Welcome once again to another episode (6) of my adventures around the Riviera Maya, the adventures of Rubi! Today we will take on a pretty fantastic day, it is a ATV 4×4 ride in the middle of the jungle and the discovery of a fantastic underground river, which being honest, exceeded my expectations. I was just fascinated. Join me!
In the middle of the jungle!
That day, I had an appointment at 13h in the center of Playa del Carmen to board a minivan. After ten minutes on the way from Playa del Carmen, we turn right into a small dirt road, then after approximately 20 minutes between trees, cries of birds and small reptiles we reach our destination.
Arrival at the site
As soon as I arrived at the place, I could observe the ATVs parked in the distance and I was thrilled with the idea of traveling on a four-wheel drive at full speed on the same irregular dirt road through which we had just passed.
When we got off the van we were welcomed by Francesco who will be our guide for the day. We are a small group of 3 Spanish speakers (me and 2 friends), which is very nice. He explained the itinerary of the activities to be carried out; We would start with the ATV tour and finish with the exploration tour of the cenote caverna. Francesco explained to us all the safety rules for ATVs, their operation and handling and he gave us the safety equipment; Helmet, goggles and bandana for complete head protection.
We went for 28 km!
You can choose between single or double ATV; If you do not want to travel alone (to) the 28 km or you would like to share this adventure with your partner, choose the double ATV, you will have the opportunity to stop several times to change drivers. As a good adventurer, I go alone in my ATV even though I had not done this activity before. But to my surprise, the ATV is very easy to handle: there is a trigger to accelerate and classic brakes behind the handlebar (bicycle brake type) to decelerate. We stand in a row behind the guide and drive a few hundred meters before a first stop, this so that the guides observe you and take care that you do not have any difficulty in driving. Everything is fine for our group, so we launched for 28 km (approximately 1 hour) of adrenaline through the jungle. The pace is really perfect, we feel the speed and power of the bike, we spin fast enough to experience a real adrenaline, but not too much, therefore we did not put ourselves in danger. In addition, I loved that the route was composed of different types of roads: Wide planes and wide ideal to accelerate, winding and narrow for the maximum sensations, ups and downs to feel the emotion.
The Underground River
After an hour of four-wheel drive, it is time for the second part of this excursion: the guided tour of the underground river. The beautiful cenote is named Saac-Pool and it is a private cavern cenote full of many stalactites. Francesco equipped us with a helmet with light and water shoes (the neoprene suit has an additional cost of $ 10 USD). It is time to descend underground, at the entrance there is a Mayan altar, tradition says that it is necessary to deposit an offering for the Aluxes (elves) who guard the cenotes to enter. Francesco is a very interesting guide, explaining in detail information about the formation of the cenotes in Yucatan and its role in the time of the Mayas and Aztecs.
It is time to go deeper into the darkness of this cenote, the water is a bit cold but you get used to it quickly. We pass by a small passage in the rocks, in the darkness but lit by lamps, that’s when Francesco tells us to turn off the lamps of our helmets, and he does the same with his flashlight. The experience is really incredible, I did not expect that at all, in an instant we found ourselves in the most total darkness, a black so deep that even I and the other people in the group had never experienced it; In fact, on earth, even at night, in our room or in any other place, there is always a trickle of light that pierces the darkness … but there in the cenote there was not a single ray of light. It is such a surprising darkness that I had the impression of being lost. After a few seconds, the colored lights came on, revealing a magical and totally natural, almost unreal scenario: thousands of stalactites that make the cenote so special!
Francesco explained how these natural formations are born, the time they take to grow and how the pH of our skin kills its growth so you do not have to touch them. He even taught us to play music in these stalactites!
After an hour of visit in the heart of the cenote, we return to the surface, for a drink of Tequila (well deserved) offered by the staff. After our spectacular day, we boarded the truck back to Playa del Carmen.
Why YOU should not miss this tour?
– Adorable staff!;
– Very complete ATV experience, on all types of roads and safely.
– Exciting guided tour in a single cenote, in a small group.
– Transportation included
Duration: 4 hours in total