Last Updated Jun 11, 2024

La Riviera Maya es sin duda uno de los principales destinos turísticos internacionales. Sus playas de clase mundial y su magnífico clima atraen visitantes de todas partes del mundo durante todo el año. Sin embargo, hay mucho más en la Riviera Maya que solo playas de arena blanca y las aguas color turquesa del Caribe Mexicano; este extraordinario rincón del mundo ha sido bendecido con impresionantes sitios arqueológicos, un sistema único de ríos subterráneos llamados cenotes y algunos de los mejores ecoparques del planeta.

In this post, I will take you on a perfect one-day tour of the most famous and spectacular eco-parks that you can find in the Riviera Maya: Xcaret.

Xcaret beach

Xcaret was the first eco-park opened in the region, as it’s been here since 1990, and immediately became a feature landmark of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Most probably than not, that has something to do with the fact that Xcaret isn’t just an eco-park, it’s a water park, a themed park, an archaeological park, and a cultural park, all in one.

Xcaret is a park for little kids, but also an outstanding attraction for grown-ups . In Xcaret, you’ll discover the amazing nature of this beautiful region of Mexico, but also the fantastic and colorful cultural expressions of this magical country.

So, let me take you on this journey through one of the most fascinating parks in the world.

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Cancun International Airport

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How to Get to Xcaret

Xcaret is located right at the south end of Playa del Carmen. This eclectic town is one of the trendiest spots in the whole Yucatan Peninsula and among its greatest attractions, you can find Xcaret and a couple of other sister X-Parks.

Xcaret canals

The best way to get to Xcaret is by renting a car at the airport. Renting a car in Mexico is practical, affordable, and the whole user experience is safe and easy. You can book your car online and pick it up after landing at the Cancun International Airport. Having a car throughout your visit to the Riviera Maya will give you all the independence and flexibility needed to make the most of your vacations. Once you get your car, all you have to do is drive it out of the airport and take the highway 307 direction south to Playa del Carmen. When you get to this town, do not leave the highway, as you need to drive across it and when you think you finally did, then you’ll find signs to Xcaret. Its entrance is less than 1 kilometer from the highway.

The second best way to get to Xcaret is to get a taxi. Taxis can be found everywhere up and down the Riviera Maya and they’ll take you to pretty much any of the most typical attractions in the region. The only problem with taxis is their prices. Depending on where you’re staying, the trip to Xcaret may be a bit too expensive.

You can also hop on an ADO bus. There are ADO bus stations in all major towns across the Riviera Maya. If you’re in Cancun or say, Tulum, just buy a ticket to Playa del Carmen, and once you arrive at the ADO bus station there, you’ll need to take a taxi to take you to Xcaret. This option is way cheaper than taking a taxi to Xcaret directly from Cancun or Tulum.

Luxury Transfer from Cancun Airport

Prices and Packages

Like most themed parks around the world, Xcaret offers different packages and prices to choose from, according to what better suits you and your family.

The cheapest entrance ticket costs USD$120 for adults and USD$90 for children. Includes most of the attractions, but no food and drinks.

The Xcaret Plus Admission includes a buffet lunch and access to the Plus facilities for $USD164 for adults and USD$123 for kids.

Then you have the Xcaret Total Admission which includes the same of the Plus Admission and 1 Optional Activity. This is the package I recommend you to get if you really want to make the most of your visit and it costs USD$207 for adults and USD$170 for children.

Xcaret stairs

You can also choose to visit the park in the afternoon for a reduced price of USD$98 for adults and USD$74 for children, and you can enjoy the park from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Finally, you may want to visit more than one of these fascinating X-parks. In this case, you may be wise to buy a package that bundles together the entrances to Xcaret and Xel-Há or Xcaret and Xplor, or any other of this series of famous eco-parks distributed throughout the Riviera Maya. You get an interesting discount buying a package to Xcaret and any other park of the same group.

Tickets para Xcaret

What to Do in Xcaret

Once you enter the park you will realize two things: one, it’s huge! And two, most of the coolest activities come with an additional cost. To make your life easier, I’m just going to take you through the activities that you can’t miss and I’ll leave it to you if you want to pay the extra costs for them.

To start your day, nothing like the underground rivers, which are included in your admission and allow you to experience the cenote adventure so popular in the Riviera Maya. These rivers are open from 8:30 am, so it’s a good way to get a head start and avoid crowds later.

After floating on the fresh waters of these cenote-like rivers, I recommend you to swim and relax at Xcaret’s Natural Aquatic Paradise, which is a combination of beaches, natural pools, and a lagoon. As its name suggests, the place is a real natural paradise filled with walking paths through the jungle, caves, and hammocks, lots of hammocks!

After so many water activities, you may be tempted to make a short culinary stop for breakfast in one of the several restaurants inside the park. Mexican brunch buffets are legendary and the Xcaret version of it is one of the most varied in the region.

Macaws in Xcaret

After breakfast, it will serve you well to walk around the park and enjoy the different flora and fauna attractions scattered throughout the park. Among them, the most impressive are the Coral Reef Aquarium, the Aviary, the Butterfly Pavilion, and the Natural Museum of Orchids and Bromeliads which is a treat to all the lovers of flowers out there. All of these activities are included in your admission.

Once completed this short tour through the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a good time to engage in one of the Optional Activities available for you to choose from. Here, you have a wide array of options, as you can decide to swim with dolphins, interact with sharks, give your kids an unforgettable snorkeling experience with an up, close, and personal encounter with stingrays. Particularly, I love the Sea Trek and Snuba Reef experiences. Each of them are smart solutions for all of us who love to explore the ocean floor, but never were able to master scuba diving. If you have to choose one, I’d go with the Sea Trek and never look back.

Remember, that if you paid for the Xcaret Total Admission package, you have one of these optional activities included.

Once you finish with your optional activity it might be time to enjoy your buffet lunch to recharge the batteries after a long day of non-stop activities. Discover the delicacies of Mexican cuisine and get ready for the stretch run to end a fun-filled day in the Riviera Maya.

If you have kids, taking them to the Children’s World after lunch may be the best idea. They will have a lot of fun, while you take a well-deserved rest in the nearby hammocks.

Flamingos in Xcaret

During the day, you may encounter different cultural shows that are worth your attention. I recommend you not to miss the Horse Exhibition taking place at 5:30 pm, which portrays the traditional world of Mexican Charros. If you have never seen the Papantla Flyers before, you may find them quite interesting too, although their ceremony can be seen at many other spots in the Riviera Maya.

Last but not least, the one spectacle that you simply can’t miss is the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular show. This amazing musical takes place every evening at 7:00 pm and includes more than 300 artists on stage. It’s the crowning event at Xcaret and a celebration of all things Mexican. The show is a journey through the culture and history of the country and it’s a true gem . This show is included in your admission, but make sure to be there early, as the arena where it takes place fills up very quickly. Also, if you want to enjoy this show in the best possible way, you can pay for an Optional Activity that offers a dinner during the performance and it comes with the best possible seats.

Mexico Espectacular

Remember that this is only one possible way of spending your day at Xcaret, but you can choose from multiple other activities available for visitors depending on your preferences for adventure, culture, and nature.

One thing is sure, you and your family will have an unforgettable day here, as Xcaret is truly a one-of-a-kind when it comes to eco-parks. Make the most of your visit and discover why Xcaret changed the eco-park scene in Mexico for good.

Tickets Isla Mujeres Xcaret Ferry

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