We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best excursion yet!”
Review of Rio Secreto

Rio Secreto
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Rio Secreto Underground River Tour with Crystal Caves
More Info
and up
Rio Secreto Plus: Admission Ticket in Playa del Carmen
More Info
and up
Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins Early Access Tour Plus Rio Secreto Nature Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Mexico reveals its newly-discovered underground river: Very few places in the world boast conditions that make it possible to witness the extraordinary beauty of an underground river. Rio Secreto is a fantastic journey into a unique system of underground rivers and ancient caverns that reveals both the astonishing interaction of time within the interior of our planet and the miraculous existence of our lives. Come and experience this magical journey with us on your next vacations in Mexico.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed October 19, 2013

I recommend this excursion to everyone. Amazing educational experience! Absolutely beautiful cave!
Just when you think that having a knowledgeable guide is all you need, along comes Adriana who also knows so much Mayan history AND loves what she does!
If you are staying in Playa del Carmen, call and ask about the free transportation they offer!

Thank stuckjg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (5,912)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

2,504 - 2,508 of 5,912 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2013

I visited this "attraction" on a shore excursion from a Carnival cruise on October 9, 2013, and one week later I'm still in awe of the experience!

First of all, I have to mention that our tour guide, Hector, was absolutely fantastic! He was very knowledgable about the cave systems, as well as the surrounding ecosystems, and he took every step to ensure that my dad (who has arthritis and isn't able to move around as well as the rest of us) was able to get around okay all the time. He was also very laid-back, yet professional, and his enthusiasm made our tour more enjoyable.

The facilities (restroom, lockers, shower area, dining area, etc) were basic, however, they were clean and seemed well-maintained. The buildings construction were such that they didn't seem to be making much of an impact on the land, which is great because it gives it a more natural feel.

The caves themselves seemed as untouched as possible, with no man-made lighting aside from your headlamps and the flashlight of the tour guide. There is a moment when you are able to take a seat and turn off all your lights, fully immersing yourselves in the complete darkness of the cave, only hearing the distant drips of water from the stalactites. It really is an incredible experience.

Before you enter the caves, you are asked to change into a swimsuit and then step under a shower briefly to wash away any harmful chemicals or oils that may be on your skin. You are also asked to remove any metals (watches, jewelry) as they can also be harmful to the ecosystems inside the caves, but prescription glasses are okay to have, for obvious reasons. From there, you get a wetsuit, then a helmet, then a life vest, and then water shoes. After this, you're fully outfitted and are able to begin your tour (there are no rental fees for the equipment).

As people have mentioned before, you aren't allowed to take any photos or video, but a photographer follows your group in the caves to take photos as you go. You are given the option to purchase these on a cd at the end (around $70 at the time).

I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who visits this area of Mexico, on a cruise ship or not. I was a bit worried there would be a lot of swimming, because I'm not the strongest swimmer, but the life vest did most of the work for me, and there were only 2 areas that I needed it (we toured the Palacios "route"). I was also a bit worried that we might encounter some spiders along the way, but surprisingly enough I didn't really see many, and the ones I did see were far enough away that I wasn't worried (and they were small). Hector did point out a type of spider called an Amblypigids to us that was hiding in some ficus root. They look a lot more intimidating than they really are, and because they blend in so well, it's really kind of hard to see it without help from your tour guide so you won't have to worry about one sneaking up on you. The only wildlife we saw aside from that was a shrimp. I did hear some bats, but I never saw any. So, if you're thinking you might not do this because you can't swim very well and/or because of the bugs you might encounter, please, don't let that stop you!

I can't say enough good things about this tour! If I return to this area of Mexico I will try my hardest to get back there and see a different cave system. It really is an amazing secret!

Thank SilverHaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My husband and I went to Rio Secreto a few weeks ago on 9/30/13. It was truely one of the highlights of our trip to Mexico. Our guide Rodrigo really made the experiance that much better, he was fun, educational and you could really tell he loved showing us this amazing place. At one point he had us floating in complete darkness which was so tranquil and calming. Being in such a natural and pristine place is an experiance that can't be put into words. Plus I love how the money you spend there goes towards helping preserve the caves and the land around it. I highly recommend making the trip to see this place if you are traveling to this area.

1  Thank okrocksteady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

We had a fantastic experience at Rio Secreto. It was informative, clean and professional. Yes, you cannot take photos and yes, you are followed by a guide/photographer and yes, you can buy any or all of the photos for a fee afterwards. This is all explained to you so if you have an issue with that, you should probably not go. Keep in mind that that you have the same thing in the states when you go on tours. Revenue keeps the place running, so you cannot have it all. I think it is very reasonably priced and our tour guide, Adriana, was amazing. If you are unsteady or afraid of enclosed spaces, this may not be for you. You are given everything you need there, wetsuit, helmet, walking stick, towels, shower, lockers, and a nice meal afterwards. Relax and enjoy the uniqueness of the experience. It is a treasure.

Thank Terri D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

It was amazing. It was well worth every penny. The water was so clear and cold. They do give you a wet suit to wear to help with the cold water. There is a lot to see there.

Thank Jill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Rio Secreto also viewed

Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya

Been to Rio Secreto? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing