- Go underground and explore the amazing labyrinths that hide beneath Playa del Carmen.
- Swim through turquoise-coloured cenotes.
- See stalactites and stalagmites and learn about these ancient formations.
- Visit a protected area that is home to endangered jaguars.
- Learn about ancient Maya traditions and how they honoured the Xibalba, or the underworld.
Playa del Carmen Underground Tour
Descend into the ancient Maya underworld! On this Playa del Carmen tour, you’ll explore astonishing ancient underground rivers and caves, see otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites, swim in crystal-clear cenotes, and walk through the jungle! You’ll also learn about local history and culture, finishing off with a traditional Maya ceremony.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, helmet and lamp rental, park admission, one snack and one bottle of water.
Exclusions: Wetsuit/swimsuit, water shoes, additional food and drinks, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, travel insurance, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: 5 hours
- Meeting point: El Sangha-Rito. Address: MZA 58 LTE 5, Avenida C.T.M 5, Zazil-ha, Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R. Google maps link.
- Starting time: 8 a.m.
- Ending point: El Sangha-Rito
Your adventure begins in the traditional setting of El Sangha-Rito, a place where you can grab some coffee or a snack to fuel up for the day. If you do fancy a coffee before the tour, please ensure you get here early because once all your fellow tour participants have arrived, we’ll depart for the jungle, where the fun starts…
After driving for a couple of minutes on the highway, we’ll get off the beaten track and make our way past the entrances to cave systems, onwards into the jungle. Channel your inner Indiana Jones and imagine the treasure that awaits us as we ride through the jungle to our cave of choice.
Upon arrival at the cave, we will ensure that everyone is equipped with all the right equipment necessary for our trek. At the cave entrance, your guide will talk about the type of cave we’ll be visiting and about how it was formed. A few health and safety guidelines will follow, including how the signal system works to get in and out of the cave.
Do not worry if you have never been caving before, your guide will be on hand to support you. While we will be underground for about two or three hours, the caves are fairly large and they aren’t tight or closed-in. Even travellers with claustrophobia have happily taken part in all the activities without any problems. You won’t be expected to swim underwater to reach any of the cave entrances, so you can leave the SCUBA gear at home and relax.
Once we are all ready for the adventure, we will get into the Xibalba (meaning ‘underworld’ in Maya mythology). Once inside the vast cave, you’ll see stalactites, stalagmites, limestone columns, and astonishing sinkholes. It’s like some beautiful alien world, it really is quite spectacular. Your guide, who has expert knowledge of these caves, will teach you about all the different types of incredible limestone formations.
Walking along beautiful subterranean streams and swimming across turquoise cenotes, we will reach passageways in the limestone that open into large caves along the AXL system. By the end of your caving experience, you will feel like a real ‘goonie’ (or explorer)!
Once we reach one of the many exits of the cave, we will have time to relax, enjoy the fresh jungle air and sunlight, and have a snack, learning more about traditions, ancient Maya rituals, and legends of the Aluxes whom are the guardians of the Jungle in the Mayan mythology.
After the facts, science, and myths of the cave, we will head back to our starting point, where we will have an opportunity to purify our souls in sacred water that was really important to our ancestors.
Back on dry land, there will be facilities to dry yourself out. Your tour ends where it began but before you go, don’t forget to ask your local expert guide for more tips on what else to see, do and eat while you’re in town.
Dress standard: Please bring a swimsuit (or wear one under your clothes), extra clothing to change into, and a towel.
Your trip: For your Urban Adventures tour, you will be placed in a small group of 12 people maximum.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the starting point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour for the price indicated above. Children younger than 6 are permitted at no extra cost, but please make sure you inform our guides of this before you take the tour.
Ms. Anastasia R. from USA travelled on 10 Apr 2019:
This was an absolutely amazing tour and the perfect end to a two week vacation in Central America. Pako was a perfect guide, passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the cave systems, the wildlife and the history of the land. The caves were beautiful and otherworldly. I’ve never been caving before but I felt perfectly safe with Pako and he made sure I was okay throughout the tour. I like what he and his friend are trying to do to preserve the land from development. At the end, Pako shared his favorite Mayan prayer and I greatly appreciated his sharing of his religion and its history with me, it’s something I will always remember. Plus, the tamales at the end were delicious! The only downside to it was that it seemed to go way too fast! If I’m ever in Playa del Carmen again I absolutely will go caving with Pako!
Ms. Malessa C. from USA travelled on 11 Jul 2018:
The Maya Underworld Explorer tour is an incredible experience! Pako is very insightful and passionate about the preservation of the Mayan cave and the surrounding wildlife and fauna of the jungle. It was great listening to Pako’s personal stories about growing up in Playa del Carmen and the history of the region and the caves. Our group appreciated Pako’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the cave system and the formation of the cenotes. It was an amazing experience walking through the cave in total darkness and silence with only a small headlight. Thank you Pako for an unforgettable experience! I definitely recommend this tour to anyone who is planning a trip to Playa del Carmen.
Mr. Gustavo G. from Mexico travelled on 16 Jun 2018:
There are no words to describe the experience that Pako gives to his guests in this tour! I would say it was a very fun spiritual experience. Listening the sound of silence in the deep underground Mayan area while walking and a little swimming was a great experience. Pako is always happy, but there’s nothing compared to see his face when he is underground, sharing his knowledge about the caves, how the got formed and how to respect the mother nature. If you are in Playa del Carmen or in the nearest areas, this tour IS A MUST! Totally recommend it!
Mr. Melanie L. from France travelled on 04 Jun 2018:
Thank you PAKO and URBAN ADVENTURES for an amaziiiing tour! I was glad to get away from the crowds and visit this secret paradise. It was so nice to relax and enjoy this beautiful cenote to ourselves. The mayan ritual that our guide Pako shared with us gave me goose bumps! Pako is super interesting and fun, and I thank him for sharing his passion with us. Overall an unbelievable experience! I wish I can go back! 🙂
Mr. Kylie H. from Australia travelled on 25 Aug 2017:
Had Ann amazing two hour underwater tour with no one else there far exceeded expectations
Ms. Maria P. from Greece travelled on 09 Aug 2017:
(copying part of my tripadvisor review): This activity is one of a kind! Paco is an excellent guide, very knowledgable, an excellent english speaker, friendly, and excited about nature and the underground caves you’ll explore with him. The experience was unbelievable. The place is astonishing, serene and peaceful. You are walking and swimming inside caves, full of stalagmites and stalactites, listening to absolutely nothing. The water is crystal clear, very refreshing (some might say cold, but I loved it), and the feel on your skin afterwards is amazing.
Mr. Rafael Eduardo S. from Mexico travelled on 29 May 2017:
Really great experince with our guide Pako. There is no better way to explore the caves than with the expert who discovered them 🙂
Regards from Mayra and Rafael
Mr. Tom S. from Mexico travelled on 04 May 2017:
Pako acted towards us as though we were his friends, rather than acting like a guide. We felt very privileged to be party to his views on the world and his spirituality. The caves were amazing but they way in which Pako ran the tour really made it special.
Ms. SUE L. from Australia travelled on 03 May 2017:
Pako was absolutley amazing!!! he is a credit to your company!
Mr. Michael H. from Germany travelled on 21 Mar 2017:
The whole tour was great! Our tour guide Bosh was really cool! He knows a lot about the caves and the evolution. The whole trip was full with and also it was very funny and relaxing. We highly recommend that trip! We had unforgettable moments and Bosh made our das!
Mr. Victor G. from Australia travelled on 09 Mar 2017:
Paco was an awesome guide! Magical experience!
Mr. Erick T. from Mexico travelled on 06 Mar 2017:
Pako was an excellent tour guide
Ms. Kate D. from Australia travelled on 08 Feb 2017:
A truly unique experience! Paco was a great guide who’s enthusiasm and passion for preserving the caves and cenotes was amazing. This is a real Mexican experience! Highly recommended!
Mr. Luis M. from Australia travelled on 03 Feb 2017:
The whole experience was great! the whole sfatt was super acomodating, from the sales rep all the way to Pako showing us the cave he is maping! The swimming in the cave was outstanding. It became our highlight in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum
Mr. Paul S. from Mexico travelled on 22 Nov 2016:
Wow, I loved loved this experience! I have been to many different Cenotes in the Mayan Riviera and had many different experiences, but for sure this one is the TOP OF THEM ALL! Congratulations to all the Urban Adventures team to making it our Best Day Ever! Pako, our guide was amazing, full of energy with lots of love for the caves and for the Indigenous cultures! I would highly highly recommend this trip to anyone!
Ms. Lisa K. from USA travelled on 23 Oct 2016:
This tour was amazing! Pako had so much enthusiasm and knowledge, the sites were unbelievable, and I left feeling like I had truly experienced something special.
Mr. Pilar C. from Mexico travelled on 05 Sep 2016:
Pako our tour guide in playa del carmen was great ! lovely and kind … he showed us everything and explained everything we need to know about this tour. I highly recommend this tour i didnt found another company doing this one as pako