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Xel-ha and Xcaret

Xel-ha and Xcaret

Old Jun 9, 14, 3:38 pm
  #1  
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Post Xel-ha and Xcaret

I've been down to the Riviera Maya for years and I've always seen all the signs for Xcaret. Now the whole family is going and the topic of Xcaraet and Xel Ha has come up. We're debating whether to go. We'll have 6 kids ranging from 9 to 14 plus potentially 7 adults. Both of these cost a hell of a lot and I'm not sure it is worth it. I can go billfishing for a full day for the price of admission for the 5 of us.

So the questions are:
1. Are these parks worth it? Which has better value for the money?
2. What if anything can't be missed? We've swam with dolphins before so I don't think we need to do that.
3. Swimming in a cenote or underground river sounds fun to me. But how is the snorkeling? Can I charter a boat for 4 hours and get better snorkeling?

I'm sure the kids will have fun but are there better ways to spend your money which will be just as memorable. I'm just looking for some feedback on people's experiences. Are there better options out there? Thanks for the feedback.
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Old Jun 9, 14, 4:05 pm
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1. Worth is subjective. I personally found them not to be worth it, especially considering your entrance ticket doesn't cover a lot of activities that they offer.

2. People rave about the Night Show at XCaret.

3. I only remember snorkeling through an underground river at Xcaret. It lasts for like 15-30 minutes depending on how fast you swim and you don't see any fish until you reach the end. I'd go with the charter boat if you want to snorkel.
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Old Jun 9, 14, 9:51 pm
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If you have time to do the real thing instead of the theme park equivalent of it, all the better, IMO. My friends floated down a river in the Xcaret theme park with other tourists. We floated through the mangroves, down a Maya dug canal, past Maya buildings, in the Sian Ka'an biosphere, with our Maya guide commenting on the flora, fauna, and history as he floated alongside.We snorkled in a cenote to see the fish, with only the Maya caretaker and two local picnicking Maya families as company. Both couples seem to have had a good time according to their own taste and time.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 12:23 am
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When I went to Cancun, Xel-ha was included in a day trip to Tulum, and the total was something on the order of $60 per person, including transport from my Cancun hotel, admission to Tulum, and admission to Xel-ha. For that sort of a package price, it was worthwhile, but Tulum was the focus of my trip. But I don't know what it costs on it's own.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
If you have time to do the real thing instead of the theme park equivalent of it, all the better, IMO. My friends floated down a river in the Xcaret theme park with other tourists. We floated through the mangroves, down a Maya dug canal, past Maya buildings, in the Sian Ka'an biosphere, with our Maya guide commenting on the flora, fauna, and history as he floated alongside.We snorkled in a cenote to see the fish, with only the Maya caretaker and two local picnicking Maya families as company. Both couples seem to have had a good time according to their own taste and time.
Do you remember the name of the group that took you on the authentic float trip? That sounds pretty cool.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 12:30 pm
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It is a Maya community based agency whose office is just off the main street (307) in Tulum, near the HSBC bank. We took their sunset tour that starts about 1pm. It was pretty varied, going across from inland through a couple of lakes to the beach, with the float, some exhilarating high speed small boating through other winding canals, bird spotting, manatee sighting, a cenote right in the lake, a beach visit, and ending with wine and cheese after the sunset. Good folks, too, the staff, and great guide.
http://www.siankaantours.org

These videos show a similar float and experience in the Sian Ka'an biosphere:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tCf_1yzavHE
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xdmRVVoJ7gM

(Note:The cenote snorkle to see fish that I mentioned was at another time and location. Just noticed that my phrasing could be construed as it having been the same excursion.)

You could also contact:
http://www.cesiak.org

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Jun 10, 14 at 12:42 pm
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Old Jun 10, 14, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by sr_tipitinas View Post
So the questions are:
1. Are these parks worth it? Which has better value for the money?
2. What if anything can't be missed? We've swam with dolphins before so I don't think we need to do that.
3. Swimming in a cenote or underground river sounds fun to me. But how is the snorkeling? Can I charter a boat for 4 hours and get better snorkeling?
Relative to Xcaret and our experiences there, my opinions are as follows:

1) Worth it? No. The price of admission is very high and the value for price paid frankly isn't there. Food and drink are also expensive; they did have a "meal plan" option when we visited. Wasn't impressed with the food in the park but the beer was cold. Oh and by the way you are supposedly not allowed to use your own sunscreen and must buy their (high priced) sunscreen which is approved for use in the waters inside the park.

2) The evening folkloric show is extremely well done. It may be too intense for young children though. Having a basic knowledge of Mexican history is helpful to understanding the show especially during the first half of the program. The second half focused on music and dance from the various Mexican states. La Cochinita got her degree in folklore at Mexico City's national school of fine arts and said that the dance performances were excellent. Oh yeah, it helps a lot if you can understand Spanish; there wasn't a whole lot of English translation going on during the show.

3) La Cochinita and our son did the "underground river" swim - which like just about everything at Xcaret was an extra cost. First off, the water was very cold. And the so-called underground river was constructed for the park. Not much in the way of snorkeling in the lagoon (also artificial). You'd be better off hiring out a boat to visit some of the reefs offshore of Cancun or Cozumel instead.

Finally what kind of annoyed me was that Xcaret advertises themselves as an Ecological Park. Uh, ok, but how about the fact that the developers basically came into this part of the coast and tore up the land to build this thing? Not so ecological in my opinion.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by El Cochinito View Post
Oh and by the way you are supposedly not allowed to use your own sunscreen and must buy their (high priced) sunscreen which is approved for use in the waters inside the park.
Cenotes and reef snorkel/dive operations also request that visitors use biodegradable sunscreen for the health of the water (fresh water more closed cenotes especially), the reef and the creatures. All visitors to the Yucatan should use it routinely (unless you maybe don't leave the pool) and voluntarily to preserve the ecology of the area. There is a lot of information online regarding this issue. You can get it at some US sporting goods stores or online, but it is simply a higher cost product wherever you buy it.
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Old Jun 22, 14, 12:06 am
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Worth it or not

I believe you should only do one and it should be X-Plor. I promise you won't regret X-Plor. X-Plor has zip lines (best), you can also do a cenote while paddling on a canoe, and ATV's around the park. The entrance also covers all you can eat buffet as many times as you want to go. The other two are so so but if you're on a a budget do X-Plor, X-Caret in that order.
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Old Apr 5, 15, 11:16 am
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Xcaret BOGO

We just got back from Playa del Carmen, going to Xcaret for two days. We received a 2nd day free, using an offer on the Xcaret website back in November, in which you had to pay with a MC.

You really can't see everything at Xcaret in one day. One day at the regular price would have been too expensive for my taste, but the BOGO offer made it worth it for us.

I agree with a previous poster who said that you don't start seeing many fish in the xenotes until you get to the end, because that is where you start to reach the ocean.

I thought that the evening show was over-rated. Many skits took too long. The whole production lasted two hours, which all six of us in our group thought was too long.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 5:57 pm
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Hi everyone

Just a quick question..

My family (6 adults including myself) are going to Cancun this September 4th - 8th, staying at The Beloved Hotel, Playa Mujeres.

We are planning to go to Xcaret on September 5th and planning to book the admission tickets at www.xcaret.com

Okay here is the question..

We are planning to book Xcaret Plus and "add transporation".
Regarding the "add transporation"

Does anyone know if the add transporation includes pick up from our hotel and drop off at our hotel?

Some people are saying we will be dropped off somewhere near Cancun and we need to take a taxi back to Hotel..

Your help is appreciated!
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Old Jun 23, 15, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by johnxkrn View Post
Hi everyone

Just a quick question..

My family (6 adults including myself) are going to Cancun this September 4th - 8th, staying at The Beloved Hotel, Playa Mujeres.

We are planning to go to Xcaret on September 5th and planning to book the admission tickets at www.xcaret.com

Okay here is the question..

We are planning to book Xcaret Plus and "add transporation".
Regarding the "add transporation"

Does anyone know if the add transporation includes pick up from our hotel and drop off at our hotel?

Some people are saying we will be dropped off somewhere near Cancun and we need to take a taxi back to Hotel..

Your help is appreciated!
I'd ask the provider. (I don't know the answer, and you might not get one here.)

http://en.xcaretexperiencias.com/contact-us.php?
JDiver is offline  

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