Rio Secreto, The Riviera Maya´s Underground River

Rio Secreto is a super popular cenote 5km from Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, México. It is a series of caves where you can go on organized tours and do anything from cycling to watch a light show. This cenote was only discovered in the last 10 years so it is one of the newest Cenotes in the Riviera Maya (well it’s super old but new to human eyes!). The amazing thing about this cenote is that you can explore the 12km of underground caves without needing a dive certificate. All you have to do is walk and float through the caves as you follow your experienced guide.

Team Building at Rio Secreto

Tour Experience

Visiting Rio Secreto can only be done through the organized tours offered by reserve. The tours will take you hiking and swimming through about a one kilometer stretch of one of the caves (meaning your visit will represent only a tiny taste of this vast reserve).
Once there, you’ll meet your guide and receive a brief orientation to the park. There are free lockers where you can change and leave your stuff (you need nothing but your swimsuit), and you’ll be provided with special water shoes, a mandatory life jacket, and a helmet with a lamp. Wet suits are available as well but are optional (I wore one, but in retrospect didn’t feel that it was necessary). You’ll also be required to shower off to prevent the introduction of foreign substances into the reserve’s delicate water.
Your guide will tell you about the history of the cave, explain how the magical minerals formed and will point out wildlife along the way (there are two types of fish in the river, as well as many insects, bats, and other animals).

Cenotes at Riviera Maya Rio Secreto Tour

Where is Rio Secreto located?

Located in the Riviera Maya, a little over an hour south of Cancun near the town of Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is an extensive system of caves and cenotes carved out over the course of several centuries by an underground river. Stretching approximately eight miles, with 15 natural outlets, it’s the longest partially flooded cave in the region.

Rio Secreto Cancun Tour

What is a Cenote?

A Cenote is a natural sinkhole caused by limestone collapsing. The collapse exposes groundwater beneath making them the perfect place to swim, snorkel or scuba-dive. Most Cenotes are small with tiny openings but other Cenotes are so huge you can actually swim and dive in them. If you are visiting Mexico then visiting a Cenote is a must do an activity.

Have you been to Rio Secreto Cenote? What was it like for you?



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