All families will love Xcaret Theme Park in Cancun.

You can easily spend the day at Xcaret, a majestic archaeological park with over 40 activities and attractions.

The main water attractions include a coral reef aquarium, underground rivers, beaches and natural pools, and a chance to swim with dolphins and sharks!

You can enjoy the day all the way through to night, when a large performance with over 300 actors share the history of Mexico through a musical journey.

Book your tickets early to save time as Xcaret does get crowded quickly everyday. 

Book Tickets  Official site

Xcaret Park Activities and Things to See

Underground Rivers & Snorkeling

Xcaret’s underground rivers are part of a large cave system that forms deep under the surface of the Yucatan peninsula.

Snorkel in caves and swim along unique rock formations and marine fossils.

White Sandy Beaches 

Enjoy crystal clear eco-friendly sea water surrounded by lush tropical flora.

The cool and refreshing lagoons are shallow enough for the little ones to splash and play.

There are no big waves so there’s minimal danger.

While the adults can sit back and relax with a nice cold margarita.

Tropical Jungle Trail 

Observe Mexico’s natural wonders, wildlife, and tropical birds.

Learn about the many endangered plants in Mexico as you stroll through the jungle trail.

This leisurely walk will showcase Cancun’s native and tropical trees.

The trail leads to the Natural Museum of Orchid and Bromeliad.

Butterfly Pavilion 

The ancient Aztecs believed the fragile bodies of butterflies treasured the souls of deceased warriors that died in battle or were sacrificed.

Featuring some 5,000 butterflies in a gorgeous jungle setting complete with waterfalls and flowers, this is place children will love.

Aviary

Xcaret’s Regional Wildlife Breeding Farm shelters over 24 species of Mexican birds.

These include the red macaw, green macaw, Yellow-headed parrot, Red-lored parrot, and flamingos. 

Coral Reef Aquarium 

More than 500 corals have been planted successfully at Xcaret’s Coral Reef Aquarium.

The marine exhibit also includes more than 5,000 living organisms including tropical fish such as surgeons, butterfly and angel fish, as well as sea horses, urchins, anemones, crabs, lobsters, nursery sharks and rays.

You can even swim with dolphins and sharks!

Orchids & Mushrooms 

See over 100 different orchid plants native to the Mayan region at the Natural Museum of Orchids.

There is also a mushroom farm nearby where visitors can see how mushrooms are cultivated.

Archaeological Sites 

Xcaret which means in Maya language “little inlet”, used to be an ancient port that functioned as a very important trade route.

Xcaret port city was initially called by the Mayan civilization as Ppole. 

Some of the ancient Mayan vestiges of Xcaret feature 500 residential structures and over 60 temples which are scattered throughout the surrounding jungle.

They remain as living testimonies in stone of Ppole’s past glory.

Mexican Cemetery

Visit a replica of a typical Mexican cemetery rooted in the Mayan culture that dates back to pre-Hispanic times.

Learn about ancient customs and the Mayan fascination with death that gave birth to the largest and best-known traditions in Mexico, such as the “Day of the Dead” festivities.

Mexico Espectacular

An outstanding cultural exploration of Mexico’s history including over 300 actors and dancers.

Show plays nightly.

Tips

Food 

There’s a variety of food available at reasonable prices, you can bring food with you, but there’s really no need as there are plenty of food and drink choices available.

Consider purchasing the Xcaret Plus package which includes a buffet lunch and two drinks.

Walking 

With over 250 acres to cover, you’ll need to walk to take advantage of all the activities.

Lockers are available, but bring a small bag to carry your camera to keep with you after you swim.

Consider Staying Longer 

It’s hard to see everything in one day, consider buying the two day pass at a discounted rate.

Arrive Early

If you do choose to go for only one day, arrive early.

Don’t try to see and do everything.

Map it out before you go to make sure you see what’s most important to you and your family.

Best Time to Go 

Winter months provide a nice warm temperature.

November-April is a good time to go.

Avoid the summer months between May-September when temperatures can make your visit uncomfortably hot.

How to get to Xcaret Park

  • Xcaret Tour with Transportation: You can purchase this online with your ticket and leave from either Plaza Caracol Shopping Mall in Cancun at 8:30am or at the ferry dock at 9:00am in Playa del Carmen. Pickup points are also available in Maya and Cozumel.
  • Bus – Public bus departs from the ADO bus terminal located downtown Cancun or Playa del Carmen and leaves every hour from 8:00-11:00 am. It costs approximately $5.00 USD and drops you off on the highway, where you can take the free shuttle to Xcaret Park’s main gate.
  • Drive – Parking is free.
  • Taxi – costs vary, one hr drive from Cancun and 15 min from Playa del Carmen.

Alternatively, you can book a package deal and get pick up and drop off directly at your hotel.

Pickup from Cancun  Pickup from Playa del Carmen

History 

In 1984, architect Miguel Quintana Pali purchased 12 acres in the Mayan Riviera, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo where he was going to build his house.

However, when he started to clean the land he discovered natural sinkholes known as cenotes and beautiful underground rivers.

He then decided to create a park where everybody could access the natural wonders of the region.

Along with Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse, Miguel Quintana Pali brought to life Xcaret Park.

Xcaret was opened in December 1990 as an eco-archeological park where visitors from all over the world can enjoy the splendor of Mexico’s biodiversity and cultural heritage.

It is now under an environmental management system.

For example, over 250 eco-friendly sun lotion samples are given to visitors every day.

The park reuses more than 108 gallons of water daily to irrigate in the park.

Xcaret also produces 160 tons of compost each month to fertilize the park.

During the months of May and November Xcaret carries out two grand events to strengthen the cultural identity of Quintana Roo’s communities: The Sacred Mayan Journey and The Death and Life Traditions Festival.

For consecutive years, Xcaret has been named a Socially Responsible Company by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy.

Book Tickets 

echo
For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!