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During my recent trip to Mexico to check out the luxurious new TRS Yucatan resort on the Riviera Maya as well as a hard-hat tour of the site of the soon-to-open TRS Playa Mujeres, near Cancun (stay tuned to TravelAge West for my full reports on those two amazing Mexico beach resorts), the good folks at TRS arranged for me to visit Río Secreto, a fascinating eco-attraction in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. I thought I was going swimming in cenotes (which I’ve done before in Yucatan state and loved it), but this was much more.
This natural Mexico attraction centers around an underground river tour, with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and plenty of chances for hiking and swimming as you learn about the region’s ecosystem. It’s definitely more than a standard Mexico tourist attraction. We opted for the Río Secreto Plus package, which lasts between five and six hours and involves a variety of activities, including:
• A visit to a dry cave: Here, our expert guide explained about the region’s natural and indigenous history.
• Bike rides & Rappelling: We rode bicycles to another section of the property, where we harnessed up for a quick rappelling lesson. I have to admit that I’m a wimp about adventure sports, and I was nervous as I lowered down a hole into a scenic cavern. But the guides were assuring and also made sure I didn’t plunge down to an unfortunate fate. It was exhilarating and fun.
• An amazing cave tour: We showered and donned wet suits, helmets (complete with headlamp) and life vests for the next, most exciting part of our visit: a 1.5-hour subterranean tour of the underground river. We hiked, we waded, we swam and we learned about the complex subterranean system. At the very end of our underground experience, we all joined hands and floated in a circle, after turning off all of our lights so we could experience the natural darkness. It was intense and moving.
• Lunch: After our adventure, we headed to an open-air dining area for a hearty buffet lunch, which included a variety of Mexican food and non-alcoholic drinks. It was great to refresh and refuel after our lengthy day of natural fun.
By the way, you’re not allowed to bring cameras or cell phones on the tour, which is probably for the best because you’ll want to focus on the sites (and watch your step) as much as possible. A professional photographer tags along with each group, and you can buy photos of your experiences at the end of the tour (the photos you see here are from my tour).
Río Secreto is a great choice for anyone on a Mexico vacation who’s into adventure travel, nature and exploring. The difficulty level is fairly low, but a decent amount of mobility is a necessity. Prices can include roundtrip transportation between Río Secreto and hotels in both the Riviera Maya and Cancun. It’s quite close to the luxurious TRS Yucatan hotel, by the way — and I had a wonderful rest when I got back to my beautiful suite.