Antonio De Vivo

1993 Laureate, Exploration
Italy, Born 1958

Project Goal

Explore the forests and caves of the isolated Rio La Venta Canyon in Chiapas, southern Mexico

Location: Mexico

A lover of caves since the age of 14, Antonio De Vivo has pursued a life of adventure, in the process making startling discoveries about a pre-Columbian civilisation.

Italian Antonio De Vivo has had a passion for caving since he was 14 years old.

Born in 1958, the high-school physical education teacher from Padua, in northern Italy, has successfully combined his professional work with a life of adventure and exploration, earning a reputation as an expert speleologist — a vocation he has pursued since 1974.

The successful descent of southern Mexico’s Rio La Venta Canyon in 1990 inspired De Vivo and his multidisciplinary team to return to this remote region. De Vivo’s 1993 Rolex Award funded further expeditions, two documentaries and a multilingual book, Rio La Venta — Treasure of Chiapas, which is used by the local Mexican authorities to draw attention to the ecology of the region.

Future projects for De Vivo include expeditions to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in the Philippines, the crystal caves of Naica, Mexico, and a return trip specifically to Mexico’s Cueva del Rio La Venta, a 10-kilometre-long “through-cave”.

Other 1993 Laureates