XCaret is an incredible eco-archaeological park located in the seashore in Rivera Maya and one of the must-see places when you visit Cancun. This park is located south of Cancun and is approximately 1 hour from the Cancun hotel strip. There are plenty of activities around 44+ (both land & water) to do inside the park. In my opinion one day would be a packed one but you can choose the activities that’s right for your family. If you are staying for long period of time and doing only XCaret activity, I would suggest one full day for water activities & another day to enjoy the fauna & flora, cultural shows. If you are visiting Xel-Ha another aquatic park, one day should be good enough to see XCaret adventures.
We had an excellent time in XCaret and our package (XCaret Plus tickets) included Lunch buffet, evening cultural show & locker rent facilities. The park opens as early as 9 AM and goes until 10 PM and it will be a very long day if you are watching the evening show. So be prepared to plan the whole day especially if travelling with kids and get the essentials needed for them to spend the entire day in XCaret. You are required to use special sunscreen and bug spray, but the prices to purchase onsite were reasonable and you will definitely want plenty of both.
What to see in XCaret
As I said earlier, there are more than 40 + attractions in the park that can overwhelm you when you enter the park. While travelling on our way to XCaret, I shortlisted some places that we will enjoy as a family. I would recommend to do a quick scan of activities on your way to XCaret to save some time. Apart from the included activities, there are lots of paid water adventures offered by the park. Swim with the Dolphin program is popular in XCaret and is being offered at other places as well. We did the Dolphin ride and Sea Trek adventures as separate paid activities in XCaret.
Sharing some of my favorite things inside the Park:-
1. Jaguar Island – beautiful delight to watch the Jaguars in this island and best part was during their lunch time where he could see their fire in their running to grab the food
2.Butterfly Garden – enjoy the nature as well as see colorful pretty butterflies flying around you
3.Paradise river – 15 minute boat ride taking you into the Mayan jungle & you can get the glimpses of the valley beauty in this calm ride
4.Mayan Ball Game – Watch this spectacular show of the ball game from the Mayans
5.Orchid Garden – Might not be favorite of everyone but I loved the collections of the Orchids they had in this park.
Orchid Photos – Slide through the gallery for more orchid collections
6.Underground Rivers – You can swim and snorkel while passing through this beautiful underground river. Life vest & Snorkel equipment are provided for the visitors.
7.Snorkeling at the seashore
8.Adrenaline ride – We did not do this ride but I watched the fun people had on this fast boat taking them through a 360 degree turn. (Paid activity: ~50 USD per person)
9.Sea Trek Adventures – This is an underwater walk where you get to experience a closer interaction of the beautiful fishes & other species. They provide you an helmet primarily used for breathing while walking underwater (Paid activity: 49 USD per person)
10.Swim & Ride with the Dolphin – Cancun offers Dolphin swim & ride programs in many places and we chose XCaret as this was one of the most popular mentioned by the tour guys. I do not know the validity of this information but my son had an awesome time swimming with the dolphins here. The only downside is they market it really well and prevent you from all sides to capture photographs. They play a very good strategy by having 2 dozens of official photographers/video shooting surrounding the people that’s it’s impossible to capture great shots. The package pricing of photographs is very high like 100 USD for 12 photos on a CD and 143 USD for all photos + videos on a USD drive.
Evening Cultural Show
There is a cultural show that happens every day around 7 PM in the evening. This is conducted in a very big auditorium and I would recommend to finish all of your park activities by 6 PM, refresh up and head to the theater by 6.30 PM to grab a good seat. The theatre’s impeccable design will take you through learning & understanding Mexico’s history from the Hispanic period until today. The show is filled with more than 200 plus actors depicting their culture through dances, games and historical performances. I personally loved the live Ball game show & the performance of Spanish conquering the Mayans. Overall a very colorful show that represents Mexico’s culture & tradition brilliantly with abundant support from the audiences cheering them after every show.
View More xCaret Photos – Slide through the gallery to view other pictures