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After a day at Xcaret you’ll laugh, cry and brag to all of your friends and family. At least, that’s how I felt! Despite my travel anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), my day at Xcaret resulted in a life-changing experience! Touted as Mexico’s “most amazing eco-park,” Xcaret is a 90-minute drive from Cancun. We stayed at the Grand Park Royal Cancun and the adventures we had were well worth the detour!
What is an “Eco-Park”?
While a more earth-friendly lifestyle has become more common, many people can’t say that they’ve been to an eco-park. If you’re into sustainable travel, though, this is a must-see destination. Basically, this means is that there is a serious dedication to preserving the area’s natural state by not disturbing the wildlife and not introducing chemicals into their habitat.
At Xcaret, guests are not permitted to “bring any food or beverages, balls, radios or sound devices, coolers, suntan lotions or sunblocks into the park.” The park does, however, allow guests to use 100% biodegradable sunblock. If you don’t have any, they will provide you with a sample pack or you can buy a tube in their gift shops.
Upon arrival, it was clear that the staff at Xcaret take pride in their work. The park was clean, well-organized, and easy to navigate. Yes, there is a dedication to the preservation of Mother Nature, but not at the sacrifice of good hygiene. Tourists and anxious travelers like myself will be happy with the conditions.
For example, guests can rent snorkel equipment which immediately made me question how these items were cleaned. I’m not going to lie — I didn’t want to look weird in front of the other people on the press trip, but inside I was panicking.
There was no way my OCD was going to allow me to put dirty equipment on my face. Fortunately, the mouthpiece provided is brand new and never reused which was a huge relief to me. The bathrooms, lockers, and change areas were also very, very clean and the staff was friendly and accommodating.
Activities at Xcaret
There is a lot to do at Xcaret and everything is family-friendly. This park is an excellent choice for all whether they are on a solo trip or traveling in a group. Even couples could find some romance at this eco-park! Whether you love wildlife or history, you’ll enjoy yourself.
Guests can swim with the dolphins (not included in the price of general admission), check out ruins, lounge on the beach, visit the aquarium (they’ve got sharks!), or do what I did — swim in the underground river! I still can’t believe I did that. It was such a triumphant moment for me because I conquered my fear of the dark, of germs and so much more!
The underground river seemed to be the activity of choice for most guests, and it’s easy to see why. Aside from the fact that it is included in the admission price, it’s also downright fascinating. There are some darker spots but they generally don’t last very long if you keep swimming. In case you’re worried about critters, I didn’t see any spiders or snakes. Trust me — I was looking!
If, for any reason, you get into the underground river and decide not to swim down the whole way (it takes about an hour to complete), there are exits every few hundred feet. Also, unless you really want pictures underwater, I’d recommend leaving your camera in your locker. There are several photographers placed strategically along the river who will take your picture which you can purchase in the gift shop at the end of the night.
What to Eat at Xcaret
Food is easy to find at Xcaret which is great because all of that walking and swimming can leave you famished! By the time I emerged from the underground river, I felt like I could eat for days without stopping. Fortunately, throughout the park there are conveniently located stands where you can buy cold drinks (soda, water, beer) and snacks (chips, nachos, etc).
There are several sit-down restaurants, cafeterias and bars on the property as well. It wasn’t easy for me to eat with my hands after a day of in an underground river, but my hunger took over. Our group stopped for a complete feast and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. They sell margaritas as big as your head! Can I go back now, please? I’d love to take my kids!
Enjoy the Outstanding Live Shows
There are many shows and performances to enjoy while at Xcaret including an equestrian show, pre-hispanic dance, and more. All of it really is a feast for the eyes and soul, but the highlight of the evening for me was “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular.” I really wish I’d picked up the DVD in the gift shop (I almost did!) because I could watch it again and again. Yes, it was that good!
This performance allows guests to travel back through time and watch the progression of Mexico’s history from the days of the Mayan warriors to a journey through the music and dances of the different regions in this beautiful country.
The Conquest of Mexico portion of the show was pretty emotional in its depiction of two cultures colliding after the Spanish arrived on Mayan soil. It really was a celebration of Mexico and I laughed, cried, sang, and danced my way through the two-hour event.
Xcaret is worth the money. I’ve traveled to other parts of Mexico and this is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. I’m not even that much of an outdoorsy kind of girl, but Xcaret brought out the adventurer in me! One day, I really do hope to go back there with my kids so that we can experience it together.
For more information about Xcaret visit the official website.
Disclosure notice: My visit to Xcaret was part of an organized press trip.
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