Xcaret (pronounced Ish-car-et) is an eco-archaeoloical park located on the Yucatán peninsula between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a day doing a variety of nature related activities from sun up to sun down, Xcaret is must! Because of it’s sustainability and eco efforts, I’m featuring this park as a Sustainable Sunday post.
There really is something for everyone here! Highlights of the park include opportunities to snorkel in a protected ocean cove, see the flying Voladores, check out ancient ruins, visit a Mexican cemetery, learn about a variety of marine life, see cultural performances, and so much more. Really, this is the kind of place where you can plan a 12 hour day and still not experience everything this eco-park has to offer.
Our favorite part of the park were the underground rivers. There are three rivers to pick from, each with different lengths. The Rio Maya was our favorite and takes about 45 minutes to float down and is cold, but fascinating. During your time, you will make your way underground, passing through pitch black caves and popping back out to see incredible rock formations and foliage. Other rivers snake throughout the park taking you to even more exciting activities once you reach the end! Use of flippers and lifejackets are included with your admission.
If you want to have a great day at Xcaret, check out these easy tips:
- Bring only biodegradable or chemical free sunscreen. They are very serious about this – you cannot get into the park without them checking your sunscreen. If it is regular sunscreen, you must check it at the sunscreen station until you leave. Regular sunscreen is very harmful to the ocean environment – it pollutes the water, is toxic, and kills the delicate coral.
- Bring a snack and a bottle of water. This will help you from dehydrating or getting too hungry from all the calories you’ll burn off by walking and swimming all day. Bringing a reusable water bottle helps cut down on waste. Refill it during lunch at one of the buffets.
- The lockers are small, so pack light. A change of clothes, towels, and necessities are great, but try to keep it limited. There is not much room in the lockers or the locker areas for that matter.
- Bring a waterproof camera or case. You won’t want to make the same mistake we did and not have a case or rely on a cheap disposable waterproof camera. We regret that we didn’t get as many pictures of our watery adventures as we would have liked! They do have really cool photo stations throughout the park where you simply scan your wrist band to have a photo taken. However, these photos are very hard to find once you leave the park and are really expensive ($45.00 for one picture!)
- If you want add on activities, book them early as they have limited time options and tend to fill up. Then, plan your day around that. Some of the many add on activities include snuba and a high speed ocean boat ride.
Don’t worry, if water activities aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do at Xcaret! There are six different routes throughout the park, each packed with activities and sites! Other things you might experience here are chapels, a butterfly pavilion, horse stables, archaeological sites, wildlife and more.
When you purchase your admission tickets, there’s a variety of packages available, so be sure to select the option that works best for you! Because it is an eco-park, they also have initiatives to help with sustainability measures, including donating part of your ticket price to the Conservation Programs for Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico which helps rescue and protect ecosystems and endangered species! To learn more about this awesome park and their efforts, check out their website!
Have you spent time at Xcaret? If so, what were your favorite things to do? If not, what would you like to do there? Share in the comments below!
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My fiancé and I are getting married in March and we are going to Playa del Carmen for our honeymoon! I really really want to go to Xcaret. I am so excited!
Congratulations! You will have a beautiful wedding there. Xcaret is so much fun – I hope you make it there! Enjoy your special time.
Been looking forward to reading your new Mexico posts! This park looks great and seems like there’s lots of interesting things to do and see, aswell as the water activities, I’m excited ! not too long to go now .. thanks for sharing all your tips, really useful 🙂
Enjoy your time in Mexico!!
What a wonderful place to visit and one that I have never been. I will definitely have to put this on my bucket-list. Love all the activities available and how one can donate part of their ticket price to a conservation. I pinned this for later. Thanks for sharing 🙂
It is really fun and I like how they focus on culture and conservation too!
Hadn’t heard of this place but I haven’t been to Mexico yet – looks lovely. I like the fact they are so strict about sunscreen – I will definitely be looking for biodegradable cream in future!
Mexico is a great country filled with many wonderful things and people! It’s nice that they care about the environment at Xcaret!
This looks like an incredible place. I love snorkelling and wildlife looks amazing. I’ve never been to Mexico but I’ll def. look into it. Thanks for sharing!
Hope you make it there one day!
Great post and inspires me to want to visit. Looks like a lot of fun activities to do as well especially Rio Maya. Love all the wildlife and I could probably see quite a bit hiking off the beaten path there. On my list for a future visit.
Yes, there’s so many places to go explore at Xcaret!
Sounds like an amazing place and I love that there is so many things to do! I always try and cram in as much as possible into my trips and it seems like I would have trouble seeing and doing everything here! Never heard of this Xcaret either so somewhere to definitely add to my list! Thanks for sharing
You could spend a lot of time here and not cover the whole park. If you want more adventure, there are other parks nearby you could check out too!
This place is so interesting, loads of things to do and see. I will definitely look for biodegradable cream after reading this post. Thank you for showing us this amazing place.
Thanks for checking it out! One of many great places in the Yucatan!
Wow, I’ve never heard of Xcaret but it looks so cool! How interesting too that they are so diligent about the sunscreen – I love that!
Honestly, everyone needs to be more thoughtful with their sunscreen. Not only is it toxic and full of chemicals that absorb directly into your body, but it is highly toxic to any body of water and kills fish, coral, and other forms of biodiversity.
This is a stunning part of the world and I love the variety of activities offered. It’s definitely going on the list!
Yes! It really is a beautiful place!
Haven’t heard of this place but looks a great place to visit, with a variety of activities to do while you are there. Thanks for sharing. #feetdotravel
This seriously looks like an amazing place to visit, thank you for bringing it to my attention as I had never heard of it before. There is so much to see and do, I don’t know where I would start (probably the underground rivers!). Thanks for the tips as well, it’s good to know that they check your sunscreen as people don’t realise that it harms coral (and there aren’t many companies that make chemical-free creams that don’t cost a fortune but that’s another story!) Pinned for when we visit Mexico #feetdotravel
We started with the rivers and couldn’t get enough of them! So fun!! I like the Bare Republic brand of sunscreen!!
I saw signs to Xcaret when I was travelling between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, thinking it was just some sort of resort. It’s nice to know that it’s a lot more than that. Looks like good fun and some great tips, some which I think apply to all of the cenotes of the region.
This looks like such an incredible place! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before! It’s sounds like it’s a major hidden gem!
You know, we didn’t go to Xcaret because the ads we saw made it look too much like a toursty amusement park, so we opted to go find some cenotes instead. Glad to read more about it because we’re still considering it for another trip to Cancun. In fact, looking forward to it now!
We saw a lot of tourists and a lot of residents enjoying the park! There really is something for everyone here. Happy Cancun planning!!!
We love this part of Mexico. We’ve not been to Xcaret, but did a trip to Playa del Carmen and Tuluum a few years ago and had a marvelous time.
We have yet to make it to Tulum! It looks amazing!