Ziplines in Riviera Maya- What to Look for & Avoid

Ziplines in Riviera Maya- What to Look for & Avoid

 

Everyone who has traveled to Cancun knows this:

Cancun is not all there is. It simply opens the door to the Riviera Maya. Here you can enjoy a bevy of travel destinations, each with their own set of entertaining attractions.

Today we’re going to focus on Ziplines in Riviera Maya:

  1. What to look for
  2. What to avoid
  3. How to prepare

Cancun Mexico

A.     Riviera Maya Zip Lines – What to look for

1. Location.

The best ziplines in the Riviera Maya are the ones you can actually get to. Makes sense, right?

That’s why picking a zipline tour operator like Selvatica is your best bet. Selvatica is located right in the epicenter of the Riviera Maya (in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen) …AND

Selvatica offers FREE roundtrip transportation aboard an air-conditioned van, when purchased online.

2. Variety is the spice of life—even for ziplines!

Nobody likes repeating the same thing over and over. The same goes for ziplines!

That’s why Selvatica offers 4 different kinds of zipline experiences.

 I. Superman Zipline

the Superman Zipline

They say standing in a super-hero pose boosts your confidence… 

Now imagine how you’ll feel after soaring through the air in the ultimate super-hero pose: the flying superman!

II. Cenote Splash Zipline

Zipline Cenote
What better way to cap off a zipline experience than a quick splash and swim in a refreshing cenote?

III. Glove-Control Zipline

Glove control Zipline

Some like it fast. Some like it not-so-fast. With Glove-Control Zipline, you decide! Just squeeze to slow down, and release for maximum velocity!

IV. Tarzania: The Human Roller-Coaster

Tarzania The human Roller Coaster
Tarzania is like the result of some mad scientist creating some ultra-exciting zipline+roller-coaster hybrid.

You’ve never seen anything like it…

Try the Human Roller-Coaster (exclusive to Selvatica).

Bonus Zipline:

If you’re feeling bold, talk to the zipline operator to try one of the ziplines UPSIDE-DOWN!

Bonus Resource: Zipline in Riviera Maya Guides:

Top Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks in Riviera Maya‎

Top Riviera Maya & the Yucatan Ziplines

B.     Riviera Maya Ziplines – What to Avoid

3. Avoid parks with only one kind of zipline

Ziplines in Cancun
Trust me. You’re going to get bored.

4. Pick a place near you (w/ FREE transportation)

Free transportation to Selvatica

 

Pick an operator near you (who wants to spend their whole day traveling?) and offers free transportation (save your money!)

5. Avoid Brand-New Establishments

Selvatica more than 10 years of experience

You want a zipline tour company like Selvatica, that has years and years of experience.

That’s the kind of proven safety track record you can trust.

6. Stay away from tours with bad user-review

Selvatica Tripadvisor Hall of fame winner

 

 

 

 

Trust your peers. If they have complaints, listen to them. On the other hand…

If the rave about a zip line tour in the Riviera Maya, heed their advice.

For example, Selvatica averages a perfect 5.0 on Trip Advisor. 

C.     How to prepare for zip lines while visiting the Mayan Riviera

7. Arrive with energy

Arrive with energy
This means…

Don’t come hung-over

Try relaxing the day before so your muscles aren’t sore.

Avoid coffee the morning of (this can make you nauseous if you’re susceptible to it)

8. Bring all your necessities

Bring all your necessities
This may seem obvious, but it’s so easy to overlook something. Especially if you’re packing the day of.

Here’s a zipline checklist to help you out:

1. Spare clothes & shoes

Remember, there’s a good chance everything your wearing is either going to get wet (in the cenote or via rain) or muddy. This includes your shoes.

So bring extras!

2. Bring plastic bags

So where did you plan on putting those wet clothes? Bring a plastic bag to isolate your wet clothes.

3. Bring a sweater/blanket

A sweater in the Riviera Maya!?

Seems like crazy talk but it makes sense because you’re going to be coming out of a cenote, and heading into a van with AC.

4. Bring cash

Use it to pay for souvenirs, hand out tips, pay for lockers, buy professional photographs.

5. Eat a light breakfast

Eat something light before you come. Maybe some cereal with chopped fruit. Avoid heavy breakfasts, like eggs or pancakes.

 

The Seaweed Situation in Playa del Carmen: What to Do Instead of the Beach (2018)

Open cenote in playa del carmen

At present (August 2018), the seaweed in situation in Playa del Carmen has been hitting our beaches pretty hard.

As a traveler coming to this part of paradise, we understand that’s the last thing you want to hear before you embark on your trip.

Fear not!

Our commitment to bringing you best honest and useful advice means that you can still have an unforgettable trip even when the beaches aren’t looking as you had expected.

Seeweed in the caribbean beaches

Although Playa del Carmen is synonymous with beach days you’ll be pleased to know that it is home to a variety of other lush and fascainting eco systems for you to explore.

Mother nature is a force to be reckoned with and unfortunately, we can’t control the amount of seaweed she brings to our shores, however, what we can control is the quality of your trip despite this.

Why is There Seaweed in Playa del Carmen?

The whole of the Riviera Maya including some places in Cancun are currently suffering the stink of seaweed on their beaches.

But why?

Although the reasons aren’t always clear many researchers believe the increase in seaweed is in direct correlation with climate change.

Seaweed in Cancun and playa del Carmen

 In this region of the world, high temperatures couples with low winds affect the oceans currents dramatically.

The Sea of Sargasso

Located just beyond the Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean there is vast area beneath the oceans surface home to tons of free-floating seaweed, AKA as Sargassum.

Although, this is the root of many travelers despair this area of seaweed is home to a vast number of vibrant marine life.



sea of sargasso



Because the sea of Sargasso isn’t defined by any land borders or coastline it’s dynamics are ultimately determined by the strength and direction of the sea currents.

Consequently stretches of seaweed are often released in huge chunks,  measuring up to miles long, and even visible by aircraft.

Where the seaweed meets the shore is determined solely by sea currents.

What Time of Year is There Less Likely to Be Any Seaweed?

As you can imagine this is a question the region as a whole experiences a lot.

The truthful answer?

There is no wasy way to predict when there is going to be seaweed and when the beaches are going to look clear.



i dont know

Sometimes only certain areas may be affected,  but in the past week, the entire stretch of the Riviera Maya from Playa del Carmen down to Tulum is witnessing the effects.

How Can you Check and Plan for Seaweed Before Your Trip?

Of course, coming to the Mexican Caribbean you’re probably dreaming about idyllic beaches and it is more than likely you will get to see them in all their pride and glory!

seaweed-in-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun



But on the off-chance you are the victim of a seaweed invasion in your area or at your hotel, you can take comfort in the fact that there are lots of wonderful  things for you to do instead.

The good news?

Some of them are even FREE and don’t worry we will make sure you still get your fair share of water activities.

2 Ways to Check for Seaweed Before Your Vacation

  1. Luckily for you, many of the hotels actually have live webcams that give you a real-time picture of what their beaches look like at that moment.

You can either Google the hotel you are staying at to see if they have their own or use this webcam.

2. Another option would be to consult the Sargassum Early Advisory System for a forecast. Check the Yucatan Passage 18 for a forecast of seaweed in this area.

Are There Any Efforts Made To Clean Up The Seaweed? 

Yes.

Of course, if you are staying at 5* all-inclusive you can expect that every effort will be made to clean up the beaches as best as possible.

Seaweed in playa del carmen



Many of the larger hotels have invested in tractors to remove seaweed from the shorelines of their properties, however, we should note depending on the oceans currents it’s not always an easy job.

The Best Things to Do in Playa del Carmen if The Beach Isn’t Great

Regardless of whether it’s raining or glorious sunshine in the region rest assured there is ALWAYS something to do.

From sublime cenotes to epic zip lining jungle adventures we’ve got you covered!

1. Visit a Cenote

Cenotes in Playa del Carmen



In my opinion, cenotes are way better than the beach, especially if you have children because you don’t have to worry about strong currents or the salt water getting in their eyes.

Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya as a whole is home to hundreds of fascinating and stunning cenotes.

You can either go and see one as part of a guided tour or simply go off and explore one on your own.

In Playa del Carmen, there is a beautiful cenote called Cenote Azul just 20 minutes by taxi from the downtown area costing around 200 pesos = $16 USD.

This stunning freshwater area has different areas with various depth so whether you just want to sit and laze in the sun as you cool off, or dive in from a height there is something for everyone.

All you have to do is pay the entrance fee at the door which starts at $7-8 USD per adult.

TOP TIP: bring plenty of water and snacks as you won’t find much to purchase here.

Location.

2. Selvatica

When visiting Mexico, yes, it’s definitely easy to become mesmerized by the glistening beaches and impressive hotels, but the region is also encapsulated by lush, tropical jungle that houses many secrets and wonders of its own.

During any vacation, it’s absolutely essential that you squeeze in some adventure activities because they are what turn a great trip into an unforgettable one.

Superflight at Selvatica





Selvatica has held on to it’s reigning title as TripAdvisor’s best ‘outdoor activity’ for many years now, amongst a whole host of other credible accolades.

At this attraction, you can soar like a bird down a variety of different thrilling zip lines, race through the jungle on a state-of-the-art offroad Polaris, traverse hanging aerial bridges, and even cap off the day with a swim in cenote Selvatica.

The best part is that they have a range of different tours to choose from depending on your budget and how long you want to spend at the attraction (half-day/full-day).

These include:

The reviews really do speak for themselves, but the highlights of Selvatica for many people are the wide variety of zip lines and service /enthusiasm of the people that work here.

Selvatica's Crew



At Selvatica you’ll get to experience not 1 but 5 different kinds of zip lines!

  1. Tarzania – think zip line meets rollercoaster.
  2. Superflight – fly like a superhero head first through the jungle.
  3. Glove Control – control your own speed with your hand.
  4. Upside Down  – see the jungle from a completely new perspective.
  5. Cenote Splash – zoom into the cenote and expect to make a splash!

Tarzania the human roller coaster





Pricing varies depending on the time of year you visit, the time slot you choose, and the size of your group.

For an immediate quote head to their website and talk to one of Selvatica’s live chat assistants. 

Location. 

3. Visit Cozumel

In Playa del Carmen
you will have direct an immediate access to the island of Cozumel thanks to the pier and the ferries that make regular crossings.

When the seaweed is bad in Playa del Carmen 9 times out of 10 the west side of the island of Cozumel is completely clear largely due to its geographical position.

The crossing takes around 45 minutes and the ferries run every day, hourly.

Tour el cielo in cozumel





You can catch the first ferry at 6.45 am and the last one at 11.00 pm, for more information check out the up-to-date ferry schedules here. 

Barcos Caribe is the cheapest provider of tickets. Adults pay just $8 and the child’s price is $4.





Boat to Cozumel





Here you can enjoy a whole host of exciting activities.

Relax at one of the many amazing beach clubs, do a spot of shopping, visit cultural ruins, go diving, head to Playa Mia, visit a turtle sanctuary, the options are endless.

Even if the seaweed situation isn’t bad in Playa it’s definitely worth spending a day of your vacation exploring this beautiful island!

Location of ferry pier. 

4. Play Golf

Golfing fanatics, rejoice!

You will be pleased to know that this area of the world is home to many spectacular courses.

In fact, Playa del Carmen is home to the only official PGA course outside the USA and Canada!

Golf course in playa del carmen





Expect pristine courses, gorgeous weather, and world-class service.

In this region, you will find courses that have the ocean or beautiful waterways as their backdrop. Plus, plenty of foliage, jungle, and wildlife to add to the tropical ambiance.

You’re guaranteed great weather so indulge in a little healthy competition, it is always a great way to pass the time.

Many hotels have their own golf course but don’t worry if you’re not staying there it is always possible to book on and just use their services for the day.

Our top recommendations would be:

  1. Palace Resorts
  2. Mayakoba Resorts
  3. Hard Rock Hotels

5. Wander 5th Avenue

At the heart of downtown Playa del Carmen, you will find 5th Avenue!

This 5-mile strip runs through the heart of the city and is dedicated to all your touristic needs.

You’ll find everything here from world-class restaurants, cheap eats, shops,  bars, nightclubs, museums and more!

Wandering through the cities heart is a great chance to enjoy a cocktail, do some souvenir shopping, and marvel at incredible art.





5th avenue in playa del carmen




You will find all kinds of different shops, so don’t worry there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a new bikini or your husband would like to purchase some cigars 5th Avenue has got you covered.

You don’t even have to worry about getting lost, it’s virtually impossible, 5th Avenue runs in a direct straight line from north to south or vise verser!

Definitely worth paying a visit!

6. Rooftop Pools

Fear not!

Are the beaches a mess but you still want to sunbathe and top up your tan? Maybe enjoy a cold drink or two and listen to some music?

Sometimes being covered in sand, fighting your way back to shore, and dodging pesky seaweed or rocks can all just get a bit much.

Playa del Carmen is home to an abundance of amazing rooftop pools where you can enjoy views of the beach without all the fuss and stinky seaweed.

Whether you prefer a relaxed vibe, party pools, or an ultra modern space Playa has a rooftop pool for you.

1)Thompson Hotel 

Calle 12 & 5th Avenue

Regardless of whether you are staying at this fabulous hotel or not you will be able to utilize their fantastic rooftop pool. Just a word of warning this place boasts SPECTACULAR Views.

Every aspect of the Thompson is ultra-modern taking luxury to a whole new level.

Best rooftps in playa del carmen





The pool is shaped to look like a winding river, featuring state of the art sun beds and intimate alcoves.

It can get a little pricey for food and drink but it is totally worth it.

Definitely stay for the sunset, you don’t want to miss it.

2) BeRoof

Direction: Calle 26 & 10th Avenue

If you want to get a taste of the local vibe here in Playa and hang out with people who actually leave, expats included head over to BeRoof.

This place regularly hosts local and international DJs so if you’re a music lover be sure to check it out.

If there’s a must-go-to rooftop party going on in Playa, you know it will be here.

Best Rooftops in Playa del Carmen



It is a much smaller pool compared to many of the others here in Playa.

Although it’s not the most ideal choice if you do really want to swim, you can cool off in between dancing, eating, and drinking!

3) The Palm

Direction: Calle 6 bis & 10th Avenue

At the Palm one rooftop pool simply wasn’t enough, they decided that they needed several.

Cool off in the sublime water, laze in the gorgeous hammocks, or rest on the luxuriously plush sun beds.

This option is definitely one of the lesser known rooftop pools and therefore offers a more quiet and relaxed experience.

Great for those days where you just want to chill out.

The Palm in Playa Del Carmen





We hope you found this article useful!

Don’t forget to SHARE it with your friends and family on Facebook.

Do you think we missed anything off our list? Be sure to let us know in the comments section we would love to hear from you.

The Top 21 Cenotes in the Riviera Maya [Can’t Miss Guide]

(Author’s Note: This article originally appeared in 2016. This is the 2018 updated edition with 11 new cenotes added to the original list of top 10 cenotes in the Riviera Maya, including Cenote Sac-Actun, which recently was discovered to have “the longest underwater cave system in the world”.

Everyone wants to know where the best cenotes in the Riviera Maya are.

Each cenote has its own distinct personality that lures you into it.

(Not sure what a cenote is? Trying to figure out why tourists love cenotes? Check out our previous “What is a Cenote” explanatory article here)

I have yet to travel to any two cenotes that were completely identical. Each one has its unique flavor to it. It’s part of what makes the Riviera Maya so special. The adventure never ends.

Let’s take a look at the top cenotes in the Riviera Maya to find out what makes each of them unique.

Here are The Top 20 Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

1.      Cenote Selvatica (Playa del Carmen/Cancun)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

Here your chance to chase adventure and get rough and dirty at Latin America’s number one, tourist rated adventure park, Selvatica.

  • Fly face-front on a zipline
  • Rip through the jungle on tough Polaris ATV
  • Bungee Swing off a ledge
  • Check your sense of balance on our wobbling, hanging aerial bridges

Your reward at the end of this great series of challenging adventures? Your chance to refresh and reset at Cenote Selvatica. You’ll feel reborn with vigor and ready to head to whatever’s next.

2.      Casa Cenote (Tulum)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

This cenote is separated from the ocean by a small strip of land. Instead of the many circled cenotes, Casa Cenote features a long canal that winds away from the ocean.

When the sun is shining, its crystal clear waters allow you to see—with impressive clarity—all the way to the bottom. Many times, the bottom looks so near, it appears to be in near reach of your toes. When you attempt to touch with your hands, you’re amazed to realize its actually twice as deep as your eyes perceive it to be.

3.      Cenote Azul (Playa del Carmen)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

This is a small and cozy cenote. It has a cave, but it’s not large. Above the cave, people can dive off an approximately 12-foot ledge into the deep cenote.

Even though it’s in a somewhat of a confined area, it’s the perfect place to entertain the whole family.

4.      Cenote Azul (Bacalar)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

From an aerial perspective, this cenote looks very similar to Belize’ world famous, blue hole.

It’s an impressively massive cenote in diameter. Despite its enormity, however, most people tend to congregate together near the entrance’s shore.

5.      Cenote Zacil-ha (Tulum)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

This small cenote has a lot of open space surrounding it. This leaves room for permanent chairs, tables, and shade-providing umbrellas. The most unique aspect of this cenote, however, is the short zipline they installed over it.

Have the lifeguard clear the way for you, put on a lifejacket, jump off and hold on to the handle. Fly the through the air before letting go at a predetermined spot in the cenote. Rinse and repeat as many times as you wish.

6.      Cenote Xcan ché near Ek Balam (Valladolid)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

After visiting the Mayan Ruins of Ek Balam, go visit its eponymous and beautiful cenote, Ek Balam Cenote. One feature you won’t elsewhere is the impressively tall wooden staircase along the cenotes side.

If you dare, climb up and jump several yards down into the cenote.

7.      Cenote Ik Kil (Chichen Itza/Valladolid)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

First, visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. Then, travel about a mile and half toward Cenote Ik Kil. Revitalize yourself in a majestic cenote idolized by the Mayans.

8.      Gran Cenote (Tulum)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

As the name suggests (in Spanish), this is a large and popular cenote. Google the diving pictures taken there, and be prepared to be awestruck. You can be sure, the pictures are so spectacularly majestic they’re enough motivation to visit in and of themselves.

9.      Cenote Dos Ojos (Playa del Carmen/Tulum)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

Cenote Dos Ojos (meaning two eyes in Spanish) is connected to one of the top 10 longest underwater cave systems in the world. It contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with a depth of nearly 400 feet.
It was featured in the IMAX film of 2002, Journey Into Amazing Caves.

But that’s not all. Just this January 2018, the largest underwater cave system was discovered, connecting Cenote Dos Ojos & Cenote Sac-Actun (mentioned next).

10.  Cenote Sac-Actun (Tulum)

 

What is the most beautiful cenote in the Riviera Maya? It just might be Cenote Sac-Actun.

It features dazzling stalactite formations and piercing turquoise blue waters. It is quite a sight to behold.

Sac-Actun has a depth of 101 meters (332 feet) and, as mentioned above, it connects with Cenote Dos Ojos, making it part of the longest underwater cave system in the world.

They have also found ancient proto-elephant, bear, and Mayan artifacts, such as a shrine to the Mayan God of War and Commerce.

For Google Maps Directions, Click Here

11.  Cenote Samula (Valladolid)


For Google Map Directions, Click Here

In what appears to be a scene from James Cameron’s Avatar, Cenote Samula has an Alamo tree extending its roots from several yards above, into the cenote for hydration.

The rare and impressive vista of hanging roots entering into the cenote is a sight to behold.

12. Cenote Chelentún (Cuzama)

This popular cenote near Merida features a 26 foot (8 meters) wooden staircase that leads you into a gorgeous grotto.

Cenote Cheletun is 158 feet long (48 meters), and 65 feet wide (20 meters). It has a depth of 50 feet (15 meters).

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

13. Cenote Ucil (Cenotillo)

This cenote is deep. VERY deep. In fact, it’s one of the deepest cenotes in the Riviera Maya with a depth of 367 feet (112 meters).

It’s 65 feet long (20 meters), and 20 feet wide (6 meters).

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

14. Cenote Bolonchoojol  (Cuzama)

Cenote Bolonchoojol(meaning 9 drops of water in Mayan) is one of the most popular cenotes around. Why?

Well, for one, take a look at the photo above. You’ll see photos of this cenote in many guides. The combination of stalactite formations, crossed with the sunlit turquoise waters are simply eye-popping.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

15.  Cenote Suytun (Valladolid)

This stunning cenote is located just 5 minutes away from Valladolid. It features a huge, thick stalactite formation that sinks downwards.

You can also step onto a concrete platform that goes into the middle of the cenote. This is the perfect place for an incredible photo, or to observe the freshwater fish because it’s not very deep.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

16. Cenote Kankirixche (Merida)

Located about 35 miles south of Merida, you will find Cenote Kankirixche (meaning Yellow Fruit Tree).

It is about 82 feet (25 meters) long and 50 feet (15 meters) wide. It has a depth of 165 feet (50 meters).  Its crystal clear waters make for perfect visibility.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

17. Cenote X-Batun (Merida)

This gorgeous cenote is off the beaten path and has many lily pads floating in it. However, the secret is now out. If you want to visit this cenote, try coming early, or during a weekday.

If not, you could face large crowds.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

18. Cenote Kantun-Chi (Playa del Carmen/Tulum)

If you’re short on time, and want to see many cenotes in one tour, Kantunchi is your place.

The first is Cenote Kantun-chi (meaning yellow stone mouth in Mayan). Here you will find some of the best cenote/stalactite combinations you’ll ever see.

There’s even a stalactite cave tour you can take there.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

19. Cenote Sas ka leen Ha (Playa del Carmen/Tulum)

Cenote Sas ka leen (meaning transparent water in Mayan) is the largest cenote in Kantunchi Park.

Look at the picture above. Jaw-dropping huh? I mean, just look how sky blue those waters are!

Like we just mentioned, this is just one of 4 cenotes in Kantunchi Park.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

20. Cenote Uch-Ben-Ha (Playa del Carmen/Tulum)

 

This is the third cenote available at Kantunchi Park. It’s out in the open so the water gets a bit warmer.

Bring your snorkel so you can see all of the freshwater fish. Just take a look at the video above to get a clearer picture of what I’m talking about.

 For Google Map Directions, Click Here

 

21. Cenote Chak-Zinik Che (Cuzama)

Cenote Chak-Zinik Che, (meaning “Home of the Red Ant” in Mayan) is one of the most popular cenotes for divers.

For Google Map Directions, Click Here

Wow. There you have it! That’s our guide to enjoying the top 20 cenotes in the Riviera Maya!

Remember, each cenote brings something unique and entertaining. Translation? The fun never ends…So make your checklist HAVE SOME UNFORGETTABLE FUN!

 

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