This was paired with the tour of the Mayan ruins. We drove to a small resort area with a restaurant and some outdoor tables near the beach and the Caribbean. We were only there for about an hour and a half, just long enough to spend some time in the water and have some lunch if we wanted it. We didn't know it but the restaurant won't take credit cards if the bill is less than $25. If the waiter hadn't misunderstood our order we could have used the card. Luckily, we had enough cash with us. The tour description said to bring your bathing suit, that there were changing facilities; however, the only place to change is in a stall in the restroom! If I did this one again, I would wear my bathing suit under my clothes.
Our guide was a descendant of the Mayan people and taught us so much about the culture! One of the ruins was the house of the matchmaker and our guide told us about the Mayan marriage and divorce rituals. We also saw the ruins of a temple and we learned about the rituals surrounding birth. It was really interesting. At the end of the tour was a bar and gift shop, where we sampled different flavors of tequila and we could purchase margaritas. It was not a very long tour because it was coupled with a beach break, but it was just the right length to learn a few things.
We were part of a group of about 16 people on the excursion. We started off with a bus ride to the supply area, where we were supplied with life vests and helmets, after which we went to the embarkation point. We had two guides, Dwight and Omar, who were awesome! They put each of us into a tube and gave us instructions. Once everybody was in their tubes and holding on to the guide rope, the guides got in their own tubes, told us to let go of the guide rope and gave us instructions about staying together and making sure we faced forward, especially going over the rapids. The river was mostly shaded and the water was nice and cool. We traveled about 3 miles down the river, with plenty of laughs and some splashing. We ended up at the supply area, which is also a restaurant/gift shop. The only disappointment was the terrible advice we got from the person at the shore excursions desk on the ship. He told us that there wasn't really anything to buy and not to take much money or a credit card, that he didn't think it would be secure. He was wrong. All the belongings were left on the bus, which was locked. You could order lunch (jerk chicken) before you left on the tubing trip and it would be ready when you came back. Also, all along the river were photographers taking pictures and you could purchase CDs of photos of your journey. We only took enough money to tip the driver and the guides and we had enough to buy some ice cream, but we wished we had brought more so we could have bought lunch and photos. Aside from that, it was great! We had a lot of fun and I would love to do it again!