/ Luxury Travel Guide
Luxury — By Jeanne Dupuis on July 5, 2010 at 2:28 am
Filed under: earth friendly, eco, Mexico, resorts, top-feature, water park

REVIEW: Xcaret, Mexico’s Amazing Eco Park

A day at Xcaret will leave you with experiences that will make you laugh, cry and brag to all of your friends and family.  Touted as Mexico’s “most amazing eco park,” Xcaret is a 90-minute drive from Cancun (map) and is well worth the detour.

What’s 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.  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.

Facilities

Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by many things and the cleanliness of the park was one of them.  Yes, there is a dedication to the preservation of Mother Nature but not at the sacrifice of good hygiene.

For example, guests can rent snorkel equipment which immediately made me question how these items were cleaned.  The mouthpiece provided is brand new and never reused which was a huge relief to me.

The bathrooms, lockers and change areas (pictured at right) were also very, very clean and the staff was accommodating.

Activities

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.  There is a lot to see and do including swimming with the dolphins (not included in the price of general admission), checking out ruins, lounging on the beach, visiting the aquarium (they’ve got sharks!) or, swimming in the underground river.

This 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!

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.

Food

Food is easy to find at Xcaret which is great since all that walking and swimming can leave you famished!  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 restaurants, cafeterias and bars on the property as well.

Shows

There are many shows and performances to enjoy while at Xcaret including an equestrian show, pre-hispanic dance and more.

The highlight of the evening for me, however, was “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular.”  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, and I’m not even that much of an outdoorsy kind of girl!   The prices are reasonable with adult passes starting as low as $49 (save 10% by booking online!).

For more information about Xcaret visit the official website.

images: Jeanne Dupuis

Disclosure notice:  My visit to Xcaret was part of an organized press trip.

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Tags: earth friendly, eco, Mexico, resorts, top-feature, water park


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