Are you a first time vacationer to Mexico? Or have you fallen in love with Mexican paradise and looking for a new vacation experience when you go back? We get a lot of questions about the must-see spots in Cancun and the Riviera Maya as people approach their vacations. We thought we’d share with you our all-in-one guide to Mexico’s most popular parks: Xcaret, Xplor, and Xel-Há. These hot spots overflow with adventure and a lifetime of memories so they are definitely on top of our list for you to visit.
Xcaret: Submerge Yourself in Mexican Culture
Enjoy a spectacular show. Get the most out of the Mexican culture with the Xcaret Mexico Spectacular. At this newly renovated stage you can see over 300 actors in their magnificent costumes. Here you’ll discover Mexico’s history from the pre-Hispanic era to modern day Mexico. You will be completely captivated from the Mariachi band to the elaborate dancers.
But there’s so much more.
- Witness a very important animal in the Mayan culture on Jaguar Island. Here you will learn all about the significance of the Jaguar to the Mayan people and how it represents war, leadership, and power.
- Move to the water on gondolas while you experience the native wildlife. Paradise River is a relaxing tour for you and the whole family.
- Interact with dolphins, sharks, and stingrays while you visit. There is a lot of underwater activity going on here like snorkeling, underwater walks, and Snuba dive which is a new technology crossed between scuba diving and snorkeling. It’s a great activity for kids thanks to the simple technology.
- A new water sport at Xcaret is a high speed boat ride called, Adrenaline. Feel the Caribbean Sea on your face as you zip around gorgeous blue waters.
- Get back in the water with three underground rivers and enjoy a relaxing float until there’s a surprise waiting for you at the mangroves.
- Silver Mine, House of Whispers, Mexican cemetery, Hacienda Henequenera, Museum of Mexican Folk Art, Mayan Village, and the archeological sites are activities you can’t miss at the Xcaret!
Get Here ASAP. Travelling by car from Cancun takes about 70 minutes and 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen.
Xplor: Reach Your Inner Explorer
Adventure on Wheels. Adults can drive their very own amphibious vehicle through 10 kilometers of caves, hanging bridges, and jungle trails. This high-level adventure will surely overwhelm you with awe and excitement. You can enjoy rocks and water as you gaze at the remarkable sites in the caves and jungle. Xplor really nailed this one-of-a-kind attraction that you simply can’t leave without completing.
Of course that’s not all.
- Choose from 14 zip-lines ranging from 45 to 8 meters high to accommodate every adrenaline seeker. Freshen up along the way by skimming inside natural waterholes called cenotes. Want to take zip-lining to the next level? The hammock splash might be the ride for you.
- Venture by raft through the underground river. You will see magnificent rock formations sculpted from dripping water called stalactites and stalagmites. The river is also shallow enough to swim!
- Continue all of these activities into the night with Xplor Fuego. Natural lights stimulate your senses and guide you through the dark whether they are fire torches, fireflies, or stars lighting up your path.
Get Here ASAP. You can find this unforgettable park five minutes from Playa del Carmen near Xcaret and 45 minutes from Cancun.
Xel-Há: Where the Water is Born
Floating the river by inner tube is one of the most popular activities at Xel-Há. However, there’s a lot to do along the way like the Cliff of Courage, Monkey Jump, Trepachanga, and Salpichanga. At the end of the river be sure to explore the cenotes. Cenotes are natural sinkholes from collapsed bedrock that expose underground water. They are an amazing sight to see. You’ll find extraordinary snorkeling in Xel-Há because of the phenomenon called, thermocline and halocline. These are due to the mixture of salt and fresh water which create a unique array of marine life.
You got it. There’s SO much to do.
- Xel-Há isn’t just a water-fun hub. It also hosts the Protection and Preservation of Queen Conch and provides the inlet as a training center for teachers to come and learn about this endangered species and apply this knowledge to their classrooms. Queen Conch Sanctuary is a safe haven for this endangered species.
- The Mayan Cave is a spot you don’t want to leave without visiting. It’s a covered cenote with natural skylights lighting up the wonderfully blue water.
- Chuck Kay’s Flight is named after the Guardian of Air. Take flight by rope over fresh water hues and feel the Guardian watching over you as you dive into this hidden body of water.
- Visit the Chacah’s Garden to look around at the celebrities who have visited and planted their own tree in this garden. Be sure to stick around for the story. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a good one!
- Home River contains one of the world’s largest mangrove forests. You can float right through them by inner tube.
- Bay of Caprices is a hidden gem near the floating bridge if you’re looking for a more secluded, quiet swimming area.
- Finally, there’s a whole different world for the young ones at Xel-Há called, Children’s World. This special area for the kids will keep them constantly busy from a wading pool to painting.
Get here ASAP. Xel-Há is slightly less than 70 miles from Cancun and about six miles from Tulum. There are taxi and bus options from Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Have you been to any of these parks? If not, visit them free with the brand new Hotel Xcaret Mexico thanks to their All-Fun Inclusive® program.