The cenote tour of Rio Secreto invites visitors to explore the underground river and nature reserve located south of Playa del Carmen. Only a 15 minute drive from downtown, it’s incredible how close this intricate, interconnected cave system is to civilization. Visitors are accompanied by a tour guide, and small groups enter through one of the many entrances to this intricate and well-preserved cave system.
The tours are limited to small numbers of people in order to reduce any potential environment impact. Because there are so many entrances and exits tour guides can bring various small groups in and out at the same time, completely independently of other groups. It also means that should you return for another repeat visits you can choose a different route to follow. Some are longer than the standard beginners route, and go for around 90 minutes. Its an intimate experience with a small group of fellow travelers, all walking in single file passing back information on changing conditions ahead.
All of the equipment is provided on site, including: wet suit, life jacket vest and shoes. You can grab yourself an optional walking stick, which is highly recommended for navigating the uneven terrain. There are several items not to take: jewelry, sunscreen, and cameras. They send in a photographer with the group, and photos are available for purchase afterwards. You are also forbidden to touch anything inside, what you see inside is much more fragile than it appears to be.
The incredible sights of stalagmites and stalactites cover from the floor to the ceiling of each cave, blending together into some fascinating shapes. Your journey will take you through various caverns, often requiring you use your swimming skills. It’s challenging, but groups often contain a range of people from children to senior citizens. After turning in your gear there will be a meal waiting for you in their dining area, which you are sure to enjoy after expending so much energy and working up an appetite.
It is impossible to leave the subterranean world of Rio Secreto and return to the surface without having been profoundly affected by the journey. It is regarded by many as a transformative experience, because once you see what is down below you won’t view the Riviera Maya quite the same way again.
For more information about Rio Secreto and how to book a tour of its underground caves visit their website: www.riosecretomexico.com.mx