I had already done my research on this area and wanted to visit the beautiful Tulum (look for it, the picturesque Mayan Ruins right by the most beautiful turquoise beach). I had also read about cenotes (gorgeous water bodies, sometimes inside of beautiful caves) and I had also read about tours where you could go swimming with sea turtles... (I've always wanted to do that!) So, I was hoping to find some tours that could help me with all these trips.
When I looked through tripadvisors' Things to Do section and checked the tours page, I noticed -Your Private Tour- ... and I saw that they would take you to all those things I wanted to do... (and more!) I noticed it, of course, because it was rated #1 and had an excellent 5 star rating... Then, after reading all of the reviews, I felt confident in booking this tour.
Now, we are proud to say that we are so glad and so lucky that we did.
It started off with us emailing Jay and asking about booking the tour. He emailed back quickly and answered any questions we had. When we had booked our flight, we went to the web site and made our reservation. We received an email back with information on what to do and what to expect.
OUR TOUR PACKAGE:
-Natural Aquarium -
We purchased the basic package, which includes swimming in a natural aquarium (so awesome/amazing... I felt like I was in a real-life "FINDING NEMO")
-Underground Cenote -
OhMyGosh! UNBELIEVABLE! It was like, the most clear, beautiful water you could ever swim in. I really felt like a little fish in an aquarium. There, I had my first time snorkeling... and our tour guide ROD was amazing! He totally made us feel at ease and always made sure to check on us, even though he totally gave us our space to enjoy the experience in our own way and in our own pace. So much fun!
I seen pictures of this on the internet... but it was a blessing to see this sight in person. Like I said earlier, these are ruins (old Mayan ruins that are right next to a most beautiful sea) and Your Private Tour/Rod were smart in taking us here first. Because of that, we were able to skip the long lines... and were able to catch a bunch of photographs by ourselves.
[Oh, that's another great thing about Your Private Tour (you would see a bunch of tour groups where people were being led in big groups of like, 20. Here, they let us go on our own, which we liked... because we wanted to just take photographs and roam as we pleased... AND... since Your Private Tour only books like 2 couples at a time... it is very much about you and your experience vs. being with so many people. We are also very lucky because that day, it was just me and my boyfriend on the tour!]
Another great thing is that they get all your tickets for you before hand... so we never had to worry about anything like that. All we had to do... was be there! Cool!
-Snorkeling With Sea Turtles-
What else can I say? A-ma-zing! We went out to a beach in Akumal for this... and... it was just so awesome to swim with them and be in their presence. I loved it!
-Zip Line, Mayan Village, Canoe, Cliff Jump-
This part, I did not search for when looking for tours, initially... because naturally, I am not much of a sporty person and am not that adventurous... but when I saw that it was only an extra $40 bucks, I thought, what the heck. That sounds like fun. Let's try it for the first time... It seemed like they would take care of me somehow. And you know what, that's how it felt. Sometimes, we would have worries about high things were and stuff like that, but Rod assured us that we would be safe and that we would have nothing to worry about. He was right.
-Zip Line -
The zip line was fun! It wasn't as high as other zip lines are... but I liked it for my first time... The zip line was over a beautiful water body... so you got to experience being free in the wind while seeing that scenery.
The Mayan Village was cool. The coolest part, for me, was the open-air cenote, which looked like a huge swimming pool made of the coolest and clearest deep sea green color. I only wished I could have swam in it longer... but hey, sometimes, that's what makes things so valuable... Ah, it was gorgeous! Sublime!
Canoeing was short and fun. A quick ride from where we ended off zip lining back to where we started... I am very much a shutterbug... so I let my boyfriend do all the canoeing while I took pictures... but, it was very fun to say that we went canoeing over this cool little waterbody...
This, I wasn't too worried about... The pictures looked like the jump wasn't that steep... and Rod warned us that we didn't have to worry, as there is nothing in the water that we could hit. Once I was up there, though... it looked higher than I imagined... BUT, once I made the jump... Heaven! The rush of making an impact through such glorious, clear water was soooo exhilirating! We ended up getting a chance to do it again... and we did! 2 jumps!!! Yippee!
TIMING OF TOUR
For us, because we chose so many activities, it was an all day event, from about 8:30 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. Because everything was so cool and so fun, we always wish we could do it again... so... yeah, if we ever go back to PLAYA, we would book with them to experience all this stuff all over again.
WHAT TO BRING
*Bring a towel
*Bring environmentally-safe sunblock (to preserve their beautiful clear waters, they ask this. I didn't really understand it until I seen the water... Now, yes, please bring that with you, or if not, you can buy it from them, and at this time, they charge $15 bucks)
*Bring comfy clothes
*Bring a bathing suit/ swimming shorts (if you're a guy)
*I guess, flip flops... That's what we wore with our swim clothes
And that's really it
WHAT WE LIKED BEST/LEAST
- We liked that they made everything so easy for us... It felt like a day at the park... We didn't have to worry about a thing... They just took us to the most beautiful and fun places... and we went along for the ride
I didn't know how great the places they would take us would actually be... but, I later found out that they took us to some of the most famous places that other tours would take you to (except with Your Private Tour, they would take you there and to 3-5 other places). Awesome, awesome locations! It's only been a week but I miss them already.
THE TOUR GUIDE/ ::ROD:: & Driver ELI
This was my very first tour, so I did not know what to expect of my guide... Now, I see that the trip felt like I was being taken around by a very good friend in a beautiful tour shuttle. Everything went off without a hitch because Rod was just friendly and attentive and accommodating. He even asked if we were hungry in the middle of the tour (oh, because they ALSO offer you a free lunch at a gorgeous sea-front restaurant!) and when we weren't hungry yet, he switched the last activity to go on at that time, so that we could end the tour with the lunch... (when we actually were* hungry). Cool.
- My only suggestion is that the tour guides, when picking us up, have a sign of some sort with our names (kind of like, at the airport)
- And... I guess the only other thing... is that we wished some parts of the tour could last longer. Although... somehow, it still felt perfect.
AMAZING, amazing tour. I WANT TO EXPERIENCE THIS over and over again!
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