Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
March 1, 2007
Xcaret, Mexico is an all-natural water park and zoo. It is the ultimate place for an aquatic adventure. You can spend an hour lazily drifting down the river in an underground cave, snorkel in a coral reef, meet a manatee, or my favorite, swim with dolphins.
It was a childhood dream of mine to come to face to face with one of these amazing creatures and at Xcaret I got to spend nearly an hour actually swimming, touching, playing, and learning with several of them. When we arrived at the beautiful lagoon, where the dolphins lived, my excitement started to elevate. Just as we set down our bag with such essentials as eco-friendly suntan lotion and waterproof footwear, a dolphin leapt out of the water only feet away from us. There is a semi-circle amphitheater around the lagoon so family members can watch while you have the adventure of a lifetime. The moment I saw the dolphins a big Christmas morning grin had formed on my face that stayed with me the whole time.
The swimmers were separated into two groups Spanish speaking and English speaking and we went through an eight minute safety lesson about how to interact with the dolphins. We learned important things like: Never touch the dolphins eyes or blowhole. Then into the water we went. Each group worked with three dolphins. We stood on a platform just below the water. The water came up to my shoulders. It was the perfect place to begin our interactions with the dolphins. The trainers introduced us to the dolphins and gestured for us to swim out to the center of the lagoon five at a time (10 in each group). We did just this, not knowing what was about to happen we all waited in a line. All of a sudden we felt a rush of water underneath us and three dolphins exploded out of the water leaping in a full arch right over our heads. The water dripped down from the sky off their bellies and they splashed down into the water not six feet in front of us. It was amazing!
Then the trainers taught us how to tell the dolphins to splash, jump, come here and even speak. We all sang a rendition of "La Cucaracha" dolphins included. After careful instruction by the trainer we were each given a chance to hug the dolphins and plant a kiss on their lips. The cameras poised on the docks above us caught everything. After this we spent about 20 minutes in a free swim. I was surprised how soft their skin was and how affectionate they were. The best part was the foot push. We each laid down in the middle of the water until all of a sudden two dolphins were behind us pushing us across the water by our feet. We soared across the lagoon. It felt like flying! I was elated. My adventure in Xcaret was all I had dreamed it would be.
From journal Adventure in Playa del Carmen
January 6, 2003
We followed the current and snorkeled along the natural underground river with lifejackets and flippers on. There weren''t very many fish to be seen, but the cave-like atmosphere had a certain level of interest -- an underwater camera with a flash is recommened here.
We also walked about the park and looked at many parrots and other wildlife; there were quite a few iguanas sunning themselves.
As with all amusement parks, the meals were a bit pricey -- but they were VERY good and didn''t have have that typical fast food/touristy feel.
Our evening was rounded off with watching a traditional Mayan ball game (the one where they use their hips to get a ball through a tiny hole) -- fortunately, the old tradition of sacrificing the losing team wasn''t performed.
All in all, we had a great day. We left at closing time and agreed that it had been well worth the cost.
From journal Honeymooning in the Yucatan Peninsula
Quogue, New York
March 18, 2003
Located halfway between touristy Cancun and the coastal Mayan city of Tulum, and only three miles from the ferry dock in Playa del Carmen, the location is perfect for a one day diversion.
The wide range of activities appeal to many - adventure seekers can dive on a coral reef or interact with the dolphins (for and extra charge). History buffs can tour Maya sites, others can wander through the park to see butterflies, birds, wild animals, and mushrooms. Everyone can relax on the beach or even get a massage (again extra).
There are two rivers flowing through the partk - explorers can either swim along ( with a life vest) or snorkel to enjoy the underwater life. One of these is underground with light shining through the openings in the cavern walls - the other passes through a recreated mayan village.
Admission is about $45 - $50 per person, but you can spend all day enjoying the park - shower - change, and stay into the evening for a two hour spectacular Mayan performance in a huge theatre involving more than 200 performers.
When cruise ships are in port it can be busy - go on a weekend if possible and it's worth toting along your snorkeling gear (it's expensive to rent).
Unfortunately we found no discounts for this park. The Occidental Grand Xcaret is attached to this park via manmade canals and admission here is free during your stay.
I have read that it is unlimited admission everyday, but when we visited last summer it was limited to one visit per stay after the 15th of August - before that it was daily. If this is important to you, call the hotel directly and ask for the specific dates that you will be staying there.
From journal playa del carmen
Oak Hill, Virginia
October 12, 2002
There is a mock Mayan ball game - the winner of the game was sacrificed in Mayan culture, considering it an honor to be sacrificed for their god.
If you stay until night, there is a show that features Mexican dances and music - excellent!!!!! To get to it you are lead through a cave structure - very spooky, very cool. It's worth it to stay.
From journal Playa Del Carmen - Paradise
We spent the day there swimming in underground rivers and snorkeling, watching the dolphins, checking out the exotic animals and touring the very authentic looking replica of an ancient Mayan village. There is also a botanical garden, an archaeological site, a beautiful beach on the Caribbean, horse stables and restaurants.
At night they put on an amazing cultural show in their outdoor amphitheatre complete with Mexican dancers and singers dressed in elaborate and colourful costumes. One act sang some hauntingly beautiful Mayan songs.
From journal Paradise in Playa del Carmen
March 16, 2005
This was my second time to go to Xcaret. We really enjoyed swimming in these caves/rivers. Some of the caves were dark, some were lit up, and some were exposed; either way, it was an adventure.
Definitely bring snorkels; without them, you will get tired, as it is a lot of swimming. You can also float on innertubes in some area. After you are done, you will be treated a fantastic Mexican folklore show. I must say this was an awesome show! The production was almost Disney-like--great singers, great costumes, and they had a variety of themes but were mainly talking about Mexico and how it evolved until the present day, showing the rich and diverse culture.
You can either go with an arranged tour or go directly to Xcaret and buy your tickets there. We did the tour thing, which is basically transport there; there's really nothing to explain. Just swim, eat, and have fun; then go see the show, as we did!!
P.S. I know I said this many times--bring your waterproof camera!
From journal Playa del Carmen: Beach, Good Food, and More!
December 27, 2003
From journal Sunset Fishermens Spa
October 20, 2001
From journal Sunny days in Playa del Carmen
May 19, 2007
With over 1,00 years’ history, the ancient city of Pole (modern-day Xcaret) was once both, a major walled ceremonial center and a thriving port and trade center for the Mayan people. One of the Eco Park newest attractions designed for those who want to experience the Xcaret rivers but prefer not to swim.
Experience the magical sensation of swimming with the dolphins in paradise! Xcaret gives you the possibility of swimming freely with the most intelligent and charismatic species in the ocean, the dolphin. This area is filled with hundreds of birds and different species of regional wildlife, some of which are in danger of extinction.
From journal A relaxing time in Yucatan!
August 2, 2004
The Mexican music show at night is really well done, but I'll warn you it goes on forever (2 hours +) and we would have felt rude walking out.
The Mayan ball game show was REALLY well done. Maybe this place was worth the money.
From journal Active Mayan Riviera