XCaret is a kind of Mexican Disneyland, but most of the things you see are real. Real caves, real animals, real performers--no robots here. It's set in the jungle on the coast, they have a beautiful cove swimming area where you can swim with the dolphins or go on snorkel/scuba trips.
There are lots of animals--cougars, butterflies, bats, turtles, alligators, fish, a bunch of animals you've never seen before, and even some manatees. The snorkel through the underground river/cenote is very fun and included in the price of admission.
There are also archeaological ruins on site for the intellectuals. Don't miss the traditional dances or horse shows!
Admission to XCaret is expensive, I think it cost us 650 pesos each.
I don't know what it is about XCaret, it should be a goofy place--it 's touristy, expensive, and can be crowded. But most of the people I meet after they leave say they had a very strange sensation while there, almost as if you were a kid again. And you wished the day wouldn't end. Same goes for me!
See my XCaret Travelogues for more photos of XCaret.
After meeting up with Hans at Snorkeling Inlet, we relaxed for a bit in the sun and enjoyed the beautiful views that lay before us. Snorkeling Inlet was awesome, as it had hundreds of fish swimming around you. The keeper was feeding them, so obviously the fish were going to stick around which people were thoroughly enjoying.
After resting we passed by "Manatee Lagoon" and saw Nohach and Pompom lazing in the lagoon. Then it was "Jaguar Island" where 2 jaguars and a puma were resting under a tree.
Hans and I could hear drums beating. We followed the beat to the "Mayan Village" where they were having a little demonstration around 4:00 p.m.
We then had a bite to eat and then headed for the "Theatro" for the Night Show.
Xcaret was totally awesome and definitely a must see.
The Xcaret SEA TURTLES section was so special. The first pond was filled with baby sea turtles (about six inches in length.)
The second pond, which I enjoyed the most and where the accompanying picture was taken, is of the little bigger sea turtles (about 12 inches in length). It was so cool to see them occasionally come up for air as this sea turtle was doing.
The largest area contained the adult sea turtles. They were huge, probably six feet in length. They were amazing to watch.
Xcaret is deeply committed in preserving the environment and a member of the Quintana Roo Coast Sea Turtle Protection and Conservation Program, the largest sea turtle protection and breeding program in Mexico.
Xcaret's SPECTACULAR NIGHT SHOW (from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) is a magical experience.
The show begins with the walk through the Aromas Valley where ancient ball players are ceremonially purified before going on to the majestic Gran Tlachco court for a spectacular demonstration of the pre-historic ball game and the "fire ball" game.
This is followed by a grand celebration of regional music and traditional dances that will take you through Mexico's glorious past.
More than 300 performers gather on stage to perform an unforgettable fiesta.
Hans and I thoroughly enjoyed this show and rate it as one of the best we have ever seen. The colors - the costumes -the music - the dancing - all just blew us away.
Hans and I heard drums beating and followed the beat to the MAYAN VILLAGE where they were having a "celebration of fire" ceremony at 4:00 p.m.
The ceremony was elaborate and full of Mayan characters, like warriors, the witch doctor and the "Keeper of fire". It was fun to watch, as the drums beat and smoke filled the area.
Not only is SNORKELING INLET a cool place to swim and snorkel, it was a fantastic place to relax. As you can see on the accompanying picture, my Hansie is doing just that. There is a separate area with hammocks already set up for you. Just pick one and drift away to lala land as you feel the warm sea breezes and hear the near-by palm trees rustling in the wind. Ahhh --- life is good!
Thursday, January 20, 2005.
The bus picked us up at 9:00 a.m. at our hotel. After picking up other hotel guests, we were brought to Fiesta Plaza. We exchanged our vouchers (cost of tour $62.00 U.S.) for our boarding passes.
Our guide said our drive to Chichen-Itza would be two hours and 20 minutes. My Hansie, always the Ham, politely informed him that we already went to "Chicken-Pizza" on Monday. Oh "Si Senor" Juan Carlos said. "Our drive to Xcaret will be one hour and 20 minutes." And we were off.
After we arrived, we got our Xcaret wristbands and map and told to be back at the bus at 8:15, after the night show.
We first headed for underground rivers, which Hans wanted to do. I had bought him a mask and snorkel, so he just had to get a swim vest which is mandatory and is free use with admission.
I met him at the end of the underground river, in snorkeling inlet.
Thursday, January 20, 2005.
Tour to XCARET ,an ancient Mayan ceremonial center, south of Cancun.
It is an eco-archaeological and recreational park with natural ponds, underground rivers, coral reef aquarium, sea turtles, butterfly pavilion, a Mayan Village and the magical "Xcaret Spectacular Night Show"
One of the best shows I've ever seen. They will have Mayan dancers all over the park, with awesome Mayan costumes, you will have to walk around and follow the shows till it leads you to the Mayan Ball Game, where you can watch this century old game, the players tries to shoot the ball thru this small opening on each side of the court using ONLY their hips! Very entertaining!
After the game they will lead you to the Ampitheatre where they have this wonderful folk show with lovely costume changes and great Mexican singers! This show is part of your entrance fee to the park and ends till around 9:30pm. Dont miss it! Its a show you dont want to miss!
There are 2 underground rivers in Xcaret, we went snorkeling in both of them. I suggest to just do 1 river because after doing both we didnt have enough time to see the rest of the park and missed some shows. I recommend go to the river that goes underneath the ampitheater. Beware, the water is a little bit colder than the water in Cancun's beaches, but you'll get used to it after a while. As for snorkeling here, dont expect to see a lot of fishes, not much, just the small ones, if you plan to go snorkeling check out the inlet or the lagoon at Xcaret, lots more fishes to see there! But the experience of swimming underground is awesome, definitely do it!
Its not a very big zoo but very entertaining indeed! I was inches from this adorable deer that I could touch but scared to, LOL, the parrots were so entertaining, they would talk to us "HOLA!", "HELLO", and I was so shocked I laughed so hard and they started laughing like me too! It was a blast! There are beautiful flamingos, toucans, and iguanas (they werent even in the zoo they're just everywhere in Cancun!) When you're in Xcaret stop by here for a while, you'll love it!
While walking around the park right next to the Butterfly exhibition, follow the signs to see the Jaguars, one is black and the other is striped/spotted one (i didnt even know there was a stripped jaguar), it will be hard to see them at first but be patient it will be worth it. They are beautiful and very playful animals!
Tired of walking around the trails, stop by at the beach, stroll the white sands, take a dip in the tranquil bay, grab an inner tube and just drift away! Or just view the ocean bed through the view port of a water board. This place is beautiful and relaxing, spend a few minutes just lounging here. You'll be relaxed till your next stop.
The world’s largest butterfly enclosure, with waterfall, flowering plants and free-flying butterflies. Great for relaxing or just watching. Considered one of the largest in the world, it is also the only pavilion that is self-sufficient in maintaining it’s butterfly population. Stay still for a moment and a butterfly might land on you!
Get a close-up look to three of the 7 species found in Mexico (green turtles, loggerhead and kemp turtles). You'll have the opportunity to see turtles at every stage of their lives, from tiny newborns to huge adults swimming around in their natural tanks. Some of the turtles are the biggest I've ever seen in my life. Definitely check them out and take lots of pictures!!