Albion Island splits the Rio Hondo along the northwestern border of Belize into two channels (see map). This remarkable location remains undiscovered by visitors to Belize because of the lack of facilities or accommodations. Tracing their history back to the Caste War in the mid 1800's, a number of small Mayan villages dot the island.
The island's main claim to fame is the recent "discovery" of evidence of the Chicxulub Crater. A massive meteorite or comet struck the earth 65 million years ago and created this large impact crater. Scientists theorize the extinction of the dinosaurs resulted from this meteorite's collision with Earth. The site of the impact was at the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula, centered approximately at the village of Chicxulub. The Chicxulub crater is now completely buried by more recent sedimentary rocks and is not visible.
K/T boundary Exposed in Albion Island Quarry
But in northern Belize, 364 kilometers from the center of the crater, faulting of the rock has resulted in the exposure of the K/T boundary. These rocks preserve dramatic evidence of the enourmous blast that resulted from the impact. This boundary is thought to be exposed at the Albion Island quarry. The face of this cliff stands roughly 40 meters (131 feet) high.
Cenote Near Quarry - Though a dirt road leads to the edge of this cenote, there are no facilities for swimming - explore at your own risk.
Two cenotes are situated near the quarry at Albion Island. The cenotes have no relation to the crater impact structure. Cenotes are thought to form when limestone caves collapse and fill with water.
The Friendly Faces of Albion Island
The small Mayan villages have no facilities for tourists other than a few small shops to buy soft drinks, but the villages are scenic, the people friendly, and the Rio Hondo rich with history. The island is well worth a visit.
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