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XCaret Park in Mexico: A Must See for Tourists

Updated on February 2, 2009

What is Xcaret?

Xcaret is a beautiful national park located close to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.   This park offers a unique combination of educational, recreational, and relaxing opportunities within the boundaries of its 86 acres.  No matter what your vacation plans involve, you can probably accomplish many of them during a visit to this stunning paradise.

There are so many things to see and do here that two or three days may be necessary to cover all of it.  This magical site offers underground rivers, wildlife habitat, water sports, a living coral reef aquarium, ecological and archeological tours, and multiple shows involving both ancient Mayan and current Mexican cultures and traditions.  Let's tour this amazing location together so your next trip to Mexico can be as amazing as mine was.

Native Mexican birds found in XCaret.
Native Mexican birds found in XCaret.
The amazing sea turtles at XCaret.  The sound they make when coming up for air is amazing
The amazing sea turtles at XCaret. The sound they make when coming up for air is amazing

An Overview of the Wildlife Areas

Though I did not have the time to see all of the wildlife reserves, I did visit as many as I had time for. The beautiful wildlife breeding farm houses many of Mexico's native animals, some of which are in danger of extinction. Here, visitors can learn about environmental preservation, while having the opportunity to photograph many different species of exotic wildlife.

The butterfly pavilion houses many different species of these beautiful winged insects in just about any color you can imagine. XCaret breeds these creatures from caterpillar, and then releases them into a netted area where people can enjoy them close up.

Pools of different types of sea turtles are also on exhibit. The turtles are separated into different pools depending on their type, age, and size. The park provides an area for people to learn about the harrowing journey hatchlings have to take from the sandy beach to the water in their natural environment. If visitors come to this area during feeding time, they may be able to get some amazing photos of turtles coming to the surface for food. The park does inform the public that many of these turtles are being returned to the ocean once their chance for survival increases.

Discovering Mayan History

Throughout the park many historical and cultural experiences abound. The rich history of the Mayan culture is visible everywhere you go. Mayan ruins offer terrific photo opportunities, while small shops are available to purchase items representative of native Mexico. Many ancient Mayan rituals are still in practice today, and can be experienced here. Daily tours are scheduled throughout the day so that guides can explain details of Mexico's history that you may not discover otherwise.

Excitement Exists in Many Forms

The opportunity for excitement is also available within the boudaries of this beautiful setting. Underground rivers, referred to as "cenotes" provide visitors with the a way to cool off after exploring the park. Life vests provided by the park hold you up while you float down the fresh water river that twists and curves around the rocky caverns.

Those who wish to swim with the dolphins can live that dream here at XCaret. The park staff will teach participants how dolphins interact with each other and their environment. After learning about these amazing animals, everyone gets a chance to be pulled and pushed through the water by these intelligent mammals.

Have you ever wanted to walk underwater but don't know how to scuba dive. That's OK, at XCaret you can purchase a Sea Trek package that lets you put on a leak proof helmet and visit the marine creatures in their habitat.  Breathing is easy in these devices, so you can concentrate on all of the wonderful underwater visions.  (An underwater camera is definitely recommended.  You will want to bring home these memories with you.)

Experience the Culture and Traditions of Mexico: Attend the Spectacular Live Shows

As I said earlier, it is very hard to cover the entire park in one day. There are multiple live shows that will amaze any traveller. 

The Papantla flyers is a show about ancient worship of the Sun God.  There are four bird-men circling a tall pole while hanging upside down and tied by their feet.  This ceremony is based on the belief that they will have good harvest and fertile soil.

The XCaret Mexico Spectacular at the end of the evening is definitely not one to miss.  The show is about 2 hours long, and portrays Mexican tradition from ancient Mayan days through the present.  Beautiful, colorful costumes and people of many talents draw here to show visitors exactly what Mexico is all about. 

Are you interested in visiting XCaret?

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    • TKIMWRSVC profile image

      TKIMWRSVC 8 years ago from United States

      I was looking at their site last night as a vacation potential place before checking out this hub, pretty cool