Excursions, day trips from Akumal area with teens

Old Nov 19th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Excursions, day trips from Akumal area with teens

We are planning a return visit to Mexico/ Riviera Maya and at the insistence of our teens, to an AI. We had a great trip to this area 5 years ago. We enjoyed a day trip to Tulum, snorkeling in cenotes and also Yal Ku and Xpu ha beach. I've forgotten the tour guide- a small operation that I booked on line prior- but he was great! We have since had some wonderful adventures hiking, surfing and snorkeling in Costa Rica, Belize and Panama- all to pretty remote areas. The kids want to return to civilization -and other teens. I'm looking for some ideas for mini adventures away from the resort. Even our most avid beach volley ball player will take a break at some point! Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Contact Edventure Tours. Tell them what you want to do--ruins, zip lines, cenotes, etc. and they will plan your day and provide transportation and a guide. Great and realiable:

http://www.edventuretours.com.mx/
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 07:05 PM
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I've been out on a full day tour with Edventure Tours, and I agree - they're great.
With teens, you may also want to consider something that has a little more adventure. I took my 17-year old son on the Maya Encounter Tour with Alltournative Tours (which I booked before leaving home) and it was spectacular - definitely one of the best days of my two Mexican trips this year. Maya Encounter is more physical - you hike through the jungle, you zip line across a lake, you rapel down into a cenote for a cool swim, you paddle the canoe on the lake, and you spend the afternoon at Coba (you can still climb the large pyramid there, and my son did). At the same time you get to see how present-day Mayans live in a remote area, and learn about their culture. The Maya Encounter tour was one of the most informative, socially responsible, and environmentally concerned tours I've been on - anywhere!
http://www.alltournative.com/
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 08:42 PM
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Very cool options - thanks for sharing you 2.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 04:54 PM
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There are many tours to keep you and your teens busy. There are the "tourist parks" like Xcaret, and the new one that opened, Xplor. I personally didn't want to enjoy Xplor, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it. I am a fan of Rio Secreto tours, because of the approach they took. You basically see the same on both tours (Xplor and Rio Secreto), except Rio Secreto is still "virgin", with very few modifications done to the system (mostly just lighting and flashes). Xplor on the other hand invested a large amount of money to make the exploration of the underground river system seem like an amusement park ride.

Another fun place to visit is www.HiddenWorlds.com They have many different activities there, and their cenotes are covered with many formations.

ATV tours can be fun too, specially if you manage to get them to do the "locals" trails. ATV tours by definition are dangerous. The most "popular" ATV rides tend to use well established (large) trails, since it is "safer". If you do manage to talk your guide into taking the "locals" trails, you will find yourself in much tighter trails with lots more mud.

If you guys rent a car you could hit some of the spots that "tours" usually don't do like spending a whole day going from one cenote to another.

Another fun trip, even for teens is Chichen Itza. Most teens usually don't enjoy the regular Chichen Itza + Ik Kill cenote tour, but if instead they go to Chichen Itza, Balam Kanche, Dzitnup cenotes and Ek Balam (where you can still climb to the top of the main pyramid which is taller than the one at Chichen Itza), they have a much better time.

Another well kept secret is this place, www.Tankah.com.mx They also offer a Jeep ride through the jungle that is wild!

I could keep going with more activities like swim with Dolphin programs, zip lines at Selvatica, or even suggest more remote tours like Rio Lagartos or Holbox island.

If you share with me more of our plans for your mini adventures I can give you a bit more personalized advice. Are you willing to rent a car? How long are you willing to be away from the resort? How large is the group? How many day trips are you looking for? Budget? etc

Manny
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Thanks everyone these are great ideas-particularly the Altournative and Edventure tours. I like the idea of going to places that locals would go or places that would not be crowded. ATVs are out for saftey reasons. We're Ok with zip lines, caving, snorkeling, & rapelling with reputable companies/ guides. My husband is a firefighter and would be checking ropes/lines/proceedures etc. Manny, we probably would not rent a car- too much bother/time to pick it up etc for a day or 2. We also speak little spanish and would have difficulty with directions. There are just 4 of us- 2 parents, teens 14 and 16 years old-all healthy and pretty fit. Leaving the resort for 1/2 to full day is fine- perhaps for 2-3 trips however we do not want to drive for hours at a time. We're there for 9 days. Budget- ummm- it always depends on what is included doesn't it?- I guess up to $150pp/d. Thanks for your expertise!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:01 PM
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umm- and we are not likely to go to the "theme park" experiences...Orlando once in a while but that is not the adventure we would be seeking in Mexico. Thx.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Ok, sounds like your best options would be Rio Secreto for a great tour of the under ground cave and river system. You spend about 1.5 hours inside the actual system, but the whole tour takes about 3 to 3.5 hours. They are located just south of Playa del Carmen. Cost is $49 if you get there yourself, but they do offer pickup.

A good place to visit cenotes, experience a couple of nice zip lines, etc would be www.HiddenWorlds.com. They are located closer to Tulum, but I believe they offer free pickup in the Riviera Maya (excluding Cancun). Their rate is $69 if you purchase online, and $79 at the door

The park that edventure visits is www.Tankah.com.mx I really like this place, and you can even arrange for a fun Jeep ride through the jungle, however some consider the two zip lines here to be somewhat "unsafe" since they do use sticks as their break system (does work well).

Also, just for clarification, Xplor is FAR from a theme park. They did carve into the under ground system to create bigger pools/rivers for people to be able to navigate around the underground system.

Selvatica is another tour that appeals to many. Before Xplor they were considered to have the best zip lines in the area. I haven't been there myself, and do find it a bit pricey based on what they offer. However they might be suitable for you guys.

If you do decide to go the edventure tour, I would suggest you research and create your own itinerary instead of following one of their vanilla tours

Manny
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