Welcome to Rio Secreto– A Nature Reserve that is no longer a secret outside of The Playa del Carmen area. Hands down, this will be one of your most spectacular life experiences. Imagine an underground world that stayed hidden for millions of years until an Iguana Hunter accidentally stumbled upon it in 2006. The experience has been compared to walking on the moon and The Mayans believed that this underground cave was a pathway to the afterlife.
Rio Secreto is a once in a lifetime experience worth having. However, I was not entirely at peace before the adventure, and confronted my claustrophobia head on. When people ask me, why am I afraid of dark and enclosed spaces? I am not entirely sure, but I do have a theory. I was personally in The World Trade Center on 9/11 and it is quite possible that the thought of being there that day and knowing the fate of the Trade Center affected me. For many months after that horrible day, nightmares of being inside of a falling building affected me and my therapist at the time thought I was having symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. Wherever my claustrophobia came from, Rio Secreto helped me overcome them. I knew that it would be dark and I knew that in some areas the space would be constricted, but it is so breathtakingly beautiful that I forgot about my phobia and instead embraced its mystical beauty. The guide Núnez was such a charming and informative gentleman that my nerves quickly normalized and I was able to enjoy this magical experience. You will walk, hike, and swim during this excursion so please be prepared for that:)
First of all, Rio Secreto does offer different excursions and for all kinds of budgets so please choose one that suits your needs. You do get a water-suit, a hard hat with its own light and water shoes to help you avoid the sharp edges of some of the rocks that you will be stepping in during the excursion. Secondly, the guide does help you every single step of the way advising you to either hold hands to help us through some of the rough spots or the choice of a cane to help you on your way. Do contact them directly to help you choose which package provides what you are looking for. Their website is: Rio Secreto.
Finally, I found myself smiling during most of the excursion and I was no longer panting and trying to control my usual nerves of dark and enclosed spaces.
I beat Claustrophobia and it was time to celebrate. I would like to personally thank my tour guide Núnez for an outstanding job. Thank you Rio Secreto for this amazing experience. I cannot wait to return with friends. Who is in?