Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rio Secreto Experience in the Riviera Maya

Max guiding the guide 

Been there, done that (but hey, I didn't get a t-shirt!) Having lived in Cancun for more than ten years, I have had the pleasure of experiencing most of the natural attractions in the region, including Rio Secreto. But that was years ago, my last visit was back in '09 when Max was but a wee thing. When I received the invitation to explore Rio Secreto again, I was more than happy to don my adventure shoes and hit the caves.

Stunning stalactites and stalagmites

This was a "work" visit, a "fam trip" as they say and it was with my banda of social media buddies and Max the Explorer that we headed south to Playa del Carmen. Max kept the bus entertained with his (senseless) jokes and we arrived in great spirits and ready for adventure.

Peace my brothers and sisters

As you may or may not know, the Yucatan Peninsula is set on a limestone foundation and there are thousands of cenotes and caves throughout the region. Rio Secreto is an opportunity to explore the underground beauty of the caverns, it is truly a spectacle of nature. Guests are provided wet suits, water shoes and helmets with lanterns, all the equipment you'll need to be a real "spelunker" for a couple of hours. (On our last visit Max was thoroughly disappointed that they did not have a helmet small enough for him that had a lantern, he was thrilled to be a "big boy" this time).

Total Zen Moment

Before entering the cave system, we were joined by a Maya shaman to ask for permission from the gods, this is sacred ground and one does not mess around. We entered the caverns with great respect and were soon in another world. Max the independent spirit abandoned me immediately and anointed himself leader of the pack, sticking by the guide, asking questions and sharing his observations. We learned all about the stalactite and stalagmite formations that take thousands of years to grow, though so delicate that with a touch they can be destroyed (pleeeease don't touch!). Our guide Hector was full of knowledge and interesting facts (and was incredibly kind and patient with my Maxito). We explored these incredible formations, sometimes walking over dry rock and sometimes swimming through crystal clear, cool waters. The highlight for our little group was the "Star Wars" effect (I'm going to keep it a secret, you'll have to live it for yourself!)

The most awesome banda of social media experts (and Max)

This is a unique and beautiful experience, in touch with nature, history, the underworld and sharing time with good friends and family. The Rio Secreto team is personable and professional, with a passion for what they do and for the preservation and conservation of these natural wonders. They continue to explore and discover new paths in the cave system, it has expanded greatly since my last visit and I can't wait to go again to see what else is new (or very, very old in this case).

For more photos, please see my Rio Secreto Flickr set.

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