This place is like a dream. We booked the trip from a vender at the side of the road who seemed pretty good. The trip was to include 3 hours at Talum (15mins from Xelha) and 4 hours at Xelha. He told us everything was included apart from Scuba Diving and swimming with dolphins the cost was $55 each.
It was about a 1 hour drive from Cancun and the coaches were comfortable. We decided on the way to miss out Talum and spend the full day at Xelha, meaning we had lost out on about $7 each, but not to worry.
On the way the rep explained that there were two packages for Xelha, the normal and the all inclusive. We thought we had the all inclusive but we found out we did not meaning once in Xelha we would be paying for everything!! After the rep gave us a run down of the prices we decided to go for the all inclusive and pay an extra $25 each. This brought our total cost up to $80 each, which I think was still about average comparing to other people, so we did not let it spoil our day.
All Inclusive will include your lockers, snorkeling equipment, food for day etc.
You need to give them some sort of deposit for everything you take eg hotel key, $20, credit card, so make sure you have this to hand.
There are a number of places to eat with a variety of dishes to suit most needs, although it can get busy.
The main lagoon is cool for relaxing in a rubber ring or just going for a snorkel. There are some lovely fish and nearer the forest end there are some lovely turtles and the water is alot clearer. The lagoon is accessible from many places around the park and there are also many cliff jumps.
There are loads of nice walks and make sure you get an ice cream as they are very very nice. Its really worth a visit and even though we decided to spend the full day there, we would have loved more time.
If you have a bit of spare cash ($110 approx) have a swim with the dolphins, we did and it really was a once in a life time experience and highly recommended.
Xel Ha was the second destination on our trip to Tulum and it was one of the nicest eco parks I have ever visited. It just reminds me of being trapped in the Washington Zoo, with a sense of security and amazement. It is so unique to see the animals in their daily habitat and be part of the experience. Xel Ha is approximately 75 miles south of Cancun and within 8 miles of the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum. Xel Ha is a natural aquarium with lots to see and do. David and I went snorkeling here and had a blast. It was the first time I had been snorkeling but with David as my teacher I caught on fast. I loved looking down in the water at all the fish and seeing the real pretty reef. I had an undescribeable sensation snorkeling here. I also got a chance to swim with the dolphins. David's mom was hilarious because when the dolphins picked her up out of the water she screamed really loud and we all laughed so hard. She was okay though. After snorkeling and swimming I would recommend taking a walk along the myriad of paths through the mangrove forests or maybe take a trip along the underground river. This was a really fun experience because the forest is just so overwhelming. Other fun things to do is to feed the fish from the floating bridge. This was just an overall great experience that was fun for all of us. We got this as a deal through the Moon Palace. I would definetly recommend that to save some money.
I would highly recommend visitiing Xel-Ha. We stayed in Cancun so it was quite a drive for us, but it was well worth it. My husband and I had never snorkeled and wanted to experience that on our vacation to Cancun. I found this the best place to do it because, although the price seems expensive, it includes eveything (except for swimming with dolphins or scuba diving, which we were not interested in). Other tours that we did never included snorkeling. We ended up paying about $140.00 for both of us and we were given a locker, two towels, snorkeling equipment, life jackets, buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner and unlimited snacks and drinks througout the day. We were picked up at our hotel and dropped back off at our lobby. The only bad comments I would have is: If you eat a hamburger, do not eat the lettuce or tomatoe. After we returned home, my husband become sick and had to see the doctor and learned that he had an intestical parasite from fruits and vegetables and that is what we narrowed it down to. Other than that, we had a wonderful time at Xel-Ha. Not only did we snorkel, but we went tubing down the river they have and my husband jumped off a bluff they have, and they have a beautiful beach which we appreciated because our beach at Aquamarina was terrible. They have chairs and hammocks set up everywhere. Xel-Ha has our full recommendation.
The word Xel Há is a combination of Maya terms which mean " water entrance " or "where the waters are born" in reference to the geography of this place. This also wonderful park is full of things to discover and enjoy. The main attraction at Xel Há Park is precisely its cove or inlet. Because of the combination of sea water with fresh subterranean currents of sweet water, the site is a natural aquarium hosting hundreds of marine species and tropical fish. So you can't resist to spend some time under the water snorkeling.
Here you will find:
Turtle and dolphin sanctuaries
Maybe at the end of the day you are gonna be wishing spend all your life in a place like this.
You have to visit it!!
OK. So I don't scuba dive. That's why I enjoyed it. But I did go with a friend that does scuba diving and he found it boring. The place is great, you'll have lots of fun and see nice colorful fish. You might even have the luck to touch one. But that's all. I enjoyed it, so if you've never done snorkeling, this place might impress you.
On our way back from Tulum, we had about a 4-hour stop at the Xpu-Ha Palace Resort. This is an ecological-themed resort with thatched roof buildings spread out over a wide area of jungle - connected by a network of trails (see the opening photo for my Cancun page). We enjoyed a great buffet lunch with drinks on arrival and then were free to "do our thing" for a few hours.
We were given free snorkeling equipment to use in a sheltered reef area along the coast at Xpu-Ha. It was a great experience to float lazily along and have such a clear view of the many types and colours of fish swimming so close by. May have to do more of this! Later, we relaxed on the main beach at Xpu-Ha before boarding the bus for the return journey.
Xel-Ha is located on the eastern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula, 75 miles south of Cancun. Its 22 acres of lagoons, coves and inlets carved into the surrounding limestone make Xel-Ha a popular snorkeling destination, and is often combined with a trip to the Mayan city of Tulum (which is only about seven miles further south).
In ancient times, Xel-Ha was considered a highly important place for the Mayan. It was a sanctuary, a scared city in which rituals and dances of honor to the different gods of the Mayan mythology took place.
Xel-Ha's easy access to the water makes it a great place for beginning snorkelers. Pathways and viewing platforms allow non-swimmers to take in the sea life below. A nice gift shop, a restaurant, lockers, showers, and restroom facilities are available, as are equipment rentals.
Almost a two hour ride south of Cancun (we took a tour bus that we booked through our hotel). Natural Eco-Park with very good snorkeling!! Best spot we found was near the floating bridge. Saw a large sting ray, and a huge barracuda (see pic), as well as tons of other types of fish. Cenotes were closed do to Hurricane Emily. Also has a Mayan Cave, Cliff Jump, Lazy River (long and lazy), Swim With Dolphins (an extra $100 a person - we didn't do it), and Beaches to relax.
We opted for all-inclusive tickets which includes food (breakfast & lunch) and drinks (beer & frozen drinks) as well as a life jacket and snorkel gear (free snorkel to keep), towels, and a locker. There were a few different restaurants to choose from. Well worth the extra $25 a person.
Snorkeling in the main area is amazing as there are many schools of fish and turtles swimming about alongside you. It's a wildlife reserve and is very clean. If you go further up the trail, you can go cave hopping, ropeswinging and cliff diving (HIGHLY recommended). You can also rent out an inner tube and float down the lazy river all day. There is also dolphin swims for a fee. These need to be reserved a couple of days before you go.
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