Anytime is a great time to pack your bags and head to Mexico’s Riviera Maya along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. And if you like to go green when you are on holidays, this is the spot, with plenty of eco-adventure parks that introduce you and your family to local cultures and wildlife. Here are eight can’t-miss adventures.
This stunning eco-archeological park was the brainchild of architect Miguel Quintana Pali. His dream became a reality when Xcaret opened in 1990. Since that time millions of people have enjoyed the beauty and splendour of this eco-adventure destination. Not only does the park recycle its water, but it also hands out free samples of eco-friendly sun block to visitors. Explore the underground rivers or spend an hour at the butterfly pavilion. The marine turtles and jaguars are not to be missed. If you like birds be sure to stop by the wildlife breeding farm.
One of the most popular eco-adventures in the world, Xplor is like nothing you have ever experienced. The park has 13 zip lines that take you through the Mayan jungles. Take a trek on one of the suspension bridges or jump onboard one of the amphibious vehicles where you explore a land that has been untouched by time. Hike underground and swim among the stalagmites and stalactites. The raft ride will take your breath away as you travel through subterranean caverns.
This wonderful eco-adventure park offers unforgettable attractions that will get your heart pumping. If you are up for the rush take a ride on Avatar. You’ll feel like you are on a roller coaster ride, but you are actually zip lining through the jungle. Once you hit the water, you will know that your ride has come to an end. Other adventures at Hidden Worlds include rappelling and an amazing zip line trek that takes you into the famous cenote known as Takbelum. If you like to dive you won’t be disappointed as Hidden Worlds has some of the most amazing cavern diving tours available on the Mayan Riviera.
Kantun Chi literally means Mouth of Yellow Stone. Here you can swim in the caves, explore the beauty of the jungle and participate in some amazing eco-adventures. If you like flora and fauna you won’t be disappointed. Spider monkeys, deer, raccoon and rare birds and reptiles call this untouched paradise home. Cenotes are formed naturally and are actually sinkholes. At Kantun Chi you can swim in the cenotes surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Grutaventura is a stunning underground cavern that is a fairly new discovery in the park. You can walk along the forgotten streets and take pictures of the stalactites which are millions of years old.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Since 1986 Sian Ka’an Biosphere has been protecting the Mayan Rivera. As a UNESCO Heritage site it is one of the largest areas in Mexico that remains protected. There are more than 350 bird species and 800 different kinds of plants on the 525,200 hectares that make up the eco-system. It is not unusual to spot a howler or spider monkey, and don’t be surprised if a crocodile or ocelot crosses your path. Go Mayaking down the river or spend the afternoon taking the Muyil Forest and Float Tour. This fantastic adventure will have you boating, swimming, hiking and exploring this untouched paradise on the Yucatan Peninsula.
This natural aquatic park is the largest in the world and has plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy. You can swim with the dolphins or take a walk on a real seabed. You will be amazed at the sea life that surrounds you in this natural aquarium. Best of all you do not have to be certified or trained as no diving is required. After a day of exploration head over to the Xpa for a relaxing massage on an isolated platform where all you hear is the wind and the sea.
The natural resources in Mexico are precious, and Adventuras Mayas believes in respecting the environment. If you like to snorkel you’ll love the Mayan snorkeling adventure tour. The turquoise Caribbean waters contain amazing sea life and an extraordinary underground river where you can discover the Mayan sinkholes that are right in the centre of the jungle. If you consider yourself a daredevil spend the afternoon at Mayan Xtreme. Imagine zip lining 18 metres above the jungle. After you land, test your skills and rappel down 21 metres in the tropical Mayan jungle.
Located just 105 kilometres south of Cancun, Aktun Chen is one of the most popular eco-adventures on the Riviera Maya. Here you can go zip lining, explore the caves or go snorkeling in a natural well that is more than five million years old. You’ll be amazed at how clear the water is. The park is also home to a two-hectare zoo that features local fauna, flora and incredible wildlife. The goal of the zoo is to preserve the area and repopulate over 15 species that could easily have become extinct.