One of the best family-friendly tours in Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is Riviera Maya’s very own underground adventure! Here, find amazing rock formations surrounded by a crystal blue water, also called a cenote. Mexico is one of the few places where you can witness such a beautiful sight. I had the delight of visiting this natural wonder during my family trip to Cancun. I can confidently say Rio Secreto with kids is one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had! It is truly one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen with kids (or, in our case from Cacun with kids!). We booked our excursion online ahead of time, where we were able to find better prices and inevitably a lot of hassle.
From the NIZUC Resort & Spa (where we stayed), we packed our rental car (which we got from the airport for literal pennies), and then we were off. My husband and I were just as excited as our then six-year-old twins! We couldn’t wait to finally experience Rio Secreto with kids.
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Many choose to visit Rio Secreto early in the morning to get the full experience. We arrived at 11:00 am and found it was the perfect time of day — balmy, but bearable. Regardless of what company you choose, however, you’ll first be seated to watch a video presentation, which gives a brief history of the caves and their significance. Since we booked directly through the Rio Secreto, our tour was centered on eco-consciousness. As such, we also had to take a thorough shower to get rid of sunscreen, makeup, and any other debris.
I was extremely impressed with the attention the tour gave to maintaining this stunning archaeological site. My kids were even more thrilled because they got to wear wet suits, helmets with a headlamp, a life jacket, and water shoes. They felt like real adventurers! We were also given a walking stick, which I found completely necessary given how sharp some of the rocks are. After snapping a few quick pictures, our guide started the amazing adventure. Luckily, they were very entertaining and helpful, using humor to engage my kids and keep their attention! Given this, I definitely think Rio Secreto is also one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen with teens. Between the adventure and education information, you can’t go wrong with this experience!
Visiting a sacred Mayan cave, in its own way, feels like entering the underworld. The caves are indeed mysterious and beautiful, a record of civilizations past and present. I was really happy our guide talked us through and shared how each area was formed. The stalagmite and the walls were fantastic, but the water was really cold, so we were glad we had a wet suit! It’s truthfully hard to describe Rio Secreto’s beauty; at every turn, we were more amazed by what we saw. You walk, you crawl, you swim, and you enjoy every minute of it! Keep in mind that even though the water isn’t deep, swimming abilities were still necessary (fortunately, we did have life jackets). My kids really loved seeing the bats, fish, and feeling the adrenaline associated with walking from one formation to another, in and out of the water. It was truly magical!
Additional Notes From Our Experience
You’re not permitted to take your own photos, so we purchased a photo package to take home some memories. Pictures don’t do Rio Secreto with kids justice, however! The whole experience lasted less than two hours, but we enjoyed every second of its immersion. Additionally, we loved the chance to learn about rock formations, local geology, and other aspects of Mexican culture. I highly recommend this excursion for children over five and all adults in reasonably good health. After the caves, we changed back into our regular clothes. Then, we dined at the buffet dinner included in our ticket price. This was such an excellent choice for our family, a truly fantastic experience.
I enthusiastically recommend visiting Rio Secreto with kids when you are in Mexico! Simply put, it is a very fun family activity in Playa del Carmen. My family has been to a few more caves since our trip, but none of them compare to the beauty of Rio Secreto. We hope you love it as much as we did!
Savings Tip: Check the website for discounts and promotions. When I scheduled the tour, there was a 20% discount if I made my appointment over the phone.
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