Ahead of World Water Day, celebrated on March 22nd, we need to raise awareness about the conservation of this precious good in our planet. For instance, Visitmexico.com explores the most breath-taking Mexican locations of unparalleled beauty, where water plays a key role.
The cenotes in the Riviera Maya
Cenotes are unique in the world. They are sinkholes that form from the collapse of limestone bedrock, and are specially associated to the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Underground rivers in the area form caves and natural pools where swimming is allowed. Cenotes are thought to have been essential for the Maya civilization, as they were considered a point of entry to the world of the dead. Aside from being a source of freshwater, they were sites where rituals related to rainfall, life, death, rebirth and fertility were held. Jungle vegetation, freshwater and mysterious silences provide us with a unique mystical feeling. Up to 6,000 cenotes are thought to exist throughout the Yucatán peninsula and the Riviera Maya. The Las Mojarras, Siete Bocas, Chilam Balam and the Verde Lucero are some cenotes well worth visiting. You can also swim in the cenotes close to archaeological sites such as Tulum, Cobá and Chichen Itzá, and let yourself be transported to pre-Hispanic times full of mythology.
Cliffs and divers in Acapulco
In the state of Acapulco, we find La Quebrada, a 45-metre-high cliff where divers plunge into the ocean below, less than four metres deep. The most spectacular and unforgettable dives take place at night, with divers plunging with a torch in each hand. There is a public lookout point, but the best view is from a belvedere at the La Perla club. The fall lasts scarcely three seconds, a short time interval to admire humans' respect for the waves and the ocean. Acapulco offers as well other privileged options for water lovers. Luxury and nature come together in Punta Diamante, for those who look for green accommodation; you can experience wilderness in beautiful Isla Roqueta, where you can practice water sports; and, lastly, you can enjoy a romantic sunset in Laguna de Coyuca. Acapulco is water for the brave.
Waterfalls in Chiapas
Chiapas, in the south-east of Mexico, offers unlimited natural bounty, from the dense jungle to the highest cliffs. Tourists visiting Chiapas highlight the multiple waterfalls. Those in El Chiflón are surrounded by sugar cane and tropical vegetation, and the largest one is 120 metres high. Also worth noting are Agua Azul and Misol-Ha. Located 30 kilometres south-west of Palenque, the Misol Ha waterfall, with an impressive 30 metre fall, is formed by the Tzaconejá river. This tourist destination has cabins to spend the night. The Agua Azul waterfalls are formed by the tributaries of the Shumuljá, Otulún and Tulijá rivers. These crystalline waters are in the municipality of Tumbalá, where we can find hundreds of endemic species. On the other hand, Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, which is featured in the state's coat of arms, is another of the most emblematic sites in the area. The Grijalva River flows through a fault in the Earth's crust that stretches for more than 30 kilometres, with vertical walls that reach 1,000 metres.
Hierve el agua, in Oaxaca
This is an ideal place to see water that has been at a standstill for thousands of years. These petrified waterfalls were formed by the high mineral content in the water. Located 70 kilometres from the capital of Oaxaca, this beautiful landscape is a feast for the senses, providing a unique opportunity to see the sculptures that nature creates. The green of the mountains, the sound of the wind, and, at your feet, two huge waterfall-like rock formations. On the top part, there are small thermal pools where the water is 24 degrees Celsius. In Hierve el agua you can admire nature's doing, patiently, over hundreds of thousands of years, forming layer by layer the rock waterfalls that drop 30 metres down. Natural pools, relaxing baths and simple cabins wait for you here. Few places in the world can offer all of this.
The pristine beaches at Riviera Nayarit
A tropical paradise in the Mexican Pacific coast offers 320 kilometres of blue skies, green mountains and endless pristine beaches. Riviera Nayarit, in the state of Nayarit, has privileged coastal towns. In this area it is common to see whales and dolphins. You can also see sea lions and free turtles. Nature is alive in San Blas, whose port is one a popular tourist destination in the Mexican Pacific coast. A few metres from the San Blas port is the El Conchal pier, where you can take a boat to La Tovara, a true biodiversity sanctuary. The state of Nayarit boasts having the largest number of beaches which have been distinguished for their quality in the whole of Mexico. Nayarit's beaches are known for their white sand and blue waters, with waves that make them ideal for surfing.