Rio Secreto in Quintana Roo

by Brandon Schultz

Sep 8, 2019

© Thomas Morris | Dreamstime

Destinations / North America


Quintana Roo, Mexico, is home to the world’s longest underground river, Sac Actun, measuring 95 miles in length. Along this river, the Sac Actun cave system is the world’s second-longest underwater cave (behind Mammoth Cave in the United States) and the 2018 discovery that it was actually connected to the neighboring Dos Ojos makes the combination the longest underwater cave system in the world. Within the caves are not just ancient stalactites and stalagmites, but the world-famous cenotes for which the region is prized. These underground pools of crystal clear, fresh water bring millions of annual visitors to Quintana Roo and neighboring Yucatán to swim in the enchanting waters once sacred to the Maya people. Some of the most beautiful of these cenotes are the open-air pools formed when portions of caves collapse, exposing the pools to the sky through a hole above.


To experience the river, the caves and some of the cenotes during your next trip to Quintana Roo, try a guided tour with Río Secreto. Near Playa del Carmen, Río Secreto tours will allow you to walk and swim through the underground river and part of its surrounding cave system (with life jackets and helmets equipped with headlamps) on professionally guided tours that present some cultural and geological history while you enjoy the natural splendor of the environment. Tours are safe and entertaining for families and include optional round-trip transportation from hotels in Cancun or Riviera Maya for an added fee. All tours include entrance, safety equipment, secure lockers, towels and a regional buffet lunch.


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