Xcaret by day: seems like it has to be done

Filed under: Things to Do - by Louise Hennessy

Xcaret by day. Although it would appear that when it comes to attracting tourists in the Riviera Maya, Experiencias Xcaret is close to world domination, we have to admit that there is some kind of genius behind their numerous projects. However, as is the case with most sequels, the original is always going to be the one you remember the best…

So, why has it taken us so long to get round to writing about Xcaret, if it is one of the foremost attractions in the area? Well, we have come to the conclusion that we have been tiptoeing around, not knowing where to start, mainly because Xcaret Park is immense and as such, is physically impossible to thoroughly explore in one day (well at least to do so in an enjoyable manner). This would explain our ultimate decision to award “Xcaret by Night” its very own section…

Get your walking shoes on (flip flops or water shoes, preferably), slap on the biodegradable sun screen (any other kind will harm the generous helping of flora and fauna within the park), and perhaps, grab a map! We would recommend having some idea of what you want to see and do during the day, so that you don’t end up going in unnecessary circles around Xcaret’s 200 acres of expanse.  We have picked our highlights, although they might not be everyone’s cup of tea…

Up for an EXTREMELY refreshing swim? Now, to be honest, we have hit the underground rivers in the midst of summer, and then again in the winter (if you could call it that!) months, and for the cold-blooded of us it can actually get to the point where certain parts of your body go numb. This is actually more to do the length of the rivers than anything else, and the amount of time you are immersed in them. However, there are ‘escape exits’ at certain points, which we didn’t realise the first time, so if you get too cold or tired you can simply leave the rest of the river to others.

Want to see something that will take your breath away? Not that far from the entrance to the park is the exquisite Chapel of Guadalupe, containing so much beauty that it is actually hard to put into words. Sloping downwards from the entrance, the culmination is purely stunning; a pristine natural rock pool set into its cave, with an island in the center, for the altar. Above the cave is an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe carved intricately into a 12-meter high trunk, watching over her beautiful chapel…

Would you like to witness the wonders of natures? There are literally SO many ways you can do this at Xcaret at every corner, but we want to share our joint favourites: the first being the chance to marvel at the butterfly house, where you can see these fascinating creatures at every stage of their life cycle, from being inside an egg to spreading their perfectly formed wings; not to mention the huge abundance of varieties, including the spectacular Morpho. The second was the chance to see the lovable sea turtles in all their adorable glory. Xcaret is among the various organisations and enterprises along the coast of Quintana Roo who have a whole program dedicated to the conservation and liberation of sea turtles. We would thoroughly recommend taking the time to find out more about these lovely creatures.

This is quite frankly just the tip of the iceberg regarding Xcaret. We are talking cultural, aquatic, extreme and nature-oriented activities (as well as a hearty buffet lunch). Something for everyone, and not enough time to do it all in!

Our tip: if you fancy seeing some of the shows (Mayan village, Flying Men of Papantla, etc.) which take place during the day, check the times beforehand at any information stand, and get there early if you want to be able to see.

Ask your concierge about packages to visit Xcaret by day.

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