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A Memorable and Unforgettable Day of Adventure at Xenotes Oasis Maya Cancun

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. TRAVELING WELL FOR LESS HAS PARTNERED WITH CARDRATINGS FOR OUR COVERAGE OF CREDIT CARD PRODUCTS. TRAVELING WELL FOR LESS AND CARDRATINGS MAY RECEIVE A COMMISSION FROM CARD ISSUERS. OPINIONS, REVIEWS, ANALYSES & RECOMMENDATIONS ARE THE AUTHOR'S ALONE, AND HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED, ENDORSED OR APPROVED BY ANY OF THESE ENTITIES. READ MY DISCLOSURE AND PRIVACY POLICIES.

Disclosure: My admission to Xenotes Oasis Maya was provided courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret. All opinions are my own.

My hand slipped off the zip line bar and I plunged 39 feet to the ground.  “This is going to hurt.” I thought before I hit the water.

Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Preparing for the splat
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

I admit trying to wave for the camera was a dumb move. I don’t know why I thought I could support my weight with 1 arm on a wet zip line bar.  But I was having fun and no guts, no glory.

Zip lining, Rappelling, Cliff Jumping, Kayaking, and Snorkeling at Xenotes Oasis Maya Cancun

As I sit propped in bed with pillows and ice, the left side of my body bruised, swollen, and throbbing in pain, I would do it again.

A trip to Xenotes Oasis Maya is a nonstop day of adventure.  You get to zip line, rappel, snorkel, kayak, and cliff jump all in one day!  Wear your swimsuit and be prepared to get wet, soaking wet.

Lu'um Earth Xenote Traveling Well For Less

Stunning views after a quick rappel into a semi-closed cenote
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

It’s a day you’ll remember forever.  You get a taste of adventure in four naturally formed xenotes amidst the beautiful Mayan jungle.

This is the perfect trip for someone who has never gone zip lining, rappelling, cliff jumping, kayaking, or snorkeling.  Because you get to do a short course in all 5 activities without it being too strenuous or terrifying.

Snake Group

Each group has a personal guide and photographer.  Our guide was Carlos and Freddy was our photographer.  Both had great senses of humor and quick wits.

So you don’t get lost in the Mayan jungle your group is given a name.  We were the snake group:

  • Claudia of @claudiaanchondo
  • Tanya from Global Souls
  • Stephanie from Just Cherished
  • Andy from Lazy Travelers
  • Mariel from Mariel d’ Viaje
  • Justin from My Life Nomadic
  • Cindy from Points and Travel
  • Becky from The Girl and Globe
  • David from Travel in 10
  • Natalya of @trendsettermom
Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Fun seekers from the Snake group
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Storing your gear

There are no lockers for your belongings; each group has an assigned table for their things.

No lockers at Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

You won’t lose your key or forget your “locker” combination

 

Refreshments

Coffee, tea and hot chocolate

Each xenote has a refreshment station offering unlimited coffee, an assortment of teas including hibiscus tea, and champurrado (thick hot chocolate).  You can also have cookies, pastries, and sweet breads.

cookies, pastries and sweet breads at Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Yummy snacks in between cenotes

 

Lunch

Admission also includes an all you can eat buffet style lunch including drinks. Our lunch was a chicken noodle style soup, salad, deli sandwiches, and brownies for dessert. Bottled water, soda, beer, and wine was also provided.

Kaack Fire Xenote

Our first xenote (cenote) was K’aack also known as the Fire Xenote.  Kaak, an open cenote, aka sinkhole, was created when the surrounding limestone caved in.

At Kaak, you get a small taste of zip lining and cliff jumping into a cenote.  You can walk across the bridge and jump in the water if you don’t want to zip line.

Fire cenote Kaak Xenote Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Short zipline into our first xenote
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Baby zipline at Kaak Fire Xenote

We were outfitted with life jackets and told we would do a short zip line, drop into the water, and swim (or ride an inner tube) to the end of the open cenote.

You want to choose a smaller life jacket otherwise it rides up to your ears when you jump in the water.  While this was probably the only time I could get away with wearing a child sized anything, the girls needed a little bit more room so I went with the adult small.

Fire cenote Kaak Xenote Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Girls just want to have fun
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

I was looking forward to the zip line portion, but wasn’t excited about dropping into the freezing cold water.

Fire Xenote Kaak zipline Traveling Well For Less

Hamming it up for the camera
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Carlos instructed us to either jump in with our hands against our sides like a pencil, or tuck our legs into our chest and cannonball.

Dropping from zipline at Kaak fire xenote Traveling Well For Less

I went with the cannonball landing
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Surprisingly, the water was refreshing, and it was a pleasant and easy swim to the end of the cenote.

The waters of the Kaak Xenote (and the other cenotes) are calm and soothing.  It’s very similar to swimming in a lake.

Snake group wwimming to the Kaak Xenote cave Traveling Well For Less

Heading to our next adventure – cliff jumping
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Cliff jumping at Kaak Fire Xenote

When you reach the end of the cenote, you’ll climb 30 steps to the top of a small cliff.  From there you’ll jump about 15 feet into the water.

You can skip the cliff jump, if you’re afraid of heights.

Kaak Xenotes cliff jumping Traveling Well For Less

When you tell someone to jump off a cliff, they might just do it
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Luum Earth Xenote

The Earth Xenote, Luum, a semi-open cenote, was our next stop.

You rappell into the water before walking through a series of underground tunnels leading to the gorgeous semi-open Luum cenote.  Torrential rains created an overcast day so we missed out on seeing the streams of sunlight shining through the open hole.

Luum Earth cenote at Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

On a clear day the sunlight streams into the semi-open cenote
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

There you get to cliff jump into the water.  Luum Xenote is home to lots of bats.  But the cenote is very deep so they don’t get too close, unlike the bats in the Gates of Hell in Managua, Nicaragua.

Rappelling at Luum Earth Xenote

You get a choice of going slow, medium or fast.  I like going fast but didn’t want the rappelling to be over too soon so opted for “medium.”

You can rappel upright or get tricky and do the “Spiderman.”

Rappelling at Luum Earth Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Channeling my inner Spidey
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

The drop into the cenote is deep, but no fear.  It’s an assisted rappel so the safety officer controls your speed, and you’re basically lowered into the cenote.

Luum Earth Xenote rappelling Traveling Well For Less

Hanging out at Luum cenote
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

You get to jump off another cliff while inside the Luum cenote. A man-made outcropping  juts over the water allowing you to safely jump into the water.

Luum Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Getting a running leap
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

The more adventurous can also jump off the top of an artificial rock into the water.

fake rock Luum Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Do you dare?
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Jumping from the rock is a little scary because there’s only a few feet of clearance above your head.

Luum Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Taking it one step further
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Ha Water Xenote

The Ha water xenote, a cavern cenote, was our third stop for the day.

You get to snorkel and kayak at Ha.

Snorkeling at Ha

Because of the rain the water was pretty murky.

snorkeling at Ha Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

There weren’t many fish to see, but we did see a turtle
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Kayaking at Ha

After snorkeling you get to kayak.

kayak at Ha Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Kick back and relax while kayaking
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

It’s an easy paddle where you circle the connecting cenote and what looks like a sacrificial altar in the middle of the cenote.  I didn’t get any photos because my camera isn’t waterproof.

Lik Wind Xenote

You’ll soar like an eagle at Lik Wind Xenote as you zip through the sky and land into the water in this ancient cenote.

But first you have to climb the steps to the zip line platform.

Zip line platform at Lik Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Up and away
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

At Lik you’ll zip line until you either let go of the bar or you’re stopped by the water.  You can hold onto the zip line bar or ride in a sling.  The sling didn’t seem that exciting to me so I opted for the zip line bar.

This was our last cenote of the day.  Carlos had me go first so I could zip line more than once.

Once

On my first run I dropped in the water about halfway.

Lik Xenotes Oasis Maya zip lining Traveling Well For Less

Getting ready to drop into the water
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

The next person can’t go until you clear the area and the zip line bar is returned.  The sooner you zip, drop and swim out of the way, the sooner the next person in your group gets a turn.

Twice

You can face forward or backwards when you zip line at Lik.  I faced backwards for my second run.

backward zip lining at Lik Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

It’s as fun as it looks
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Instead of releasing the zip line bar, I rode it until the water stopped me.

zip lining into the water at Lik Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Going into the drink
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Three times a lady

Depending on the size of your group and if there are other groups at the cenote, you might get to zip line a third time.

backward zip lining at Lik Wind Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

All’s fun until someone takes her hand off the zip line bar
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

Just remember to keep your hands on the zip line bar…

As soon as I let go of the bar with my left hand to wave, I fell so quickly, Freddy didn’t have time to capture me waving.

free falling from the zip line at Lik Xenotes Oasis Maya Traveling Well For Less

Regretting my decision to wave at the camera
Photo: Courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret

 

But be careful because falling in water from great heights can be dangerous.

Xenotes Oasis Maya Cancun

A Xenotes Oasis Maya ticket costs $119 for adults (age 12 and older) and $59.50 for children (age 7 to 11). You can save 10% when you book your ticket on the Xenotes Oasis Maya website.

The price includes:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off  with a specialized guide and tour operator
  • Coffee, champurrado and sweet breads at every Xenote
  • Water, orange juice, soft drinks, and seasonal fruits en route
  • Lunch of fusilli-vegetable soup, deli meats and cheeses, rustic breads, salad, water, coffee, wine and beer
  • Life jacket, snorkel equipment, and rappel gear

Tours are available Monday through Saturday and last 9 hours (including transportation).

More Please

You know that saying, “The third times the charm?”  Well, the third time zip lining wasn’t the charm for me in Cancun.  I’ve zip lined in Idaho Springs, Colorado and on the Big Island in Hawaii, but zip ling in Cancun over water without a harness was a first.  Despite my mishap, zip lining at Xenotes Oasia Maya won’t be my last over water zip lining adventure.

Have you been to Xenotes Oasis Maya?

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Shawn

Wednesday 24th of September 2014

Great review. It looks like a wonderful time and I am glad you are healing. Your fall reminds me of when I went on a rope swing out from a pier over the water in Barbados. I stupidly tried to do a flip and landed flat on my back as I hit the water.

When I came up, the entire beach was silent and everyone was staring at me. They all thought I must have broken my back. I am not sure if the pain or embarassment was worse!

I have only been to one Xenote in that area and really need to get back down there. It looks like a lot of fun.

Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

Wednesday 24th of September 2014

Hi Shawn,

Thanks - turns out I broke some costal cartilages :(.

OMG, Ouch. I can not imagine landing on my back like you did. Definitely lucky you di not break your back.

I'm going with the pain being worse - I do dork moves all the time so I'm not easily embarrassed.

It was so much fun. Next time I'm keeping both hands on the bar...

Hasta Luego Cancun

Tuesday 23rd of September 2014

[…] A Memorable and Unforgettable Day of Adventure at Xenotes Oasis Maya Cancun – Traveling Well for Less […]

Cacinda Maloney

Sunday 21st of September 2014

Hey you! I hope you have recovered from that narly land on the water on your side! Great review!

Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

Monday 22nd of September 2014

Hey Cindy,

Mostly recovered, but you know how it is...our bodies just aren't bouncing back the way they used to. :)

My Cancun Tour of Xenotes: Photo Report | The Lazy Traveler's Handbook

Sunday 21st of September 2014

[…] from Traveling Well for Less. She was the most fearless of us all (read her post about this trip here); ex mile-and-point connoisseur Cindy, who runs Points and Travel; David and his beautiful wife […]

Kiki

Friday 19th of September 2014

Wow! That looks like so much fun! How hot was the weather?

Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

Sunday 21st of September 2014

Hi Kiki,

It was a blast! It was like Florida in the summer hot: hot, humid, and rainy.

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