The area around Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya is fast becoming a vacation destination. The ancient Mayan civilization has spawned such adventures as The Mayan Experience, Xel Ha (a natural water park) and large resorts designed to look like Mayan cities. And there are many experiences available for the adventurous spirit as well.
The Yucatan Peninsula is composed of a large and intricate system of beautiful underwater caves and cenotes (pronounced say-no-tay). The word cenote refers to a large natural sink hole whose limestone covering has caved in to reveal the running stream below. Cenotes played a large role in the lives of the Mayan peoples of the past and continue to do so today. Mexico is fairly dry, with relatively no rivers or streams on the land surface so the underground water beds provide an important source of water.
The Yucatan's Dept. of Ecology has identified and mapped over 2,200 cenotes. Some of these are accessible to tourists for exploration on foot or by scuba diving.
RIO SECRETO gave us an incredible afternoon of exploring the beauty of the caves! The images above were shot by the very talented team of photographers on site and, of course, are available for purchase. Since we were doing some swimming cameras were not allowed.
The four of us hooked up with a guide and another family, showered, donned our wet suits, water shoes and helmets with lights and began our trek through the jungle to the cave entrance. We felt like explorers as we scrambled, sloshed and swam our way through the cave system. The kids loved it and it was the first thing they told friends about when we got home.
I say, go and experience this part of Mexico before it gets too built up and touristy. It was wonderful!!