A great day out in the Jungle and one of the best day trips from Cancun or Playa del Carmen! Quintana Roo is full of adventure theme parks, but the Selvatica Extreme Canopy adventure was one of the highlights of my trip to Quintana Roo. When traveling to Yucatan and looking for adventure put this one on your bucketlist!
As always I was pretty much unprepared or let’s say I went into this experience without knowing what I was actually up to. I have no fear for anything and as long as it is and adventure I am a happy man. It was about 8.30 when I got picked up from Puerto Morelos, a lovely little beach village between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Puerto Morelos is a perfect base for a day trip to Selvatica as it is only a 10 minute drive. In the van there were another 10 more people or so heading on an amazing adventure into the jungle.
Adventure is my middle name and in total I traveled around the Yucatan Peninsula for almost two months. One of my favorite things was my trip to Isla Holbox, but I also loved to travel to Rio Lagartos, renting a scooter on Cozumel, the Tulum and Coba Tour, Mahahual, cenotes in Valladolid and much more.
Arrival to the Selvatica Camp
On arrival I first had to check in, sign a waiver and fill out some dietary preferences before I arrived in a massive jungle hut. It felt like a kind of theme park, but there was jungle all around and I didn't’ see any attractions. By this time I of course already found out that I signed up for the Selvatica Extreme Canopy adventure, so I knew we were going to be zip lining soon.
The jungle hut could also be considered a base camp as apart from the cenote and the ATV riding all the attractions are around the base camp. Here you will find a bar, a shop, restrooms, changing rooms, big lockers and places to sit down and rest. This is also the only place were you will find a phone signal and there is free wifi. Stay connected on your trip to Yucatan: buy a local Mexico sim card.
At the basecamp I learned about the story behind Selvatica, the legend of Carlitos. This American multi millionaire descended into the Mexican jungle to take charge of the extraction and shipping of gum syrup. More than 60% of the worldwide chewing gum production came from this exact place. Years later Carlitos fell in love with the jungle and to safe the jungle from deforestation he faked his death and erased the basecamp from the map. Gum making became a chemical process, the jungle grew back and covered the whole business. Many years later when the resorts in Cancun were built they rediscovered the Selvatica Basecamp, including planes and a landing strip.
See the the videos of this day on my Instagram highlights: @traveltomtom.
What is the Selvatica Extreme Canopy Park
Slowly slowly I found out what Selvatica actually was. On top of all the zip lining there were many more attractions. But it is not like in a normal adventure park where you walk around and you get in line for attractions. Nope not here in the jungle! At Selvatica you are basically on a group tour and you are ticking off all the attractions Selvatica has to offer together. That means there is an order what you do first and what is last on your schedule.
There are different packages available. As I said there are heaps of things to do in Selvatica, but the more activities you sign up for the more expensive it gets of course. There is one package that has everything included: Gimme All Package.
Selvatica Gimme All Package
Lucky me I was part of the Gimme All Package group and that meant a full day tour. I already arrived before 9.00am and only left the Selvatica Basecamp at 5:00pm. In those 8 hours I did ATV riding, swam in a cenote, a bungee swing, two different types of jungle coasters, a superman flight and of course zip lining. In and between we got a sandwich and at the end of the day a big lunch.
Of course a day trip like this requires a proper safety briefing and the professional employees of Selvatica explained in detail what to do and what not to do. There was an example zip line to show us how things worked. It was mostly concentrated on the zip lining as we were all doing that first at the same time. After the zip lining the big group split up.
Honestly I lost count of how many zip lines there were but I think about 10 in total. First we climbed a lot of stairs to the top of the main adventure tower. We were constantly attached to a safety line and when it was my time I actually realized I had never done this before. I tried to film with my GoPro Hero 7 selfie stick but it was harder than I thought.
If you are feeling adventurous you can ask one of the guys to zip line up side down! You will then be strapped on to one of the staff and you go all the way upside down. They didn’t ask me, they just did it and before I realized I was gliding upside down. Super cool experience.
Luckily one of the Selvatica photographers was there to capture this great moment. There is a chance at the end of the day to review and buy your Selvatica photos.
I have done bungee jumping many times in all different forms so I knew what was coming. But every time I do something like this the adrenaline rush is crazy. Although the Selvatica bungee swing is only like 20 meters high, it was great fun.
Next on the roll of our Selvatica Extreme Canopy adventure was the human roller coaster. You basically get strapped in a harness that is then attached to wheels that follow a rail through the jungle. You are hanging onto the wheels. It was the first time I did something like this and it was an amazing ride.
Jungle coaster ride
The jungle coaster is a single ride rollercoaster. The wait was rather long and I didn’t think it was that exciting. May be because all the other Selvatica activities were so cool, this did not feel that exciting anymore! :)
Probably the best adventure of the day. Make sure that when you choose a Selvatica package that this is included. This is basically a zip line high above the jungle but you have are hanging horizontal underneath it. When you are curious how it feels to be flying as a bird above the tree tops, then this gets pretty close!
After all these amazing experience just sitting down at a table already felt amazing. The snack was more than welcome as I was starving. When you are hungry everything tastes amazing, so it was the best sandwich I ever had! Unfortunately there was only one sandwich, were I could have eaten like 4 or so. They also provided free drinking water.
Zip line with water landing
I admit I skipped this Selvatica activity as I was a little tired and too lazy to get changed. I got lost on my phone going through all the video footage I had of the day already. After all, the zip line landing in the water was already the 6th activity of the Selvatica Gimme All Package.
Part of the Selvatica Extreme Canopy adventure gimme all package is ATV riding. It had been a while ago since I sat on an ATV and driving through the Dubai desert was something totally different. The jungle track at Selvatica was super bumpy and pretty challenging. I have to say Im not really a race monster. Although it was super dusty I totally loved racing through the jungle. Selvatica provides you with race helmets and goggles.
After I had seen mostly all cenotes around Valladolid I wasn’t that interested to get wet. Though when standing on the viewing platform peaking into the Selvatica cenote I was definitely tempted to jump off one of the platforms. There are also ropes, a canoe and a floating platform to relax on. We went to swim into the cenote before and after our ATV ride.
Somehow they schedule lunch at the end of the day. It wasn’t only me who was starving as we just had one sandwich at around 12.30pm. No clue why Selvatica has a schedule like this with lunch only at 16.15pm. It is a day full of amazing activities, but it also costs a lot of energy. Luckily the absolutely delicious fajitas totally made up for the long wait and the fact that you can order as much as you want was also brilliant! There are also options for vegetarians. When you check-in you are asked for your dietary preferences.
There is constantly a team of photographers running around to capture you on your adventures. You are allowed to bring your own camera, at your own risk of course. At the end of the day while you have lunch you will get an iPad that displays all your photos and you can buy them on check out. The following photos are taken by the Selvatica photographers.
What to bring to Selvatica
I recommend you take the following with you when visiting Selvatica:
- Selfie stick
- GoPro 7 Hero Black
- Chest or head strap
- Swim wear
- Simple and easy to wear clothes
Don’t bring any fancy clothes, gym clothes are best. You are constantly going in and out harnesses and after all you are in the jungle. At the ATV riding you will get super dusty and by the time you say goodbye you gonna feel sweaty and gross. Unless you jumped into the Selvatica cenote.
There are lockers to safely store your personal belongings. During the lunch break and in and between some activities you can get back into your locker.
Review of Selvatica
This day trip was totally worth it, so much fun! At the end of the day I was drained, simply because of all the amazing activities we did and the constant focus and build up to the adrenaline rushes. We were in a big group but at most activities there was hardly a waiting line. Apart from the two jungle coaster where it took about 15 minute before it was my turn.
The lunch at the end was delicious, honestly one of the best fajitas I had in over a month traveling in Yucatan. It made up for walking around hungry most of the afternoon. In all honesty the pre-lunch snack is way too less. It is just one sandwich and I would advice Selvatica at least to double that portion.
The Selvatica staff is absolutely amazing! Not only are they professionals, they are also hard working, funny and super friendly. You can see that they love their jobs. A compliment to the Selvatica team!
There is no need to be super fit to book the Selvatica Extreme Canopy experience. Keep in mind though that you will have to walk about 100 stairs at least 4 times if you choose to book the Gimme All Package. There are several drinking water dispensers around and make sure you keep on drinking water. Because of the constant adrenaline rushes I often forgot to drink water.
All in all I had an absolutely fabulous day and I would recommend the Selvatica extreme Canopy experience to everyone!
Thanks for keeping up with the adventures of Traveltomtom. May you be interested in more blogs about traveling in Yucatan, then check out places like Pink Lake Rio Lagartos, cenotes around Valladolid, Isla Holbox, Cozumel, Tulum and Coba and more.