|Aktun Chen Cenote|
|Allan and Claudia acting like monkeys|
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 NAS team gets ready for the zip line|
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.
|I love this photo of Allan|
|Allan enters the cenote|
Although Aktun Chen is a ways from Playa del Carmen compared to Xplor, it is less expensive as does offer a more authentic experience, as Xplor is more like a theme park (albeit an amazing one). Furthermore Aktun Chen is also part zoo, allows you to become familiar with the native wildlife and offers a guided cave tour. I would definitely say this employee field trip was a success, and is certainly a step up from our employee party last year which involved my pool and a BBQ. Aktun Chen will definitely make it on my list of activities provided to our Playa del Carmen rental guests. Akthn Chen can be found at http://www.aktunchen.com/HOME_ing.htm.
|Cool and calm I glide down the zip line|
|Allan and his relatives, the spider monkeys|
|I rest after a long day|
|Allan in the cenote|