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Eco Adventures at Punta Venado in Rivera Maya, Near Cancun, Mexico

Go horseback riding, ride an ATV and snorkel off a private 2.5 mile beach

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An ATV tour at Punta Venado, Riviera Maya near Cancun, Mexico

An ATV tour at Punta Venado, Riviera Maya near Cancun, Mexico

© R Friedland
The ATV I was driving at Punta Venado bounced as it shot over rocks and roots sticking up on a steamy jungle trail Mayans probably walked on more than a thousand years ago. The only breeze came from the colorful butterflies fluttering around my face. By the time I reached the cenote, a natural pool of water in limestone rock that created a sunny hole in the lush jungle, I was ready to jump in an cool off.

Punta Venado in the Riviera Maya near Cancun, offers eco adventures in a private 2.5 mile stretch of beach and jungle alongside the Mexican Caribbean. Here, you can go horseback riding on the beach and in the surf, kayak in the Caribbean, or steer an ATV along a rocky jungle trail. All of these adventures can also include time lounging on a private beach or snorkeling with a guide just off a sandy shore in an area teeming with fish. In the distance, we saw dozens of snorkelers that had jumped off anchored catamarans and motor boats fighting for space in the water. What a contrast to our experience.

Punta Venado is unspoiled because the owner chose to open this style of eco adventure park, instead of selling the lovely, sandy beaches and 1990 acres of adjoining jungle to developers. To learn more about or book the variety of the adventures, visit Punta Venado.

More Adventure Travel Experiences in the Riviera Maya and Cancun, Mexico

Visits to the adventure parks, snorkeling or scuba diving, horseback riding and ATV tours are easily arranged for adventurous travelers staying in the Riviera Maya or neighboring Cancun.

At Xplor there's an entire world of underground adventures including swimming and rafting in underground rivers. Above the earth's crust, there's a network of zip lines that looks like freeways in the sky, and a three-mile track where you can drive an amphibious buggy through the jungle, into caves and on suspension bridges over water.

If you want to scuba dive or snorkel in a cenote while you are in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, read about our experience diving in Dos Ochos, an underground cave system in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Riding a SkyCycle through the treetops at Hidden Worlds you can stop to enjoy the scenery and listen to the birds sing. The family-oriented Hidden Worlds adventure park is tucked into the jungle. Here, you can also ride a zipline or rappel into a cenote. The staff is bilingual at this non-profit park (proceeds go to benefit various Third World causes) and many of the people working at the park are members of the local Mayan community.

Most of these adventure parks and dive operations offer transportation to and from hotels and lodging in Riviera Maya and Cancun, for a fee.

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