Are you planning a trip to Cancun and thinking about going to Xcaret Park? Awesome! I am excited to share with you all the Xcaret Activities that will help you plan your trip to Xcaret.
Let’s learn more about what Xcaret is and what it has to offer. This post will give you some Xcaret tips so you can plan a perfect day trip from Cancun.
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What is Xcaret?
Xcaret Park is a water, theme, amusement, and archeological site located in the Mayan Jungle.
The Xcaret Activities include:
- Underwater Tunnels
- Archeological Ruins
- Cultural Presentations
- Boat Rides
- Dolphin Show
- Horse Show
- Kids Area
Xcaret Park celebrates Mexico’s past, present, and future. There are actually five parks owned by Xcaret that offer different attractions. We are just focusing on the original Xcaret Park and what it has to offer.
Where is Xcaret Park?
Xcaret is centrally located. It is an easy day trip from Cancun or Cozumel. Xcaret is located in Playa del Carmen area.
How Long Does it Take to Get to Xcaret?
- Cancun – 1 Hour and 18 Minutes
- Cozumel – 1 Hour and 18 Minutes
- Playa del Carmen – 16 Minutes
Do you Need a Tour for Xcaret?
If you decide that you do not want to rent a car in Cancun that is okay! The Xcaret tours will provide transportation to and from your hotel. They also provide your wrist band on the bus so you do not have to wait in the ticket line. The word “tour” basically means transportation to the park.
Once you enter the park you are free to do whatever you want. These tours are not guided.
Parking at Xcaret
If you decide to rent a car and plan on driving to Xcaret there is plenty of parking. We did not have any trouble at all. The park provides free parking.
Xcaret Park Tickets
There are a few ticket options to consider.
A basic ticket includes admission to all the Xcaret activities that I will share in this post.
Children under 4 and under are free
You can also add transportation, food and beverage, and photo packages to your basic ticket. Each costs about $27.
Xcaret Plus Admission
The Xcaret Plus Admission includes everything the basic ticket offers plus a buffet at one of the five restaurants. It also includes snorkel gear, private locker rooms, and restrooms.
Children 4 and under are free
Xcaret Total Admission
This ticket includes everything the Plus Admission offers as well as your choice of one three optional activities: Adrenalina a high speed ride on the sea; Snuba® Family, a combination of snorkeling and diving; or Sea Trek®, a walk on the seabed.
Money Saving Tip
If you purchase your ticket ahead of time you can save money. There are many ticket types to choose from based on what type of ticket you want.
We decided to add on the photo package. We wanted to have great shots without having to carry the nice camera around. It worked out great. There are many spots around the park that can scan your band and take pictures. These images are sent to you after your visit. You can download them.
Lockers at Xcaret
You can purchase a locker once you arrive to store your stuff. There are two separate areas. The hours are different at each location.
There are so many fun things to do in Xcaret. We are going to explore all of them so you will know exactly what to expect when you arrive.
The Underground River
The underwater river at Xcaret is awesome! We had a ton of fun floating along. It is not a lazy river so you have to actually swim to get from one point to the next.
The Locker Bag
Before you enter the river there is an area where you can put your stuff. After you fill the big bags with your stuff they are locked and moved to the exit of the river.
There are actually 3 rivers to swim in. The Mayan River, The Manatee River, and the Blue River. Swimming through is a fun experience. There are lots of areas to take pictures along the way!
The rivers are 16 ft below the ground. It is supposedly 5ft deep but I don’t think I could touch the entire time. I am about 5’2. There is a rope that you can hold on to and pull yourself along. You really have to swim to get through the river. You can bring your snorkel gear in the river. However there are areas that are really dark and hard to see.
At the end of the river is a cenote ( a natural pit or sinkhole) that you can swim in. Cenotes are found all throughout the Yucatan area. This is one of the Xcaret activities you will not one to miss. Xcaret has a few cenotes to choose from.
There are lots of exits along the way but if you put your stuff in a locker bag you will need to proceed until the very end to pick your stuff up.
Snorkeling At Xcaret
One of the amazing things about Xcaret is that it is located on an inlet of the Caribbean Sea. There is a cove that is perfect for snorkeling!
We purchased our snorkel gear ahead of time and brought it with us. We like having our own compared to renting.
If you purchase a plus ticket snorkel equipment is included. If you just purchased a basic ticket snorkel gear is about $10.99 to rent.
We enjoyed exploring the snorkel area. There were lots of fish. One thing I noticed, however, was that if you swim out closer to the ocean there is a strong current. It is good to be careful as you snorkel. There are lifeguards on duty which made me feel better.
The Aviary is a beautiful area to explore. There are exotic (maybe not exotic for Mexico) birds with many colors. As you enter this area you feel like you are entering the jungle. There are special doors that contain the birds. You have to make sure one door is closed before you head out of the other.
Xcaret started a reproduction program that helps endangered species repopulate. The Scarlet McCall project was a success. Xcaret helped repopulate the jungles of southeast Mexico.
Jaguars Island of Xcaret
The jaguar exhibit is so impressive. It is a beautiful area. It is hard to describe. You actually look down 100s of feet. There are waterfalls and a bridge that gives incredible views.
Mayan Village and Mexican Cemetery
The Mayan Village is a beautiful area with merchants selling authentic homemade Mexican products. You can immerse yourself in the Mayan culture and learn from artisans.
There is also a church and cemetery near this area. The spiral cemetery has 7 levels which represents the days of the week. It also has 52 steps which represents the weeks in a year. There are 365 tombs representing the days of the year.
Another activity at Xcaret is the butterfly pavilion. The butterfly pavilion is one of the largest in the world. This is an enclosed area full of beautiful butterflies. If you are lucky some may even land on you.
Go in the Morning
The best time to go is early in the morning. You will be able to see more of the 20,000 different species that live within the pavilion.
Xcaret Paradise River
You can experience a river at Xcaret by boat. There is beautiful scenery, and a guide to let you know what you are looking at.
We sat at the back of the boat near the guide. He was amazing. He took my camera and started taking pictures of the most scenic areas. It was amazing because he knew exactly where to take the photos to get the best shots.
This was one of my favorite Xcaret activities! It was so beautiful!
Relax on a Raft
You do not have to get wet on this Xcaret Activity. So if you want to take in the beautiful rivers without swimming this is your best option. Relax and have a good time!
The tour is given in both English and Spanish.
Sea Life Area at Xcaret
There are some great sea life exhibits.
Swim With Dolphins
We got to see dolphins being trained to do incredible jumps. (this was free) You can also pay an additional fee and swim with them. They will even take you for a ride! The activity costs $89 -$148 depending which experience you would like.
We saw hundreds of baby turtles. Because sea turtles are near extinction, Xcaret has a conservation program to help the baby sea turtles. They are protected until they are big enough to be safe from their natural enemies, and then released back into the sea.
Swim With Sharks
There is an area where you can swim with a shark or watch others swim with a shark! Nurse sharks are completely harmless, so no need to fear. A trainer will be with you the entire time as you get familiar with the sharks as well as snorkel with them. There is an additional cost of about $55 to participate.
There are a few options if you want to get a hands-on experience with the stingrays. The children’s adventure allows the children to feed, touch and swim with them. There is also an adult stingray option. This is an additional fee of about $35.
Coral Reef Aquarium
If jumping in the water is not your thing, don’t worry there is a coral reef Aquarium where you can see lots of fish swimming without getting wet. This is included in your basic admission ticket.
Xcaret has rescued two manatees and they live in a lagoon right on property. You can swing by and say hi.
Other Sea Life Experiences
Snuba, Sea Trek, and snorkel tours are other ways you can get close to the sea life at Xcaret. These experiences cost extra ranging from $35-58
Kids Area at Xcaret
The kids area is so fun! There are water slides and climbing areas. We loved that one of the water slides leads to a cenote. This area is a fun area for kids 12 and under. It is a great place to explore and get energy out.
Are Lifeguards on Duty?
Lifeguards are on duty and life jackets must be worn.
Presentations at Xcaret
There are shows throughout the day.
The national sport of Mexico is Charreria. You can watch jockeys with their pure lineage horse demonstrate some traditional ways to ride. The women wear Adelita dresses which are bright colored.
The show is about 20 minutes. You can also watch this show as you dine at the La Cocina Restaurant.
This performance is incredible. Five men climb to the top of a huge pole and dance. They swing in the air while doing a ritual. It is really impressive because they do not have any safety equipment at all!
The show is about 25 minutes and offered throughout the day and in the night time show.
This performance is in an open theater. Mayan dances to drums are performed. This is a traditional cultural experience.
The show is about 25 minutes.
If you do not have time to check out all the performances during the day don’t worry because they will be in the Expectacular show at night.
Ancient Mayan Ruins
As much fun as driving 2-3 hours to Chichen Itza or Coba is, you do not necessarily need to. One of the Xcaret Activities is exploring real Mayan ruins. The property actually has some historic sites you can explore. It is not as extensive as Chichen Itza or Coba but you can get a little taste.
Cultural Show - Xcaret Mexico Expectacular
Each night a cultural presentation is performed. Mayan cultural as well as Mexican culture is on display. The show takes you through a journey of Mexican history. It begins with the pre-Hispanic era to the time of the Spanish conquest, followed by the colonial times to the Independence of Mexico and the Revolution. It ends with present day Mexico. This is a fun and entertaining way to end your day.
What Time Does the Show Start?
The show starts at 7:00 pm
Is the Night Time Xcaret Show Worth it?
Yes, the show is amazing!
As you walk into the arena there are performers dressed in full Mayan costumes. Some are playing instruments or exhibiting other talents.
Once inside the full show is incredible. There are sports, dancing, and cultural traditions brought to life. There is even a fun surprise at the end of the show!
How Long Does the Xcaret Show Last?
The show is two hours long.
Is Dinner Included in the Xcaret Night Time Show?
Dinner is not included with a basic ticket. You can dine for an additional cost at the Mexico Espectacular Dinner at Gran Tlachco. This restaurant is actually located inside the arena with the best seats in the house. You will be provided a seven course gourmet meal.
We didn’t get to experience this but the reviews are amazing. The cost of dinner is around $60.
Can Children Attend the Show?
Yes, kids are welcome. I think for younger kids the show may be a little long but older kids will do fine.
Souvenirs at Xcaret
Xcaret has some amazing souvenirs. There are Mexican and Mayan products. Take your time and explore the shop near the entrance of the park. There are also products sold in the Mayan Village. These are hand-made.
Do Any of These Xcaret Activities Look Fun to You?
There are so many fun Xcaret activities! Visiting is a must when you travel to the Yucatan. Hopefully, this post gives you a little more information of what to expect when you visit Xcaret.
I am excited to share all my travel tips for Cancun!
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