Friday, April 22, 2011

Cancun, Mexico

Chichen Itza

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza - meaning "At the mouth of the well of the Itza" - is Mexico's most visited archeological site, a magnificent display of Mayan culture and the ceremonial center of the Yucat√°n.

 
 

The highlight of Chichen Itza is the Kukulkan Pyramid, known as "El Castillo", 24 meters (79 feet) high of step pyramid construction. Mesoamerican cultures occasionally built larger pyramids on top of smaller ones and this is the case for El Castillo where an excavation discovered a temple with an elaborate jaguar throne.

 



Cave of the Sleeping Sharks

Just 30 minutes off the coast of Cancun near Isla Mujeres lies a popular diving destination called Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, which has baffled marine biologists everywhere. Sharks must constantly be in motion in order to breathe through their skins, but in this cave the sharks can use bubbles from underwater springs to breathe, allowing them to "sleep" completely still.

 
 

The Cave of the Sleeping Sharks was discovered in 1969 and lies about 60 feet (20 meters) underwater, formed by coral formations that allow divers to get close to the resting sharks. Nurse sharks are most commonly seen in the cave and although they are harmless it is still exhilarating to be able to swim so close to them.
 
 

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