Visiting Xcaret Eco-Archaeological Park


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. 

The Voladores’ Performance

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.

One of the rivers snaking through the park

If you want to have a great day at Xcaret, check out these easy tips:

  1. 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.

    Sunscreen check station

  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.

    Snorkeling in the protected ocean cove

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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