Immerse yourself in the natural and cultural heritage of Mexico with a visit to this popular archaeological park.
Sitting somewhere between theme park, wildlife sanctuary and archaeological site, Xcaret is one of the major highlights of any visit to the Riviera Maya. This is a great family-friendly outing with more than enough on offer to keep all ages entertained and inspired. In fact, many visitors to the eco-park find that one day here is just not enough time to pack it all in!
Getting back to nature is the name of the game at Xcaret. Follow the tour along the tropical jungle trail, passing sacred Maya trees and endangered flora as you go. Make sure to stop off at the butterfly pavilion to be surrounded by the flutterings of over 20 species of the colourful insect – some of which are endangered. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
One of the most popular activities in the park is swimming through the caverns of the underground river. Stretching beneath the surface for 800 metres, the swim carries you beneath dramatic stalactite structures and walls encrusted with fossils. The water is only about 1.5 metres deep and all swimmers are required to wear a floatation device as a precaution. There are also openings in the rock where light filters through as well as natural stopping points along the way, so no need to worry about being left in the dark.
The park is also home to the ruins of an ancient Mayan port and ceremonial area. Dating back to the period between A.D. 1200 and 1500, this was where Mayan people came to wash away impurities.
It's worth sticking around until the evening to experience Xcaret's evening show. Detailing Mexican history from the Maya right through to today, this music and dance display will keep all the family entertained.
Xcaret Park is easily accessible by car from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. There are plentiful buses running here too. The park is open every day of the year.