Suggested route for visiting Xcaret for the first time
15 Attractions without extra cost
you must do in Xcaret
Before you visit Xcaret for the first time there is something you must know, it’s impossible to get to know the whole Park in one day. But don’t worry, here is a list of the top 15 activities and presentations for your first visit (because we are sure it won’t be the last one). Grab a paper and a pen and organize your day with our suggested schedule.
1.- Visit the Mexican Folk Art Museum
We know everybody loves water, but don’t rush, before you jump into an Underground River. We suggest you visit the Mexican Folk Art Museum first, find it inside the Hacienda Henequenera, close to the Main Plaza. It’s one of the most colorful places you will see in the whole Park, and it won’t take too long to go through it. Here you will find a permanent exhibition of Mexican artists, including unique pieces of Huichol art, the Tree of Life sculptures and representative art pieces of several states of Mexico.
Approximate time: 20 minutes. Map location number: 57.
2.- Visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Just next to the Museum you’ll find the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the most important symbol of the believers in Mexico. At the back, you’ll see an impressive image of the virgin and also a collection of religious icons from all over the country. As a fun fact, weddings and masses are held here nowadays, it is definitely one of the most magical places in Xcaret.
Approximate time: 10 minutes. Map location number: 56.
3.- Take a workshop
You have probably heard of the Chocolate Workshop, but there are other fun workshops that you can do in Xcaret. Go to the Mayan Village and choose one of the five interactive workshops available: Chocolate, Clay, Ceramic, Coconut, and Wool (the ceramic and clay workshop have a recovery fee for covering the pieces you make). We suggest you check the schedules and choose only one to continue with the itinerary and enjoy the other activities.
Approximate time: 60 minutes. Map location number: 51.
4.- Walk through a Mexican Cemetery
Since you are in the Mayan Village, take a walk through the Mexican Cemetery. This place has seven levels and 52 steps that represent the days of the week and the weeks of the year. The 365 graves symbolize the days of the year. Discover in each step the different Mexican colors and ornaments that decorate these tombs. Don’t worry! There are only living walking around this place.
Approximate time: 20 minutes. Map location number: 46
5.- Visit the House of Whispers
Just at the end of the Cemetery you’ll find the “House of whispers,” it might seem like a regular gift shop on the outside, but don’t be fooled! It’s entertaining on the inside. Whisper to one of the walls while your companion is on the other side of the room listening to your secrets.
Approximate time: 10 minutes. This place has no number on the map.
6.- Walk through the Aviary
Follow the white path to get to the Aviary, one of the Park’s main attractions and a must-do if you are visiting Xcaret for the first time. Get your camera ready at all time, these feathered friends like to pose in the most unexpected moments. Here you’ll find 1500 of bird species, even some in danger of extinction. Xcaret have different successful programs of conservation and reproduction, like the scarlet macaw and the pink flamingo. You’ll be happy to know that part of your admission is aimed at maintaining these programs among others.
Approximate time: 25 minutes. Map location number: 48
7.- Visit the Butterfly Pavillion
Immediately after leaving the Aviary, you will find the Butterfly Pavillion an incredible place where you will find 20 local species of butterflies. Around here you will see places with pieces of fruit from which they feed if you want to go near them, put some on your hand and see how these majestic creatures approach.
Approximate time: 20 minutes. Map location number: 50
8.- Swim in an Underground River
It’s time to swim! To get to the entrance of the Underground Rivers from the exit of the Butterfly Pavillion it’s a little bit far, but don’t worry, just follow the white path until you get there. Take a life jacket and pick one of the four rivers, each one of them has their charm and different features, we are sure you will enjoy any of them!
Tip: You can leave your belongings at the beginning of the activity and pick them off at the end with no extra cost. For your security, we suggest avoiding leaving personal items in here like your camera or cell phone.
Approximate time: 60 minutes. Map location number: 6
Extra tip: If for any reason you can’t swim in an Underground River, you can do it by raft in the Paradise River.
Would you like to know about the extra cost activities you can do in Xcaret? read: 13 Activities In Xcaret You Didn’t Know You Could Do
9.- Swim in a Natural Pool
If you have searched photos of Xcaret, you might have seen this place. You’ll find the natural pools when you exit the Underground River, so remember one important thing: don’t go out before the activity has ended, because you’ll end up in the middle of the Park and probably won’t get to the Natural Pools.
Approximate time: 30 minutes. Map location number: 39
10.- Snorkel in the Inlet
Follow the green path to keep swimming in the Inlet. In this area, you’ll find life jackets and snorkel equipment for lease. If you wish to snorkel, you can lease the gear for USD 10 (it requires a refundable USD 20 deposit) or if you have the Xcaret Plus admission just the deposit. If you are in a rest mood, you can also enjoy the day by laying down in a beach chair watching the colors of the sea.
Tip: Swim by the rocks if you would like to see more fish.
Approximate time: 40 minutes. Map location number: 30
11.- Visit the Coral Reef Aquarium
Follow the blue path until you get to the Coral Reef Aquarium, where you will watch more than 5,000 marine organisms, like jellyfishes, colorful fish, rays and starfishes. Remember using flash is forbidden when taking photos here, it might harm the species that live in here.
Approximate time: 20 minutes. Map location number: 26
12.- Visit the Children’s World
If you travel with small children, this new attraction will delight you. It was a place specially planned and designed for kids. The Children’s World has an area of slides, a small cenote and many interactive spaces where they will spend an unforgettable time.
Approximate time: 40 minutes.
13.- Watch the Prehispanic Dances
One of the essential presentations, when you visit Xcaret for the first time, is the Prehispanic Dances. Leave your camera aside and just let yourself be carried away by the rhythm of the drums of these unique dances, you will not find anything like this in the Riviera Maya. They perform every day at 5:00 p.m. in the Mayan Village, we suggest you arrive 15 minutes early, so you can take the right place, as it fills up quickly.
Approximate time: 35 minutes. Map location number: 51
14.- Get on the Scenic Tower
Once the dances are finished, it’s the turn of the night show, but not before going up to the Scenic Tower. You will find it right next to the Gran Tlachco (the theater where Xcaret México Espectacular is presented). The activity is fast but is worth it since you will have a panoramic view of the whole Park, the Inlet, the Beach, the Rivers, and even Cozumel Island.
Approximate time: 15 minutes. Map location number: 62
Tip: Don’t take off your wristband, you will get free access to another Scenic Tower located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.
15.- Watch the Night Show
End your day enjoying a journey through Mexico’s history with the Xcaret México Espectacular presentation. This is presented every day at 7:00 pm at the Gran Tlachco, we suggest you arrive early to get the right places. When entering the theater, you can find the staff giving away some very special candles, don’t forget to take yours and take home a unique souvenir.
Approximate time: 120 minutes. Map location number: 60
We hope this guide for visiting Xcaret for the first time help you! If you would like to know more suggested routes through the Park, read these blogs:
What other insider tips would you like to know about visiting Xcaret for the first time?
She loves black and white photography, dancing and listening to all kinds of music.