Last Friday Allan and I brought our 6 employees to the adventure park, Aktun Chen, just south of Akumal. It’s owned by our attorney’s family, and we’ve heard great things about it, so it was time to check it out for ourselves. Additionally we felt the need to give back to our employees for their loyal service, and to share with them the most fun part of our job: exploring the Riviera Maya’s many enjoyable activities. Aktun Chen certainly did not disappoint, and offered many a first time opportunity to ride on zip lines.
After a 45 minute drive south of Playa del Carmen we traversed winding dirt roads through roughly 5 miles of jungle until we reached the unassuming entrance to Aktun Chen. We were greeted by a friendly guide who led us to lockers where we could store our belongings. Visitors can pick and choose which activities they would like among zip line, cave tour and a cenote swim. We opted for the all inclusive combo entrance pack which includes all 3 since after all we are expected to provide an expert review.
We were then given hard hats and led further into the jungle to this massive cave. The guide led us on an amazing subterranean tour through stalactites, stalagmites and underwater rivers. It was like being on planet Mars – the views from every angle were incredible. Furthermore the informative guide helped us to better understand the history and geology of the region. I can comfortably say that everyone in the group was impressed. The waterways passing through the cave connected directly to the sea and provided a crystal clear view of the bottom 12 – 100 feet below. The cave tour ended will an above ground walk through the jungle and past a flock of white tailed dear, which were close enough to almost touch. This is when the guide began telling us the cave was discovered 30 years ago by farmers searching for gum trees. Centuries ago the Mayan used the cave system as a hurricane shelter and also believed it was a pathway of the Gods. After the brief hiatus at the snack bar we were stripped of our hard hats and led back into the jungle past a family of spider monkeys kept in a large enclosure. We stopped for a few photos, but hurried excitedly on as the one hour zip line tour was next.
The zip lines were certainly the most exciting part of our adventure, especially because none of my employees, except Claudia, had ever been on one before – they had never even worn a harness. I have been doing this since I was a child at gymnastics camp. Although many were nervous, everyone went, except for Connie, who is 6 months pregnant. The zip lines were not as high as those at Xplor, but certainly allowed you to get closer to nature. The 10 zip lines at Aktun Chen snake through the jungle at about mid-tree level and pass rather close to the trees whereas at Xplor they essentially cut down most of the trees, and you are traveling above the tree tops. For at least an hour you do not touch ground, but rather take off and land on sturdy make-shift tree forts, and even traverse 2 suspended bridges. At every stage we were securely attached to a cable to prevent an accidental personnel plummet. zip tap