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Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen

star-4.543 Reviews
Badge of Excellence
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen

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Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children
Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more


Embark on the ultimate eco-tourism experience: a visit to Río Secreto Nature Reserve, an incredible semi-sunken cave system located just a few miles from Playa del Carmen. Don a wetsuit, helmet and headlamp to explore this underground river's vast wonders, marveling at its impressive rock formations and splashing through the waters of its limestone tunnels as your guide identifies unique vegetation and tiny creatures along the way. Back on solid ground, savor a traditional Maya lunch and relax in the jungle before returning to your hotel.
  • Guided visit to Río Secreto Nature Reserve, multi-year recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence
  • Trek through underground tunnels and cenotes, and admire dramatic stalactites and stalagmites
  • Learn from an expert guide how the limestone formations developed, and take a look at the native vegetation
  • Feast on a delicious Mayan buffet lunch
  • All necessary equipment (wetsuit, helmet with headlight, water shoes, life vest) provided
  • Entrance fees, lunch, and optional hotel pickup and drop-off from Playa del Carmen included
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Professional guide
Use of all necessary equipment (wetsuit, helmet, water shoes, life vest)
Hotel pickup and drop-off (if option selected)
Hotel pickup and drop-off (if option not selected)

Departure Point

Río Secreto, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Passengers must weigh less than 250 pounds (113 kg)
  • Minimum age is 4 years
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Cancun Vacation Experts

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen?
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen.
What is the policy on sanitization during Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen?
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen.
What is the social distancing policy during Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen?
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen.
What is the maximum group size during Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen?
This activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "You are not allowed to take your own camera and the pictures are expensive but this truly is an experience of a lifetime and I highly recommend everyone try this activity." See review


43 Reviews
2 stars
1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews
Unique experinece in Mexico!
, Jan 2021
Incredible experience! About a two hour hike and swim through the caverns followed by a tasty lunch. Definitely need to be fit to do this excursion with no fear of the dark or small spaces.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2021
Thank you for sharing your excellent experience doing this tour, this will be helpful for other customers.
, Feb 2020
Angel,our guide was wonderful and I will never forget the experience of seeing you he ceiling light up . Just one negative was the selling of the photos during the trip. But otherwise I won’t not miss this for the world!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thank you very much for sharing your excellent experience and your feedback regarding the photos.
Excellent Tour
, Jun 2019
My family thought this was a great tour. It takes some time to get logistics together when you first arrive, but after that it was very memorable. Our guide (Fillipe) had a great since of Humor and did an awesome job keeping us separate from other groups in the cave. I enjoyed the tradition of the blessing entering the cave (even if it is just for show) and the ceremonial "shot" after leaving. Would highly recommend.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
This tour was amazing
, May 2019
This tour was one of the highlights of our trip to Playa del Carmen. Our tour guide Olek Sanders, was very informational and spoke god English. They split groups into English speaking and Spanish speaking making it easier for everyone taking the tours. The caves were awesome and so was the swimming. You wear life jackets so you don't have to be a strong swimmer. There was some hiking and the path in the cave is uneven so this is a physical activity but overall moderate for most people to be able to complete the tour. You are not allowed to take your own camera and the pictures are expensive but this truly is an experience of a lifetime and I highly recommend everyone try this activity.
One of the most awesome experiences...
Mark T
, Mar 2018
One of the most awesome experiences you can have! We have done this three times over the past few years and continue to be thrilled. Only issue was with the tour company that could not get our pick up time and place established correctly. With a bunch of back and forth emails it was finally resolved but sure left a sour taste in our mouths for this particular tour company!
I am living in Playa Del Carmen for...
Gloria B
, Oct 2017
I am living in Playa Del Carmen for a year. I booked a tour to the Rio Secreto Nature Reserve. My first disappointment was that they would not pick me up from my condo. Nevertheless I decided to go anyway because I could go to the closest hotel. However, I wasn't told that when the hotel is in Playacar I could not pass the entrance gate to the compound. I had to stand in the rain outside the gate and get the drivers attention. Okay after arriving at the reserve we took a shower, suited up in a wetsuit, shoes, helmet and walking cane. In order to get to the cave we needed to run through the forest as fast as we could to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Of course that was impossible. My legs back and arms got bitten the worse. The same thing happened going back. The luncheon food was very bland and not enough variety of food. Except for those unforeseen thing the tour was incredible.
FABULOUS tour. They provide you...
Cheryl E
, Sep 2017
FABULOUS tour. They provide you with everything you need - helmets with lights on them, wetsuits, water shoes, life jackets, and walking sticks. The underground caves are INCREDIBLE! You must hike a little bit to get to the caves, and also hike and walk in sometimes waist deep water and sometimes you have to swim a short distance. We are a couple in our mid sixties and it was easy to do. Certainly not over-challenging such that anyone should worry that they are not fit enough to do this tour. At the end of the tour they give you a shot of some kind of native alcoholic beverage and then a full Mexican buffet under a pavilion. AWESOME experience. I would highly recommend it. I agree with others that it is a shame what they charge for photos ridiculous amounts of money and they don't let you take any cameras or cellphones into the caves.
We booked our tour on the...
Lisa V
, Jun 2017
We booked our tour on the TripAdvisor website via Viator. The company that ultimately set everything up was Cancun Vacation Experts. We had a small group tour- only 9 people. Everything went as smooth as can be. Rio Secreto is a natural wonder that we felt privileged to explore. It is a National Geographic site that, to date, only about 80,000 people have had the opportunity to visit. It has only been open to the public since 2008. Our guide to the underground world was Alondra and although our tour was bilingual, she did an excellent job switching back and forth between the two languages. She was knowledgeable, witty and very informative. From the main entrance, you will board a small motor bus and drive 7K through the jungle to the staging area. You will need to wear/ bring a bathing suit and you will lock up all of your belongings as you may NOT bring cameras, cell phones or any other belongings except for perscription eyewear, that might get wet or lost. You will be required to shower off in cool water any lotions, creams, etc., so as not to pollute the fresh water. So don't bother with bugs pray or sunscreen...there are no mosquito's or sun in the caves. Don't worry about photos. They have professional photographer's that accompany you among the journey. Next you will be provided with non-skid water shoes, wet suit, life vest and helmets with headlamps. This is not a tour for very young children, people with mobility, balance, joint issues or if you are claustrophobic you do go through some tight spots or afraid of the dark. You must also be comfortable in water over your head. After you suit up, you will walk a few feet into the jungle where a Big Man like a Shaman will perform a Mayan blessing for your safe journey to/from the underworld. Greet him with Maloob Kin or Good Sun in Mayan. The caves are vast, about 17 miles long with only about 24 of them being fully explored. You will descend about 45 feet underground where you will enter the Secret River. The water temperature is between 69 and 72 degrees F. There are 4 different entrances/routes that can be explored. Our route was called Joy, so if you come back you can have a different experience. The tour takes about 2 hours or so even though you will only have travelled about 1/2 miles. The tour ends with ceremonial toast of Xtabentun, a Mayan spirit that is made with honey and anise and is about 20 alcohol. A buffet lunch was also included with our tour, with choices of salads, lime soup, pulled chicken, rice, pasta, beans and various hot sauce's all served under a palapa. Lunch was very good. As with any attraction, photo packages are available for purchase, we chose the 135 package as it included a USB drive with about 50 photos and you get a choice of any 4 souvenirs including t-shirts, hats and the Xtabentun the Mayan hooch. This was an absolutely amazing experience and definitely unique.
The cave is not as pretty as it...
Lisa A
, Jun 2017
The cave is not as pretty as it looks in the pictures but it was still a fun adventure. There arent any safety mesaures inside of the cave so you just step where u can and its sometimes deep, slippery, and you can lose your balance easily. I would definitely not recommend for children under 12.
I highly recommend this tour. It...
, Apr 2017
I highly recommend this tour. It was a totally different experience. At the site we were given a wet suit , reef shoes, life jacket, a helmet with a headlight and were told to shower off any sunscreen on our body before we entered a cave that led to Rio Secreto. Some people decided not wear a wet suit and regretted it later as the water is quite cool. Also I recommend taking one of the walking sticks they offer as the ground in the river is very uneven. I had difficulty seeing in the caves so if you have a waterproof flashlight bring it along. The guide lent me his and it made a huge difference as I could clearly see the rock formations and stalagmites throughout the cave. We floated down the river on our backs led by our very helpful guide. This was a wonderful experience.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful

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