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Excursions UNDERGROUND MAYAN RIVER CENOTE or Amazing Secret River And Playa Del Carme


leighkai76
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There's a significant cost difference but I can't seem to tell much of difference in the descriptions. Any advice out there? I'm sailing in two weeks on RC. One is $109 the other is $75. Not thrilled/interested with the shopping part but it looks like both have shopping time.

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We did the RCL trip, was worth the trip, we ran late, was so glad we were on the RCL trip.. was the highlight of our trip. We rarely do a ship excursion, we usually book our own. We even bought the $99 excursion thumb drive picture disk..

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I am currently re/searching my self for my upcoming RCI/Allure in December. I am king od inclined towards the RCI excursion vs. Shoreexcursions/third party tours sighting the tight time lines and not making on time.

Regarding the difference between two...one excursion mentioned about "Chaak Tun" cenote close to Plya Del Carmen where as the other one is not clear which Cenote they are referring too..

I myself is inclined towards package of "Cobe" ruins + "Chaak Tun" cenote which is around $67 with recent RCI discount...third party also have similar prices.

Hope some one who has done both or knows the difference could recommend better.

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Hi there.

To help a little my family went to the Amazing Secret River excursion- but thru Carnival. They go to the same place. It is an ALL DAY TRIP. Very long , but so worth it in the end because it is out of this world beautiful.

You will need to wear your swimsuits there. You will need water shoes- if not- they will provide some for you- well worn. They will have you put on a wetsuit ( yes the water is cold), vest and helmet with headlamp. They will recommend you take a walking stick- TAKE THIS! It is an amazing walk through the caves and swim thru the caves. After, they provide a buffet type lunch and offer pics of the trip on a disk. Think it ran about $100-ish for the 5 of us ( And yes- it was so worth it we had about 70+ images on disk of our group as well as their stock photos which were so much better than anything I could have taken with my little camera). Google Rio Secreto- that is the Amazing Secret River excursion.

Some additional tips:

- Do Not wear makeup/sunscreen/deodorant for this excursion. It wrecks havoc on the ecosystem there. They do ask that you rinse off in their outdoor showers there before heading in the caves. After the excursion is over, they have lockers where you can collect your things and change in the bathrooms if you like.

-No cameras/go pros allowed.

-The Playa del Carmen shopping area is a very, very long street/ shopping area after you are done with the caves and eat. . Be sure to change into tennis shoes for this portion as if you are still wearing your water shoes- your feet will be in extreme pain and raw after walking this. ( take it from me :eek:) Bring money and lots of patience if you do not like to shop- as there is no where else to go until the ferry picks you up. That way you can at least sit down and have a drink or ice cream to pass the time until it's time to get on the ferry.

-THE FERRY- it has an unofficial nickname of the "vomit comet" for a reason. If by chance you get seasick easily- be sure to sit in the middle of the bottom or middle of the top floors as it has the least motion.

-Again, this excursion is an all day event. We ended up being the first off the boat and the last group of pier runners since the ferry was late coming back from the mainland. Thankfully we had the ship excursion and they held the boat.

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If you are talking about Underground River & 5th Ave shopping excursion - we did this. You do not wear a wesuit, swimsuit and life jacket only. And you are treading water and swimming the whole time as water is too deep to walk most of the time. You are in the dark most of the time with only the flashlights for light. It is NOT for everyone.

That said, we loved it.

My video:

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Thanks AB for the feedback.

I got an idea about both "Amazing Secret River (Rio Secreto) and "Underground Mayan River (Chaak Tun), as these two are exclusive Cenote excursions and thinking of mixing with Myan ruins to make the most bang for the buck.

 

Currently there is "Cobe" ruins + cenote" for $94 from RCI and wondering which of the above Cenote they are going take as the description did not mention neither "Rio Secreto " nor "Chaak Tun"

 

Any one taken this particular excursion and confirm which of the above cenote they are going to take us..

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Thanks AB for the feedback.

I got an idea about both "Amazing Secret River (Rio Secreto) and "Underground Mayan River (Chaak Tun), as these two are exclusive Cenote excursions and thinking of mixing with Myan ruins to make the most bang for the buck.

 

Currently there is "Cobe" ruins + cenote" for $94 from RCI and wondering which of the above Cenote they are going take as the description did not mention neither "Rio Secreto " nor "Chaak Tun"

 

Any one taken this particular excursion and confirm which of the above cenote they are going to take us..

 

Coba has a cenote there, so it would be a swim in that one. Coba is really nice, with the tallest temple that you can climb. It is in the jungle though so hot hot hot. Be sure to take water bottles with you and bug spray. Worth it, just be prepared.

(There are hundreds of cenotes in the Yucatan. All the Mayan cities, except Tulum, were build next to a cenote or two as they were the only source of water. Tulum is near lots of cenotes though, just not right in the ruins like all the other cities.)

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  • 11 months later...

I have done both the Amazing Secret River (Rio Secreto) and the Chaak Tun cenote, but none of the other many cenotes (caves with water) in the area.  If most cenotes are like Chaak Tun, they have some interest but the Amazing Secret River is truly amazing.  It is beautiful and doesn't really even compare to a smaller cenote like Chaak Tun in my humble opinion.  Spend the extra dollars on the Secret River.  You won't regret it.

Stressedmomof3 already gave you some great tips.

If shopping isn't you're thing, the 5th Ave shopping area of Playa del Carmen is right on the beach and right at the ferry landing.  You can sit on the beach and have a few drinks or there is a Senor Frog's literally right across the street from the ferry landing for a few drinks and people watching.

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  • 2 months later...

Most of the cenote excursions offered through RCCI have weight limits of 250lbs. My boyfriend is a tall and muscular guy who exceeds this. Is there any reason for this restriction? I would love to do a cenote excursion, just not sure if we should risk booking it because of a weight limit? Thanks.

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it has to do with the safety equipment sizes.  They probably don't have xxl ones that have enough lift to make sure someone wearing it doesn't drown. Most of the cenotes used for excursions are not real deep, but for safety everyone is supposed to have a safety device.   Its an insurance issue.  

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 We did this excursion and one of the reasons may be that there are some very small areas that you have to climb through. My husband is 6 foot 210 pounds and a little bit of a belly and he had a hard time getting through some of the more restrictive spaces So if he weighs more but is thinner he might be able to get into  the tighter spaces. It was an amazing trip. Don’t drink the lemonade they offer after, my husband had montezuma’s revenge the next day. 

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  • 1 month later...

I was just about to post the same question. We'll be on RCI Allure in about a week and we are torn between the same 2 excursions. It's $436 for 4 of us for "Amazing Secret River + PDC" compared to $336 for Chaak Tun + Shopping". I'm wondering if it's really worth the extra $100 for the first one? It looks awfully dark in the videos. Do you really get to see anything? We really wanted to do a fun excursion in Cozumel for our teen boys, but we are just striking out left and right. We are from FL so a day at the beach has zero appeal. I'm just not sure what to do. We were trying to keep Cozumel affordable since we have some excursions at the other ports, but I don't think a taxi to the beach will be met with any enthusiasm. 

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  • 2 months later...

My question may seem silly, but I appreciate the insight in planning to do this in September through RCCL

Do you wear your swimsuit under the wetsuit on the Secret river tour correct?  I hope so. 

 

Also, does the water feel very cold, or do you keep pretty warm in the wetsuit?

 

How many narrow passage are there?

 

 

Thanks, 

 

 

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Yes you wear your swimsuit under the wetsuit.  We opted not to even wear wetsuits.  The water is chilly but not unbearable for us, the guide, or anyone else in our group (nobody wore wetsuits).  It was fine.  So if you wear a wetsuit, it's going to be plenty warm enough.

 

We had one passage where you had to actually go underwater to get through - as in duck your head briefly.  The guide helped and it wasn't a big deal.  There are a ton of different caves/passages so you may have one without that type of passthrough at all.  Overall the caves are quite open and not claustrophobic.

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Thank you for the info.  We are booked on Enchantment of the Seas Sept 25th, but we are planning to do the Secret River.  We feel a lot more comfortable after reading your answers.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, TX JAM said:

Thank you for the info.  We are booked on Enchantment of the Seas Sept 25th, but we are planning to do the Secret River.  We feel a lot more comfortable after reading your answers.  

 

 

 

We have done a lot of great excursions. White water rafting, cave tubing, you name it... Amazing secret river is probably our favorite. Do it. It really is amazing. 

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  • 2 months later...
7 minutes ago, kalliyan1 said:

How much time is actually spent in the Cave/water on the Amazing secret river tour?  I know it's an all day excursion but i'm trying to get a feel for how much ferry/shopping time is part of the all day experience.

Thanks

 

45 minutes or so in the cave. It's quite long for what it is. Plus lunch, getting ready, walk to the cave, etc. Ferry to mainland and back takes quite a bit of the day plus the bus to the location. We had about an hour or so of shopping all said. 

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36 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

45 minutes or so in the cave. It's quite long for what it is. Plus lunch, getting ready, walk to the cave, etc. Ferry to mainland and back takes quite a bit of the day plus the bus to the location. We had about an hour or so of shopping all said. 

With that being said, do you personally feel it was worth the time and money to experience this?

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