I love active tours, so when given the opportunity to explore Tulum and Jungle Maya with All Tour Native, I was thrilled.
All Native have been operating in the Yucatan Peninsula since 1999, and by far stand out as the leaders in the industry for adventure seekers. The day started when I was picked up from my hotel area at 7.30am by Carlos Espinosa, one of their 7 year veterans. Carlos was so full of energy that the whole bus was soon chatting away and our group of 10 fast became friends.
First up was the Jungle Maya park. All Tour Native have supported the local Mayan community and conservation of the region here for over a decade. Their responsible tourism and support has allowed minimal impact of their tours, which is an added bonus for us as customers.
Upon arrival, we needed to shower off any chemicals, so there is no point wearing sunscreen and makeup, it all has to come off to ensure the cenotes and jungle are not harmed by our toxins.
We jumped on board an epic 4×4 truck, which powered through the jungle and got everyone excited for what was to come.
We followed Carlos through to the lockers where we popped on our swimmers and left all our valuables for the morning. Note to everyone- cameras are NOT ALLOWED during the park portion of the tour for safety, only GoPros on a helmet or chest strap harness are allowed. You can use your cameras later on in the day at Tulum. Not to fret, there are photographers along the way in the park capturing you as you go, which you can purchase on your way out of the park.
We then were harnessed up for the second activity- rappelling into a cenote! Carlos explained the safety and usage of the rappels, and we made our way in pairs down the deep crevice into the cool, clear water below. It was eerily beautiful down there, you could see how clear the water was as the holes in the cave shone through the natural light.
Next up, we made our way through the course jungle (avoiding jaguars) to the 3 zip line courses. First you flew backwards, then forwards and finally, straight into the underwater lagoon!
Removing all the harnesses and laughing over the final splash, our group hiked back through the jungle to find the incredible snorkeling area through the world’s largest underground river, Sac Actun. We entered the Cenote, a pool so blue, it seemed surreal. The water was perfect temperature, with small fish swimming below you and bats up above.
We followed Carlos through the winding cave, snorkels on. The caves became darker and darker, with all but his flashlight leading our way through. The light highlighted how deep, yet perfectly intact the underground river system remained. It’s beauty will surely stick with me forever, and was one of the best experiences I have had in Mexico.
the 30 minute long swim was perfect, as you are left exhausted but fulfilled.
Tummies then began to rumble, so we made our way back to the main site to indulge in a delicious buffet lunch. The all-you can eat spread contained traditional dishes, including slow cooked chicken, salads and corn fritters.
Everyone was reminiscing the cenotes, completely at awe of what we had just experienced, and so pleased that tours like this preserve such important natural gems.
Carlos then explained to us about our next venture, a Shaman’s blessing. The Mayans, who own the land, must ask the gods permission for our presence here. All Native also know how important keeping traditions like this alive are, so we all entered the smokey cave, lined with candles with an open mind.
The Shaman prayed and sang to the gods, as he blew resin smoke across our bodies to heal our spirits. It was a truly magical moment.
The adventure portion was now complete, as we caught the Unimog 4×4 back to the bus we all prepared for the final leg of the journey.
Tulum Archaeological site is the third most visited tourist destination in Mexico, after Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan Pyramids. We arrived in the hottest part of the day, which meant there were less people than the morning. Although hot and humid, the coastal breeze made a perfect contrast. We were taken through the main site, where Carlos explained the history and origins of the ruins. This informative section was a great addition as you could truly respect the importance of Tulum and Mayan culture.
We were then left with a little over an hour to explore, in which we all instantly ran down to the beautiful beach below. Photos were snapped and it was a great ending to a day we will never forget.
As we arrived back at the hotels, we were left enlightened and captivated by this beautiful part of the world. I would like to personally thank Carlos for his dedication and positive spirit throughout the whole day. I have been on hundreds of day tours, and this was by far one of the best I have experienced.
HOW DO I GO ON THIS AMAZING TOUR, YOU MAY ASK?
Simple, book direct through: www.alltournative.com – firstname.lastname@example.org
or if you are in Playa Del Carmen, most 5th Avenue vendors will provide All Tour Native tours, just make sure you ask for the ‘Tulum Jungle Maya Park by All Tour Native’ or look out for their distinctive logo on signage.
Price for day tour: $139 USD
+52 (984) 803-9999 (International)
7:00 AM to 9:00PM
I was welcomed as a guest by All Tour Native, however all opinions, as always, are my own.