Culture, tradition, and folklore
All Mexico in Xcaret
Music, food, dance, and folklore. Mexico is a country full of culture. From Baja Californa to Yucatan, every state has its own and particular history rich in customs and traditions. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough to get to know this country, but a great taste of the essence of Mexico is in Xcaret thanks to its artistic presentations.
Just a couple of times in your life you’ll be able to get in touch with the full customs and traditions of one country, so you have to take advantage of every chance you have. Here you have a complete guide to enjoy every Xcaret’s artistic presentations.
Everyone is happier with a dip in the underground rivers of Xcaret so follow the black line on the floor that will guide you to the river’s entrance. Your senses will open after swimming in one of the tree rives of the park. Xcaret Park has a lot to offer, but let’s focus on the cultural side of the artistic presentations.
1.- Papantla flyers
This ritual is a religious custom that was born in prehispanic times in the Mexican territory and quickly adopted for others civilizations.
This rite, unlike we know it right now, started with the search of the flying stick, a tall and resistant trunk that will serve as a base for the flyers. It can have different sizes, but the higher is located in Papantla, Veracruz with 121 ft.
Once selected the flying stick, all kinds of rituals are made before the Papantla Flyers put it in its final spot, and that’s when 5 men climb to the highest point of it, ready to pray for the fertility of lands and rains for the future plantings.
The ritual consists of a dancer on the top of the stick, dancing and playing music while the other 4 flyers hang from their feet spinning around the pole and descending on every spin until they reach the ground. They take 13 spins to get to the floor, which symbolizes the 13 skies of the Sun God and the sum of the turns of the 4 flyers is 52, the total years of a cycle in the Xiuhmolpilli calendar.
As you can read, this ritual is full of symbolism and history, and that’s why UNESCO named it Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity. In Xcaret you can see it at 13:00, follow your map and reach point 9 and enjoy one of the artistic presentations that it has to offer. Its duration is about 15 – 20 minutes and I recommend you to sit down at the lowest seats, so the trees don’t cover your view
If you want to try Mexican cuisine, I can recommend you the Cocina restaurant, nearby the Papantla Flyers. There’ll be waiting for you for a Mexican buffet with the flavor of the typical Mexican food.
2.- Prehispanic Dances
Mayans dominated the Yucatan peninsula and the south of Mexico and Central America. They are a culture internationally known thanks to their astronomical and mathematical knowledge which let them build the impressive Kukulcán temple in Chichén Itzá.
At Xcaret, you can see one of several Mayan artistic presentations. The drums and prehispanic dances will guide you through an ancestral journey that will leave you breathless.
The artistic presentation that you’ll see is the Owl dance, an animal that represented wisdom and according to the Mayan mythology, it was punished by the gods for facing the king of the birds, the peacock.
This fantastic show will enchant you for 40 minutes, just in time for you to get to the Open Forum and continue with the artistic presentations of Xcaret.
3.- Folkloric Exhibition
After watching the prehispanic dances, it’s time to observe contemporary Mexican customs.
When you arrive at the Open Forum, point 24 in your map in the blue line, you’ll find a beautiful stage surrounded by crystalline water of Xcaret’s rivers. Once there, the Chinelos, a post-independentist Mexico tradition created by young people that were mocking the Spanish upper class will wait for you.
Those young men, tired of being excluded from the elite parties, dressed up in old clothes and started to imitate the Spanish in the Tlayacapan streets. That’s how this tradition maintained through our days.
4.- Horse Exhibition
Ask for the quickest way to get to the Horse Exhibition, nearby the restaurant “La Cocina.” There you’ll see a complete show with horses, Adelitas, and Mexican cowboys.
The name for every sport practiced on a horse is called equestrian. In this show, you’ll see the Charrería, a Mexican game where the “charros,” (synonym of horse rider) do difficult tricks with his horse and a rope.
Charrería took form through the time following the Spanish conquest (1521) and the arrival of horses to the Mexican territory and continued its progress through history. It was after the Mexican Revolution that it was declared as a sport in 1933.
You can’t miss this show, where the riders show abilities practiced and perfected through time. It lasts 20 minutes and will end just in time for the most magnificent of the artistic presentations of Xcaret: Mexico Espectacular.
I’m sure you have heard about the Xcaret’s night show. And yes, it is fantastic and beautiful. You can’t miss it while visiting the Riviera Maya. The best of Xcaret’s artistic presentations.
When you are out of the Horse Exhibition walk to the Gran Tlachco. In the Valley of Senses, mythical characters that represent Mayan animals will welcome you: pay particular attention to the owl movements and keep your sight on the man representing the bat. You’ll be able to take pictures with them that will stay with you forever.
Mexico was one before and another after the Spanish conquer. The culture of this country exists thanks to this mix of European and indigenous traditions. Is hard to track the origin of lots of them, but is impressive to see how a single country can have a lot of different cultures. All you can see in Xcaret Mexico Espectacular has a special spark that fires the hearts of every Mexican and non-Mexican alike.
Every detail is carefully prepared to show the feelings of a whole country the shows of folklore. Xcaret Mexico Espectacular will take your words and your breath away.
As I told you, Mexico is a whole ocean of traditions and Xcaret makes a significant effort to show us the most representative cultural expressions of the four cardinal points of the country.