All the cultural and sporting events that you can experience once a year inside the Xcaret parks
Xel-Há is always waiting for you to enjoy its magnificent inlet, Xplor allows you to discover the depths of the Earth, and Xcaret is always ready to immerse yourself in Mexican culture. Each of our parks allows you to enjoy its natural and cultural wonders 365 days a year, but there are specific occasions for each park that call for a special, limited-time celebration.
This is why our parks allow you to enjoy certain important events that only happen once a year, but that you definitely can’t leave out of your adventurous radar. Each event has its reason for being, and for you to enjoy each of them to the fullest, we share everything you need to know about the 5 annual events that take place in the parks of Xcaret. Learn a little about their history, and prepare yourself for the return of the most anticipated events.
Sacred Mayan Journey
The Sacred Mayan Journey is an ancient practice that recreates the maritime processions carried out by the ancient Maya to worship Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, and fertility, while they went in search of her divine message. In it, brave canoeists departed from the port of Polé, which today is Xcaret, and faced the Caribbean Sea, which was seen as an entrance to Xibalbá, to reach Cuzamil, a territory that is currently known as the island of Cozumel. After their journey and listening to the Ixchel oracle, they took the good news back to their communities during a great celebration.
The first Sacred Mayan Journey took place in 2007, and this annual event represents Grupo Xcaret’s effort to recover a pre-Hispanic tradition that had ceased to be carried out for more than five centuries. The recreation of this ancient Maya tradition is considered an event for the conservation and communication of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that reinforces the origins of the ancestral culture and contributes to the sociocultural dimension of the sustainable development of Grupo Xcaret.
Over the years, this Journey has positioned itself as a community event that strengthens the appreciation of ancestral culture and reinforces the identity of our state, but it also has the purpose of being a window for people to learn about the traditions of the ancient Maya, so visitors can participate in this event as canoeists or spectators at the farewell and welcome ceremonies of the canoeists. Each role has great importance within this Maya tradition, but the canoeists are a fundamental part since they are the ones who prepare physically and mentally for the crossing to the island of Cozumel and back, for which they must undergo the necessary training, which lasts approximately 6 months.
This annual event usually takes place on the last Friday and Saturday of May, but the exact date depends on each edition. To learn more about the date of the event and how you can participate in the Sacred Mayan Journey, visit the official website, and likewise, stay tuned to all our official social networks.
Xplor Bravest Race
Xplor Bravest Race is a fun 6-kilometer race that presents you with all-terrain obstacles through impressive natural settings, some underground like underground rivers and caves, cenotes, and others in the middle of the jungle of Xplor.
This race began in 2014 in our park and is a test that pays tribute to sportsmanship through its original challenges that test the strength and endurance of competitors and at the same time, seeks to promote care for the planet through good environmental practices.
Each year the race has a different theme, so the experience will never be the same. There are two types of participation: regular and VIP. The difference between these tickets is that the VIP ticket includes breakfast, souvenirs, and photos.
Xplor Bravest Race is also one of the annual events and takes place in September. However, the call and registration usually begin in May, so if you want to test your sports skills, be sure to keep an eye on the official website and the park’s social networks to learn more about the date of the race, the categories in which you can participate, and the different registration periods.
Festival of Life and Death Traditions
Every year, the Festival of Life and Death Traditions of Xcaret celebrates a tradition that brings Mexicans together and is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO: the Day of the Dead.
At our festival, Xcaret dresses in colors, surrounds you with the aromas of cempasúchil flowers and Mexican gastronomy, and captivates you with sensations evoked by the rituals of the Maya world and the rest of Mexico along with the different cultural manifestations that flood the park. This annual event allows our visitors to enjoy typical food, offerings, altars, workshops, crafts, exhibitions, theater, dance, and gala concerts in the Xcaret park.
The festival began in 2006, intending to contribute to the preservation of the Day of the Dead traditions, which are part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Similarly, it seeks to function as a way to share the traditions and culture of Mexico with the world.
Although the Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1 and 2, at Xcaret you can enjoy the festival from October 30 to November 2. As these dates approach, our visitors will be able to access the official website of the festival to learn about the planned activities, purchase their tickets, and learn more about the guest state that will delight us with their gastronomy and traditions.
The Xel-Há Triathlon is a competition endorsed by the Mexican Triathlon Federation and represents one of the most distinctive sporting events in Mexico as it takes place in a natural wonder such as our Xel-Há inlet, and it has the participation of competitors from all over the country in its different categories.
At this from our list of annual events in Mexico, participants have the opportunity to swim in a beautiful inlet, run on the paths of the Maya jungle, and ride a bicycle while traveling through the famous landscapes of the Riviera Maya.
The Xel-Há Triathlon began in 2009, and an integral part of the event is environmental care, which is why it is also known as the Green Triathlon. This event promotes sustainable practices such as waste separation, recovering pieces for reuse, print reduction, and donating caps to swimming schools. It also emphasizes the use of chemical-free biodegradable sunscreens and the recycling of plastic items used by competitors and spectators.
It is an event with a cause since each year it allocates donations to civil society organizations such as Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México, A.C., and the Mexican Red Cross of Quintana Roo.
The competition takes place during November at the park facilities and includes categories for all ages. These are Olympic, sprint, children, and novices only. Registrations are made only through the official Xel-Há Triathlon website, and right there you can find all the registration dates, modalities, and requirements to participate in this fun experience.
Posadas are popular festivals that take place in Mexico before Christmas. These are the legacy of the friars who arrived in our country in the 16th century.
In the Xcaret posadas, the journey that the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph undertook in search of a place for the birth of Jesus is recreated. The participants are divided into two groups: those who are asking for lodging and those who answer. This event unfolds through traditional songs and ends with colorful piñatas full of surprises.
The Xcaret posadas take place in December, before Christmas, and areone of the annual events in Playa del Carmen that an ideal activity to enjoy with the whole family.
Xcaret, Xel-Há, and Xplor keep their doors open to visitors all year round. But there is no doubt that attending these events, which occur only once a year and paint the parks in extremely different colors than usual, represent unique opportunities that you should not pass up.
Which of these annual events in Playa del Carmen caught your attention the most? Tell us in the comments.
Film lover and curious by birth who is always looking for the next adventure.