Río Secreto (Secret River)

Playa del Carmen

This nature reserve is categorized as part of Playa del Carmen's (and Mexico's) natural heritage on account of the beauty of its underground cavern system, which is partially flooded with crystalline turquoise water.

Protecting the ecosystem
Tours of Río Secreto (Secret River) are led by expert cavern guides. Before accessing the cavern system, it is necessary to wash off of any chemical substances from your body (including lotion, deodorant, and sunscreen), as they can damage the fragile ecosystem. They've set up showers in the middle of a jungle for this purpose.

Once you've taken a quick shower, you're ready to hike or cycle your way to the dry cavern area, which is profusely decorated with stalactites and stalagmites that join together to form columns wrapped in the roots of the ceiba trees growing on top. This path leads to the network of partially flooded caverns.

You'll need to wear a wetsuit and a flotation device while swimming in the caverns. The guides will give you a few minutes to take in the stalactite-covered ceilings, which point at you like arrows. The tour ends with a light and sound show in the Salón de la Paz (Peace Room). The lighting and sound effects allow you to better observe the surface runoff, which has shaped these caverns over thousands of years.

According to the history of this natural reserve, Río Secreto was discovered by a farmer who was chasing an iguana. The clever reptile hid between the crevices of the giant rocks that covered the network of caverns. When the farmer moved the obstacles in search of the reptile, he discovered the otherworldly underground river.
This nature reserve is categorized as part of Playa del Carmen's (and Mexico's) natural heritage on account of the beauty of its underground cavern system, which is partially flooded with crystalline turquoise water.

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Protecting the ecosystem
Tours of Río Secreto (Secret River) are led by expert cavern guides. Before accessing the cavern system, it is necessary to wash off of any chemical substances from your body (including lotion, deodorant, and sunscreen), as they can damage the fragile ecosystem. They've set up showers in the middle of a jungle for this purpose.

Once you've taken a quick shower, you're ready to hike or cycle your way to the dry cavern area, which is profusely decorated with stalactites and stalagmites that join together to form columns wrapped in the roots of the ceiba trees growing on top. This path leads to the network of partially flooded caverns.

You'll need to wear a wetsuit and a flotation device while swimming in the caverns. The guides will give you a few minutes to take in the stalactite-covered ceilings, which point at you like arrows. The tour ends with a light and sound show in the Salón de la Paz (Peace Room). The lighting and sound effects allow you to better observe the surface runoff, which has shaped these caverns over thousands of years.

According to the history of this natural reserve, Río Secreto was discovered by a farmer who was chasing an iguana. The clever reptile hid between the crevices of the giant rocks that covered the network of caverns. When the farmer moved the obstacles in search of the reptile, he discovered the otherworldly underground river.

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