by Lisa Lazarovici
The beauty of a Mexican vacation is that you can make it whatever you want. There are beaches and myriad activities for the aquatically inclined, bars galore where the party-goers can get their fixes while drinking barefooted, and spas where the worried busybodies can take a well-deserved minute for themselves. However, for those thrill seekers out there, Hidden Worlds in Akumal holds the key to an adrenaline overload.
Hidden Worlds is a system of zip lines and cenotes hidden within the thick jungle brush right off the main highway. For $60 US you get access to two full hours of fun and four very different experiences. You start off with a treetop zip line where you get the full lay of the land as you soar across the jungle canopy. Next is another zip line, but this one plunges you into the darkness of a huge cenote and ends in a splash of chilly cave water. You get the opportunity to do this zip line twice and the brave of heart are urged by your guide to try it backwards to enhance the thrill. Next on your schedule is the cave snorkel; after all you're already soaking wet at that point.
For those who have never done a cave snorkel, its purpose has less to do with admiring exotic and colorful fish and is more focused on appreciating the natural wonder of the cave itself. Stalactites drip calcium-rich water from the ceiling, growing ever downward like jagged teeth in the mouth of some jungle beast. The cave is dark and eerie and wonderful. It was like being transported to an alien planet right in the middle of a Mexican jungle. After a very peaceful snorkel, the adrenaline picks right back up with the most thrilling ride, The Skycoaster.
The Skycoaster is a one-of-a-kind zip line rollercoaster that propels you through a mind-blowing track to make even the biggest adrenaline junkie scream like a little girl. Different from a real rollercoaster where you are strapped into a seat, this Skycoaster only involves a set of handlebars and a safety line; you become a human rollercoaster. The ride takes you through jungle, whips you around hairpin turns, and even has you plummet down a pitch-black "water slide" before careening you into the cenote's water to finish the ride. Hidden Worlds is the only place in the world where you can try this extreme coaster, although I have a feeling it will be at large amusement parks in no time.
Hidden Worlds is the ultimate stop for those seeking a serious thrill in between relaxing beach days. I definitely would recommend it as a fun stop for families, couples, or just anyone who wants to get their heart pumping.