the cavern's top opening down to the water below.
For those staying at Moon Palace Cancun, a visit to the newly opened Chukum-Ha is easy to arrange.
Aventuras Mayas' Chichen Deluxe Package is available exclusively to guests of the resort and consists of a full-day excursion with round-trip transportation from Moon Palace Cancun, admission to Chichen Itza's archaeological site, a visit to Valladolid and time spent at the newly opened Hacienda Chukum, home to the Chukum-Ha cenote.
Lunch is also provided, and the entire experience is led by a bilingual guide. To book the exclusive excursion, resort guests should contact a Palace Vacation planner upon arrival.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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