Xel-Ha, Playa del Carmen

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 11 Reviews

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  • Xel-Ha
    by blueskyjohn
  • Xel-Ha
    by blueskyjohn
  • Xel-Ha
    by blueskyjohn
  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    Rio de la Vida!

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 22, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Rio de la Vida means River of Life. This is the main estuary for Xel Ha lagoon. There is a cement path way around the lagoon. At the far end from the dinning area there path leads to an arch which is the access point to the river. Xel Ha staff are present to set you up with a tube. They are available in one person or two person. You also must wear a life jacket. This too is available at the access point. The staff will give you a push off to get you started.

    The water runs very slow. You start in a mangrove tunnel of sorts. The water is crystal clear. Really a cool place to relax and float down the river. I recommend taking a two person tube even if you are solo. After a short time, you exit the mangroves and into the lagoon. The float is even slower now and you feel the need to paddle somewhat. There are several exit points along the way. Just leave your tube on the deck of the steps and someone will take it.

    This float is part of the all inclusive package at Xel Ha. It takes about 2 hours to float all the way. I bailed out after about 1 hours and walked back from where the zipline area is located.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Family Travel

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    Manatee Sanctuary

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 22, 2014

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    There is small Manatee sanctuary at Xel Ha. It is free to visit and take photos of the Manatees. If you would like to swim with the Manatees it will cost you. I will cost you $79 USD! Here is a break down of what you get for $79:

    Briefing: Approx. 5 min
    Interaction on platform: Approx. 20 min
    Snorkeling: Approx.10 min
    Conservation message and farewell: Approx. 5 min

    Not sure it is worth it but if you have the extra money. I watched for a little while. I was happy viewing from above.

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    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

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    Zipline at Xel Ha

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 22, 2014

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    This is a fun activity if you want a break from snorkeling. Also the good part about this it is free. The zipline is nothing fancy. You must wear a life jacket. One is provided at the zipline location. The first zipline is a harness that you slide into. The attendant sends you on your way and you eventually hit the water at a nice speed to make it fun. Slide out of the seated harness and swim to the stairs to get out. There is another zip that takes you back and one that goes to another pier. The return is a T-bar that you have to hold on to and release when you hit the water at the end.

    A lot of fun. You can go as many times as you like!

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Family Travel
    • Water Sports

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    Xel Ha

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 22, 2014
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    Every time I visit Playa Del Carmen I got o Xel Ha. This is a wonderful water park of sorts. It is really a lagoon where a fresh water stream meets the Caribbean. I hate to tell you how much this cost 7 years ago (my previous time here). The cost is now an outrageous $89 for an all inclusive day! I purchased the tickets in advance and save only costing me $80.10. The sad thing here is that all inclusive is not really all inclusive. If you want to swim with the Dolphin's there is a fee, if you want to swim with a Manatee there is a fee. Just about any other activity except for a few items and food, there is a fee.

    So what is included? The snorkel equipment, all the food you can eat (this includes alcoholic beverages....do you sense a problem here?), The river float, zipline into the lagoon, obstacle course and hammocks.

    All that being said, it is an amazing experience to snorkel in the area. The lagoon has an abundance of marine life swimming about and you can spend all day snorkeling, river float and several other fun things.

    They are open Monday to Friday from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Aquarium

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    Xel-há Dolphin Experience

    by Rivieramaya Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Xel-H��

    Don´t miss the great opportunity to visit Xel-Há, the biggest natural aquarium of the world, and swim with dolphins in the clear water.
    Xel-Há Dolphin experience is an special all inclusive pack (dinks and food) that includes the park entry and swimming with dolphins for one hour.

    The only way to buy this experience, with a great sale, is visiting the http://www.dolphinsrivieramaya.com.

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    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium
    • Theme Park Trips

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    Xel-hal

    by LiamJackson10 Written Aug 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The lagoon
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    Xel - hal the company believe is the largest natural Aquarium in the world. I am not sure how true this is buts is big. Basically is a lagoon/river which joins into the sea. All you need for the day is your swimming gear and snorkelling gear. You start at one end of the river/lagoon which is through all man grows and then end up in the huge lagoon and then finish where it joins the sea. There are hundards off fish to see as you go along. It took me around 3 hours start to finish snorkelling along., but there other things to do on the way like swing ropes, cliff jump , rope walk and plenty of wooden platforms to stop along the way as its a long way to swim. You have to wear a life jacket given to you included in the price of the park entrace. All food and drinks through out the day are included. You can pay extra to swim with the dolphins or walk along the bottom of the sea with a breathing helmet on your head. I am not to sure on the prices off these but it cost us $100 each for the day which inlucdes food, drinks and tranpsort to the park and back. They also have large areas of hammacks which are very good to relex in but are easy to fall alseep in, some of these are in the shade and some in the sun. The park is open 365 days a week and opens between 8.30 to 6pm. If you don't own snorkelling gear you can hire it from there and also get towels when you want and a locker to store items in. One bit of advise is they don't want you to wear normal sun tan lotion as it can harm the fish, i wore a rash vest to swim in but youcan by a natural sun tan lotion there which they allow in the water. A good place to go if you like snorkelling and swimming and see alot of different fish. Very good day out and would do it again.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • tashka's Profile Photo

    Xel-Ha

    by tashka Updated Mar 19, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Xel-Ha
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    Xel-Ha is a water theme park (not an aqua-park in its traditional meaning). This is a real great place both for families and individuals. You can do lots of interesting things here:
    - snorkeling;
    - swimming;
    - visiting cenotes;
    - walking in the jungle;
    - swimming with dolphins;
    - feeding fish;
    - kayaking, etc.

    There's a LOT to do and see. Despite the great amount of visitors, you'll see lots of wild birds, lizards and fish. I even saw a ray there, but that's a rarity, I guess.

    The general idea is you will not be bored there.

    You can see the prices in the site:
    http://www.xel-ha.com/buy-your-ticket.php

    I paid about USD80, which included a transfer from/to my hotel (Barcelo Maya Caribe), entrance ticket to Xel-Ha and any drinks/food inside (all inclusive).

    All water sports equipment (like snorkels, masks and fins) is provided by the park, but you have ta leave a deposit.

    Important: it is forbidden to use regular sunscreen at Xel-Ha, because it badly affects the water flora and fauna. You can buy a biodegradable sunscreen at Xel-Ha. You can also deposit your regular sunscreen in exchange for a couple of free small packages of biodegradable sunscreen.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Aquarium
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • LiliCanada's Profile Photo

    Xel-Ha

    by LiliCanada Updated Mar 13, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Your hotel or some place in Playa del Carmen will book you on a bus trip to Xel-Ha, about an hour south, where you can snorkle, ride down a tube on a river, jump from a rope into the water, hike trails, eat all you want at their buffets, swim with dolphins, lay in hammocks, etc.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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  • susu77's Profile Photo

    Xelha

    by susu77 Written Dec 15, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Very beautiful ekopark a bit further from PDC. I recommend this if you are more into snorkeling. No animals exept for huge fish! The beach is worth seeing, dont miss it! Here we also got to do bicycling, kayaking and jumping high down to the water.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • clairegeordio's Profile Photo

    Xel-Ha

    by clairegeordio Written Jan 2, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Xel-Ha lagoon
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    Xel - Ha (pronounced shell-hah) is a 10 acre ecological park, which is a perfect place to go snorkelling due to it's large lagoon. You can also relax in hammocks on the artificial beach, swim with dolphins. Xel - Ha is very close to Tulum and so most people combine a day trip to both, as we did. Inside the park you can rent snorkelling equipment and life jackets and I also bought an underwater camera, which proved to be well worth it as saw so many fish, especially near the bridge!!

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • dietzdrummer's Profile Photo

    Xel-Ha

    by dietzdrummer Updated Oct 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Can Heaven be more beautiful?

    Fresh water springs and an underground river feed the lagoon which mixes with the Caribbean waters. Mangroves grow along the waters edge leaving plenty of plankton for the fish to feed upon. The setting is beautiful and makes for some of the best snorkeling around. Plenty of activities, such as, a wall to climb and then jump some twenty five feet or so into the waters, underwater caves, and for an extra fee, swimming with the dolphins. Please view my Traveloque for more photos and details about Xel-Ha. Please view this picture fullscreen, I'm very proud of it.

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