Explore all the Xcaret Activities for your Cancun Trip
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.
There are so many fun Xcaret activities from swimming with dolphins to the Xcaret river tour. There is really something for everyone! This Xcaret activity list will make you excited to visit 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.
Let’s explore all the things to do in Xcaret and give you some Xcaret Tips!
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What is Xcaret Park?
Xcaret Park is a water, theme, amusement, and archeological site located in the Mayan Jungle.
The Xcaret Activities List
- Xcaret Cave Swimming (Underwater Tunnels)
- Archeological Ruins
- Cultural Presentations
- Boat Rides
- Xcaret Swim With Dolphins
- Xcaeet Snorkeling
- 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?
- Xcaret to Cancun – 1 Hour and 18 Minutes
- Xcaret to Cozumel – 1 Hour and 18 Minutes
- Xcaret to Playa del Carmen – 16 Minutes
Do you Need a Tour for Xcaret?
If you are planning on renting a car in Cancun then you will not need a tour. You can purchase tickets online.
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 wristband 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 Eco Park
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. This is awesome!
Xcaret Park Tickets
There are a few Xcaret Park 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 $30.
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.
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.
Xcaret Park Photo Package
We decided to add on the Xcaret 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.
I think the Xcaret Photo Package is worth it!
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 and give you a few Xcaret tips so you will know exactly what to expect when you arrive.
1. The Underground Xcaret River Tour
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.
Xcaret Underground 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, I would not consider this an Xcaret lazy 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 want to miss. Xcaret has a few cenotes to choose from.
Xcaret Tips – River Exit
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.
2. Snorkeling At Xcaret Eco Park
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 and one of the best things to do in Xcaret!
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.
3. Xcaret Aviary
The Xcaret 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. This is a great place to get a souvenir.
There is also a church and cemetery near this area. The spiral cemetery has 7 levels which represent the days of the week. It also has 52 steps which represent the weeks in a year. There are 365 tombs representing the days of the year.
6. Butterfly Pavilion
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.
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.
7. 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.
8. Sea Life Area at Xcaret
There are some great sealife exhibits you need to see when you visit Xcaret.
Xcaret 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 on which Xcaret dolphin experience you would like.
9. Turtles at Xcaret Eco Park
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.
10. Xcaret 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 them.
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.
Who wouldn’t want to do this Xcaret activity???
11. StingRay Adventures
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.
12. 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.
13. Manatee Lagoon
Xcaret has rescued two manatees and they live in a lagoon right on the property. You can swing by and say hi. The Xcaret manatees are included with your admission.
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
14. Kids Area at Xcaret Eco Park
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. It is the perfect Xcaret activity for kids!
Are Lifeguards on Duty?
Lifeguards are on duty and life jackets must be worn.
15. Presentations at Xcaret Theme Park
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.
16. 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.
17. Cultural Show - Xcaret Mexico Expectacular
Each night a cultural presentation is performed. Mayan culture, as well as Mexican culture, is on display.
The show takes you on 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 Xcaret Show Start?
The Xcaret show time begins 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 NightTime 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.
18. 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 enough Xcaret tips to plan a fabulous visit to Xcaret.
I am excited for you to get packed for Cancun and have an amazing experience exploring all the amazing things to do in the area. I love sharing all my travel tips for Cancun!
Do you have any more questions about Xcaret or Cancun? Join my Travel Community on Facebook. This is a great group that can help answer any travel questions you might have. I also try to add any deals that companies send me as well.
Xcaret is one of my favorite places in Mexico! This is a great guide on all the fun things to do and see. We did make a reservation for the nighttime dinner show and I highly recommend it! Great food and great seats!
Looks like an amazing experience. My kids would absolutely LOVE that underground river! Hopefully soon we can travel as well. We were hoping to take the kiddos snorkeling for the first time last summer.
This place looks totally cool! I’d love to check it out. I love the water features, and that river ride looks awesome. The place is so vibrant and colorful, too. If I go to Cancun, I will definitely keep this park in mind!
Awesome info. I added it to my own post of Xcaret. Thanks!
Wow so many things to do at Xcaret. I really want to visit Cancun!!
You should go. You would like it.
Trying to plan a multi family vacation for Christmas 2021 ( December 25) for 7 days. Starting date is flexible within a day or 2 of Dec 25).
So far it would be 3 families
1. 2 adults and 3 kids
2. 2 adults and 2 kids
3. 2 seniors
There is a possibility fir 2 more families to join
1. 2 adults and 3 kids
2. 2 adults and 2 kids
Please give me a quote for the first group and a quote for all groups ( 5 families)
I am not a travel agent. I just write about all the fun places I visit and hope that it helps you plan your trip. If you want to join my Facebook group you can ask questions and I am happy to help where I can.
We have been to Mexico a few times but haven’t experienced Xcaret yet. It looks like a whole, fun vacation on its own!
You could spend a day there. But they have a bunch of other parks located near by.
I love Cancun an Xcaret is on of my favorite spots! Thank you for sharing your insight and info for making my next trip even more fun!
No problem! Xcaret is a cool spot!
Looks like a great way to entertain the kiddos!
I want to take my kids back so they can play.
I want to visit Xcaret Park. You had me at a waterpark. The fact that it includes a theme, amusement, and archeological site is just a bonus. I have been wanting to go to Cancun for the longest. Hopefully, I will make it thereafter we visit the Grand Canyon next year. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure.
It is worth a visit!
Xcaret looks like a fantastic vacation spot! So much to do for the entire family. I have a student named Xcaret this year: she was so excited when I shared your post with her!
That is awesome! I wonder if she was named after the park….I think the name is Mayan not Spanish.
Wow! That looks amazing.
It really is amazing!
I love that area of Mexico and can’t wait to visit there again! Such a fun and beautiful place!!
It is so beautiful!
Great post! The underground river looked really fun.
It was really cool!
SO beautiful! What a great place to vacation! We love Cozumel…so this is not far from there! May have to check it out!
We tried to go to Cozumel and the day we wanted to go it just poured and poured.
Wow, this place looks amazing! I would love to swim in that water (not with the sharks!). 🙂
I didn’t want to swim with the sharks either!
What an amazing place! A theme park on nature steroids. If I ever make it to Cancun, XCaret activities will be a must!
I had no idea there was so much to do there!!! I need to go!
What a cool experience! I have never had the opportunity to travel to Mexico but it looks like so much fun.
It was our first time as well.
This park has certainly grown since I visited when they very first opened!
It really is impressive.
What a beautiful place. It looks like it is well worth the ticket price. I hope the guide took those pictures with your blessings. I would be irritated if someone took my camera away from me, even if the pictures turned out beautifully.
He seemed nice and he was just a young kid, plus my phone isn’t worth much, so not much to lose! Haha
So many fun activities and wonderful sites. The Butterfly Pavilion is intriguing to me!
I think if you visit early in the day it is better. We didn’t see a ton of butterflies at closing time.
We had looked at Xcaret last time we were in Cancun and trying to find things to do. We chose something different, but now I’m wishing we would have chosen Xcaret! I can’t believe how much there is to do there! I didn’t know about all of their animal conservation programs either! What a great way to give back! Next time we are in the area, we will be going to Xcaret!
We loved Xcaret! Can’t wait to go back!
It is really cool!
Looks like an awesome place to visit. I especially like the r.c uins.
There are so many ruins in this area. It is really cool.
Xcaret sounds like a very busy day, but so fun. I do appreciate their dedication to conservation. I also love that everything is in the jungle and Xcaret has kept the jungle intact around the area. I would go
It is so beautiful and fun all at the same time.
This is a great guide to all the fun activities at Xcaret. Definitely a must-do when visiting Cancun.
It really is a must do if you visit Cancun.
Looks like such a fun place to visit. So many things to do!
Xcaret is worth a visit!
I’d love to see the nighttime cultural show. I’m sure it is amazing!
It is a fun show.