AAA Editor Notes
Rio Secreto is about 5 km (3 mi.) s. of Playa del Carmen and just s. of Xcaret, at Mex. 307 Km marker 282 (on the w. side of the highway; watch for the Rio Secreto sign). At this nature preserve an underground river flows through a cave system that is millions of years old but was only discovered in 2006 by a local rancher. The eerily silent environment is highlighted by otherworldly stalactite and stalagmite formations. Guided excursions led by a knowledgeable, bilingual guide explore the 2,000-foot-long route, allowing visitors to float in a small pool, experience pitch blackness for a moment and observe shrimp, bats and other creatures that have adapted to the very specialized environment.
Note: There is a long, bumpy, 30-minute ride in a 10-passenger van from the reception area to the cavern entrance. After showering and changing into a wet suit, life vest, waterproof shoes and a light-equipped helmet, guests are escorted down a jungle trail that leads to the cave opening. The trek through the caves proceeds in single file, with each person holding on to the wet suit strap of the person in front. Some climbing up and down narrow, rocky trails is required. Guests must be able to walk without assistance, weigh less than 250 pounds and be free of physical limitations. Use of a personal camera is permitted outside but not within the cavern. Under 4 are not permitted.
Recreational activities are permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 4 hours minimum.