Visit the park of Xenotes Oasis Maya and explore four phenomenal cenotes in the Yucatan jungle, each calling for a different adventure: rappelling, ziplining, kayaking and snorkeling. Learn from an expert guide about cenote formation, and admire the various physical attributes of each type of sinkhole. During this fun flurry of activity, hear about the mythical spirit-guardians that protect these cenote sites. Enjoy cookies and chocolate after each cenote adventure, as well as a scrumptious gourmet picnic lunch. Round-trip transport from your hotel in Playa del Carmen is included.
Your cenote-sampler adventure begins with hotel pickup from Playa del Carmen, where your guide greets you with coffee and pastries. Relax during the 30-minute ride to Puerto Morelos, and learn how the geological composition of the Yucatan Peninsula is uniquely susceptible to moisture absorption, allowing for cenote formation. At Xenotes Oasis Maya, a new park operated by Experiencias Xcaret, you’ll visit four cenotes based on their age, which determines the openness of the cenote to the surface and the strength of its currents relative to the underground river network. Each cenote on your itinerary today also represents a natural element: fire, wind, earth and water. The ancient Mayans built their villages near these sinkholes that provided natural sources of water, and treated them as pathways to commune with the gods. Guarding over each cenote area is an alux, a spirit-being and caretaker of the jungle, who shares characteristics of his territory. The Mayans often asked aluxes for permission to enter a field or cenote to protect crops or ward off thieves. As you approach the ‘fire’ cenote of K’aak, an example of an open cenote, listen to the free-flowing river currents and admire the lush flora thriving on vertical walls. Your guide shares with you that alux K’aak was known for vitality and for encouraging people to live in the moment. Do your part and jump into a kayak, or float in an inner tube, and admire the gorgeous landscapes around you.At the ‘wind’ cenote of Lik’, fly high and zipline over the pool of water, much like the volatile alux who loved to soar above his domain. The limestone walls of this ancient cenote have fully collapsed, blocking much of the access to the underground river system. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the gentle currents here. Embody the fun-loving spirit of alux Lu’um as you rappel down the rock walls of the ‘earth’ cenote, a semi-open cenote. Here, water flows horizontally through the aquifer of the tunnels and caves. Visit the ‘water’ cenote of Ha’, a cavern cenote with aquatic fauna and eye-catching rock formations. As you snorkel and discover a water underworld of water-lily gardens and colorful fish, take in the sense of harmony and peace cultivated by the alux-in-residence.After each cenote, sip on champurrado (a thick, chocolate-based Mexican drink) or coffee, and snack on cookies. Before drop-off at your hotel, enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch, including fusilli-vegetable soup, a premium selection of cheeses and deli meats, and rustic breads and fresh salads. Coffee, wine, beer and water (in addition to soft drinks and seasonal fruits provided en route) are included.