Aktun Chen Cavern in Akumal Mexico

Aktun Chen, located along the Mayan Riviera, is just 4 kilometers south of Akumal. This provides a perfect chance to take a day tour of the location best known for its many explored caves.

The name “Aktun Chen” means “cave with an underground river inside” in the Mayan language. Nearly 988 acres of jungle surround the cave where natives collect the gum from a local tree called “chicozapote” as they have for centuries.

Three caves call Aktun Chen “home”, and rivers flow underground in all these caves. The main cave offers an easy walking tour that may even be an option if you need the use of a walking cane. Most who are able to walk on their own, even with manual assistance, are able to navigate the cave paths. The main cave is now suitable for an easy walking tour which has been improved with indirect lighting for a better view and enjoyment of the thousands of stalactites, stalagmites and natural sculptures, all of them formed by water and dissolved calcium carbonate throughout te last five million years.

The caves are open daily and the trip through them takes only an hour or so. Spanish and English speaking guides are available and all exploration groups are divided by choice of language.

The caves contain thousands of stalactites, stalagmites, and sculpted rock formations, along with a 12 m (40 ft.) deep cenote with clear blue water. Aktun Chen was once underwater, and fossilized shells and fish embedded in the limestone are visible as you walk along the paths. Caves are an integral part of the region’s geography and geology, and knowledgeable guides provide explanations of what you see and offer brief history lessons in the Mayan’s association with these caves.

Indirect lighting from several openings in the cave prevents an uncomfortable experience for those who suffer from claustrophobia. Water and calcium carbonate formed the stalactites, stalagmites and natural sculptures seen there over the past five million years.

Regional and local wildlife is also easily seen at Aktun Chen. This includes white tail deer, spider monkeys, badgers, wild boars, wild turkey, iguanas and many species of birds.

When arriving at Aktun Chen’s main cave, a specially trained escort will meet you in the reception area. The guide will then take you and your traveling mates on an hour and fifteen minute tour of the 600 meters long cave system.

During the tour, you will have the chance to view a beautiful cenote with cold, crystal water that is 12 meters deep. Local flora and plants abound at this cenote, and offer an ideal photo opportunity for future memories.

At the end of the cave tour, a small restaurant is available for a quick bite to eat or a relaxing drink. This cafe for a unique taste of Aktun Chen.

When arriving and leaving the cave, you will notice the welcome area which is surrounded and decorated with local tropical flora. This will also offer an ideal chance for you to take a picture of the pretty scenery or a memorable moment with your travel mates!

Eco tours are also available at Aktun Chen, offering several opportunities to hike and climb cliffs, as well as explore the local rainforests. The largely untouched jungle in which Aktun Chen resides lets visitors to truly experience the local wildlife and plant life in its raw and natural state.