To make things as simple as possible for our travel group, we reserved absolutely everything through CheapCaribbean.com. Our package included flights, airport transfers, all-inclusive accommodations and food, travel insurance, and an excursion of our choice. Desiring some adventure for our trip, we chose the Jungle Maya day-trip, hosted by AllTOURnative Adventures.
Hands down, the Jungle Maya expedition was everyone's favorite part of the trip. Our tour guide picked us up at our hotel at 7:30 a.m. and rounded up four other people in addition to our five before making the 1.5 hour drive inland.
Since the caves that we were about to explore were at one time considered sacred by some Mayans, we started out the day with what the guide called the "Mayan Purification Ritual" where they asked for permission for us to enjoy the land. Although I'm not completely sure how true to history this little activity was, it was still pretty cool to hear the guide talk about the history and speak an indigenous language.
After snorkeling through an underground river, we got to repel back into the cave through a natural opening from the top. Since I've been pushing myself to be more adventurous, I obviously volunteered to go first... for everything.
Next up, we donned harnesses and helmets so that we could begin my favorite activity- zip lining! We climbed to the top of several zip lining towers before zipping through the tree tops. On one of the runs, we actually zipped straight into a cave river! Despite the questionable number the water crash landing pulled on our bathing suits, it was probably one of the most fun.
After the zip lining was finished, we hit the cave rivers once again, this time to go snorkeling. Though I've toured caves before, it was really neat to be able to swim between the stalactites and stalagmites. I only wish that I had brought along a waterproof camera like some of my companions!
Since the excursion lasted most of the day, we were treated to a lunch of local favorites which were cooked over an open fire. From the empanadas to the chicken and vegetable stew, the food was SO good. We ended up having a little game of guessing what was inside of our empanadas. Would it be beans? Potatoes? Chicken?
After a pretty crazy 4x4 tour through the woods, we ended our tour with freshly made margaritas. Though I've never been a margarita fan, I made an exception for these delicious frosty concoctions. The perfect end to a nearly perfect day? I do believe so.