Mayan Encounter Tour with AllTournative | Part Two
Click HERE to read Part one of this article | “Tips for Exploring Coba and Its Ruins”
During my last press/media trip to the Riviera Maya, we got scheduled on an adventure tour with AllTournative Tours. AllTournative Tours offers nine types of tours with options such as snorkeling, kayaking, ATV, zip-lining, hiking, swimming in Cenotes, or climbing ruins. Their packages offer hotel pick up from Cancun to Tulum. For this trip, we took the tour that was called the Mayan Encounter tour ($112.00), which included the $75 Mexican peso ($6 US) entrance fee for the archeiological site of Coba, a blessing with the Shamam, Kayaking in crocodile waters, zip-lining over the crocodile waters, swimming in a cenote and lastly, rappelling 17 meters down into a cenote. After the tour, we had a traditional Yucatan lunch in the Mayan village nearby.
When choosing a tour in the Riviera Maya, it’s important to hire a guide who is knowledgeable. Extra points if they’re recognized by “EarthCheck”, a company that supports sustainable development. A good guide will provide you with accurate history. AllTournative Tours also partners with Mayan communities where they create Eco-tourism projects that help preserve the environment and the Mayan heritage of the community. Read more HERE on their sustainable projects.
The first part of the Mayan Encounter tour is the visit to Coba and we were picked up at the front of our hotel lobby in Playa Del Carmen early in the morning. The air conditioned tour bus accommodates approximately 14 passengers and the drive only took about two hours from our hotel in Playa del Carmen to Coba. The price for the entire Mayan Encounter tour with AllTournative was $112. Coba Park is open daily 8am to 5pm with a current entrance fee of approximately $5 U.S dollars.
Click HERE to read Part 1 of this article | “Tips for Climbing Coba”
Part two video click below
Kayaking over Crocodiles
After we visited Coba we drove another 30 minutes to go into the jungle and swim in the private cenote. However, before we could swim in the cenote, we had to kayak over crocodile infested waters and hike into the jungle to meet the shaman for a short blessing. We got into the kayaks in pairs and slowly paddled out of the deck. Initially, kayaking was the scariest part of the tour, only because the waters are home to crocodiles. But it was a short 15 minute kayak across the swamp and we paddled on to continue our hike into the jungle!
Blessing with the Shaman
After the short anxious filled kayak, we took a short hike into the jungle and shortly found ourselves following a path into a small area with a hut. There was an alter decorated with palm leaves, volcanic rock, a couple of Mayan ceramic figures, and a large cup filled with copal incense. Before the blessing, they explained a little bit about nature surrounding the jungle, following the blessing process.
During the Shaman blessing, all cameras were requested to be shut off for purposes of privacy, which I could understand. We were given a welcome in Mayan and Spanish that proceeded to a blessing for our participation in the ceremony and praying for our purification and safety.
Swim in a Hidden Cenote
After the short blessing, we walked over to the hidden private cenote to swim. But before we went into the cenote, we were all asked to rinse in the outdoor shower in order to get rid of any chemicals that were on our bodies. It’s recommended that you don’t wear any deodorant, sun-screen or bug repellent.
The water was perfectly cold and soft. You could feel the minerals on your body making you feel fresh and clean. The water was so clear you could see all the way down to the bottom. We swam for about 20 minutes, which was perfect! We dried ourselves and got ready to zip-line back to where our van was parked.
Zip-line over crocodile waters
Once we got all dried from swimming in the cenote, we took another short hike over to the zip-line. The zip-line is one long line that soars the canopy of the jungle and over crocodile waters. I felt safe as the staff were assuring my safety before and after the zip-line.
Rappelling Into a Cenote
We took another short drive over to the village where we were going to have lunch and do some other fun stuff. But first, we were going to rappel down 17 meters down into a cenote where another tour guide would be waiting for us. As a first timer in the rappelling sport, I was pretty scared on doing it, but I quickly got over it and rappelled down like Laura Croft! It was one of the best parts of the entire tour, leaving me wishing it was a little higher in order for it to last longer.
Bridge and Zip-line
At the bottom, the other tour guide will lead you to the staircase that will take you back up to the bridge. The bridge is safe and sturdy.
In order to get back to the beginning of where we started, we needed to cross the zip-line. The zip-line was also short and sweet!
Lunch at the Village
After we were done, our lunch was waiting for us. Our lunch consisted of traditional Mayan dishes with home made tortillas and “agua frescas” fruit waters.
The Mayan Encounter tour was so much fun and our guide Rebeca was the best and had us back in Playa del Carmen by 5 o’clock. She was funny very knowledgeable and made the experience so much better. AllTournative Tours provides so many different options for tours that the hardest part is going to be deciding which adventure to take. For an additional fee, you can hire one of their photographers and they will follow you on the tour and take pictures for you. The price for the pictures is about $30-40 US dollars for the entire day. Taking the tour with AllTournative was the best decision because it provided us with a very informative and fun day!
***** This tour was sponsored by AllTOURnative Tours. A special thank you to the funniest and best tour guide Rebeca.