Xcaret Mayan ruins – Image courtesy of AMAPO/Wikimdea Commons
Introducing Xcaret Park & Mayan Ruins
Xcaret is an eco-adventure theme park where you can swim with dolphins, see jaguars, flamingos and toucans, snorkel through underwater caverns, walk through a butterfly aviary and a bat cave or float down a river in an inner tube or on a raft.
The park is named after the nearby archaeological site, Xcaret, a pre-Columbian Maya settlement some of whose ruins lie within the park's boundaries.
See a replica of a Mayan village with real artisans at work and later watch the ancient Mesoamerican ball game, Pok-Ta-Pok, where players wearing fierce body paint and feathered headdresses use their hips, rather than hands or feet, to send a ball sailing through a hoop.
Bring your own lunch and take advantage of the picnic tables scattered throughout the park or choose from menus at the site’s eight restaurants.
Afterwards, sit back and enjoy a Mexican folk music performance or stay for the evening ‘Spectacular Mexico Night Show,’ which tells the history of Mexico through song and dance.
Xcaret Mayan ruins
– For a small fee you can also stroll among Mayan ruins in the nearby archaeological site.
Xcaret (or small inlet in the Maya language) was an important port as well as trading and ceremonial centre known as Ppole during the perion 1400 to 1517AD. Maya from all over the Yucatan peninsula came to purify body and soul in the city's sacred baths before sailing for Cozumel Island, a sanctuary for the Moon goddess, Ixchel.
– This 125-acre amusement park is designed for thrill-seekers: raft stalactite-studded underground water caves, swim in a stalactite river, ride in an amphibian vehicle or soar across the park on 13 of the longest zip-lines in Mexico. Xplor is located just 2 km from Xcaret.
Contact Information – Xcaret
Location: Carretera 307, Km 282, Xcaret, Quintana Roo; about 76 km south of Cancun and less than 7km south of Playa del Carmen
Cost: US$69 Basic Pass; US$99 Plus Pass; US$4 to visit the archaeological ruins
Note: The entrance fee covers only access to the grounds and the exhibits; all other activities are extra. The US$99 Plus Pass includes park entrance, lockers, snorkel equipment, food and drinks.
Hours: Daily 8:30am-9:30pm in winter; until 10:30pm in summer
Contact Information – Xplor
Location: Carretera 307, Km 282, Quintana Roo, 77710
Cost: US$99 – the price includes all food, drink, and equipment.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8:30am-5pm