Xcaret or Xel-Ha? Discover which park to visit

A guide to choose the best attraction for you

An unforgettable family day

If you ever  had a vacation in Cancun or Riviera Maya certainly one of your mainly concerns was to plan everything in order to make the most out of your visit to this destination. 
We know that when you are travelling with your family, you also have the challenge of choosing an activity that fits for everyone. Thats why we decided to make it easier for you to choose between two of the best attractions of Quintana Roo.
Travelling is an excellent opportunity to learn about new cultures, Xcaret or Xel-Há are no exception. If we could describe Xcaret in one word, it would be “Mexico”. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Papantla Flyers (best known as the “Flying Men”), the Prehispanic Performances in the Mayan Village, the Equestrian Show and at the end of the day, you will witness the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular show, a colorful journey through the history of our country.
At Xel-Há, you will find the Nursery where besides learning about the flora of this Natural Wonder, you’ll also learn about the ancient Mayan lifestyle and visit the place where the Melipona Bee ceremony takes place. Another cultural attraction in Xel-Há is the model of Tulum at the entrance of the Park, which will take you in a journey through time  while looking closely to this ancient Mayan civilization.
Riviera Maya is a unique paradise and the ideal place to enjoy natural environments. If you visit Xcaret you will find a Butterfly Pavilion, a Wild Bird Aviary with macaws, parrots, toucans, flamingos and many other bird species and throughout the day at Xcaret, you will admire sea turtles, manatees and many other endemic species. If you are a flower lover, you must make a stop at the Orchid Greenhouse and walk through its colorful paths. And finally the cherry on top: the Coral Reef Aquarium, a unique aquarium supplied with natural seawater.
Now if you are more like a marine species lover, we recommend you to visit Xel-Há. While you snorkel, you’ll see colorful fish and stingrays, if you look closely at the bottom of the inlet, you will also find pink shells. The adventure continues when you get out of the water, because while walking in the jungle trails you can see Pijiji ducks near the small bridges, birds, iguanas and if you are lucky, one of our cutest inhabitants: the coatis. If you still want to admire more endemic species, we recommend you to visit the meliponary, where you will learn about the Mayan bees. 
Water activities
Xcaret is famous for its underground rivers, so if you decide to visit, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in 3 different ones: the Blue River, the Manatee River and the Mayan River. If you like snorkeling, in Xcaret we also have an inlet where you can dive and explore the underwater world of the Caribbean Sea. On the other hand, if you’re looking to relax, you can float in the inlet and sunbathe, another perfect spot to relax are the natural pools. Tip: near the beach area you will find a small water slide with a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea.
If you are looking for more water activities then Xel-Há is the best choice for you. Here you can enjoy a day full of snorkeling in a natural river and at the big inlet. You can either swim or just go with the flow floating in an inner tube. The river becomes more amusing as you travel through it, our favorite part: the adventure world. This place is perfect to test your balance skills while walking between two ropes in the “trepachanga”, waterland in the zip lines, and if you’re really brave, you can jump from the Cliff of Courage and splash into the refreshing waters of the river.
Tip: if you still want more adventure, you can’t miss the Chuck Kay’s flight, a swing rope that will make you fly above of a cenote. 
Fun for the little ones
Now that we already did a tour through the major attractions of both Parks, we’ll share with you some extra tips for activities with kids.
In Xcaret one of the most popular attractions for the little ones is the Butterfly Pavilion because they can watch closely these little creatures. The aviary and the aquarium are also their favorites. From Monday to Friday there are special activities like the “flamingos parade” and the “flight of the macaws”, when you arrive we recommend you to verify the schedule, both are incredible experiences for children. Another option is the Adventure Kids, (this is with an additional cost) it allows children to swim and interact with nurse sharks and small stingrays.
In Xel-Há, the little ones have their own place: the Children’s World. Here you will find a paddling pool, a playground with slides, a rope climbing, and hanging games. For the artistic children, there are also painting and drawing activities. The best thing about the Children’s World is a hammock area where the parents can relax while the kids have fun.
Now it’s up to you to decide where you want to spend your days on your next vacation, either Xcaret or Xel-Há, you will certainly have a day full of fun and new experiences.
Guadalupe Dzul

Communicologist by profession, loves photography, rowing, wine, chocolate and spending time with family.