Wonderful Nature

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Flora

From the Gulf of Mexico, through the mangroves into the bush of the interior, the Yucatan Peninsula has a variety of ecological niches. The vegetation of this area is as varied as its ecology, creating wildlife habitats and sources of food and medicine for the native people.

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The ecosystem most found in this area is the evergreen tropical forest, which covers 60% of the mainland, as well as being the most conserved in the state of Quintana Roo. The climate and soil factors are the main factors of the characteristics of this forest and determine the existence of the native flora of each region. The main facts here are the highest rainfall of the peninsula (with an annual average of 1300mm), and the calcareous permeable floor responsible for the vegetation cover and richness.

In this type of forest three arboreal strata are detected depending on vegetation height or canopy. In the top layer of vegetation, dominant trees there are between 25 and 30 meters as “zapote” tree gum (Manilkara sapota), the chacá (Bursera simaruba), Ramón (Brosimum alicastrum), the Chechem (Metopium browneii) and others like Lysiloma latisiliquum, Bucida buceras.

Pimenta dioica, alseis yucatanensis, Vitex gaumeri, Chlorophora tinctoria, Talisia olivaeformis, Exothea diphylla, Sabal morrisiana, Sickingia salvadorensis and Sideroxylon gaumeri etc.

 The trees of this community have many epiphytes such as ferns, mosses, orchids, bromeliads and lianas. In the lower and medium vegetation layer up to 22 meters, we can find the palm species and others such as Sapidum saponaria, Manilkara sapota, Metopium brownei, Ficus spp., Swartzia cubensis, Sabal bonus, Opsiandra maya and Thrinax radiata among others.

Fauna

Mexico is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, along with Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia. It has the highest range in diversity of reptiles, second in mammals (the largest number of bats in this category), fourth in amphibians and vascular plants, and tenth in birds. Statistically speaking, this geographical area has 10% of the world’s species.

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Some of the most beautiful and magnificent creatures on this continent are in the Mayan jungle. Some of them look as if they had come out of a fairy tale because of their strange physical characteristics and shy behavior, rarely seen but, we know they are there, as is the case of the tepezcuintle (Agouti paca). The Yucatan Peninsula has more than 125 species of mammals.

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Cenotes

One can find natural wonders beyond imagination in various parts of the world, and undoubtedly, this corner of America and its charismatic geology us with the bizarre nature of caves, underground rivers, Jurassic fossils and crystal clear waters that seem to be unreal.

Due to its geological composition, the floor of the Yucatan acts as a sponge when it rains, absorbing the rain and the moisture through it porous sedimentary rock. The water that seeps through the soil begins to dissolve, giving way to caves that can be partially or completely flooded. These eventually will collapse due to the action of erosion, forming the cenotes which are virtually unique to the peninsula. This formation process can last hundreds of years.

cenote

For the Mayans, the cenotes were considered sources of life providing the sacred vital liquid. Also, they were seen as the entrance to the underworld and was the center for the communion with the gods. The word cenote comes from the Mayan “dzonot” which means cave with water. These formations were the element deciding where to settle a community, as they performed their ceremonies here and fresh water was obtained.

In and around Kuyabeh, you can find plenty of cenotes, so many that you will need many lives to know the magic of them all.

Species List

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