Xcaret, Mexico: What is it?

By Cacinda Maloney


SoyMexico courtesy of Xcaret

It is hard to explain, but basically it is an eco-friendly park in the Yucatan area of Mexico.  My family and I had more fun there than we ever dreamed, as we really had no idea what it was, but kept hearing from tourist and locals alike that we shouldn’t miss it.  And I agree, it makes for a fun family day experience.  It is sort of like a cross between California’s Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo, only better, because it has a floating cave system, an animal and butterfly sanctuary, an authentic Mexican cemetery and a History of Mexico Show that will blow your socks off!  We had more fun than you could shake a stick at!

Xcaret, Mexico

Xcaret, Mexico

The macaws above are from the Wildlife Refuge and Breeding Farm, which shelters over 24 species of Mexican birds, many of which are in danger of extinction due to deforestation.  There are other exhibits close by like Jaguar Island, Spider Monkey Island and Manatee Lagoon.

Xcaret, Mexico

Xcaret, Mexico

Xcaret, Mexico

Xcaret, Mexico

Next up for us was the underground river.  Be sure and come prepared with you bathing suit on underneath your clothes (although they do have nice changing facilities).  Starting at the take off station, they have these huge bags they give you where you put in all the stuff you don’t want to float down the cave river with.  They issue you a lifejacket, a tube, and a headlamp, then you give the bag guy your locked-up gear and he will have it for you when you are at the end of the river.  It is a great system and it makes for a relaxing adventure for a family with kids and it is even fun for couples or groups of friends, as well.  There are three rivers to choose from and they are about 5 foot deep.  We chose the Mayan River, as it was the one with some cave and some open air floating.  Alternatively, if you don’t want to get completely wet, there is one that had a river raft that you could float down if you want that option.

Xcaret, Mexico

My son hanging out before we jump in the water. Xcaret, Mexico

The whole ride took us almost 45 minutes, with all the stops and goofing around that we did. O, and by the way, we even brought along our adventurous grandmother, so it is not too strenuous.

After it was over, we dried off and quickly changed into our nice clothes for our 6pm show called Mexico Espectacular! And spectacular it was!  We had seats right up front as the waiters took our food orders.  The view could not have been any better.  We were in an arena type setting where the show takes you on a musical journey through the history of Mexico.

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

The 300 plus actors started with the Mayans and progressed to the Spanish conquest and then ended with Mexican heroes and Mexican songs that are popular.

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

We especially enjoyed the Mayan Ball Game, which was a live performance of warriors from heaven and hell, as well as the magnificent display of the women’s Mexican dress from states and the indigenous women of Mexico.

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

Pre-Hispanic Dances at the Mayan Village, Xcaret, Mexico

There was so much more to do, but the spectacular day came to an end late into the night and we still had to drive back to Cancun that evening.  We thoroughly enjoyed Xcaret (pronounced SHH! CAR ET) and would return in a heartbeat the next time we are in the Yucatan area of Mexico.


Here are a few other articles I wrote about Mexico:

Cancun’s Underwater Museum

Foodie Heaven: Benazuzu, Cancun Mexico

Gliding Thru Hidden Worlds

Xcaret, What is it?

Step Back in Time: San Miguel de Allende

The Circus is in Town; Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihuatanejo, Mexico:  Unplugged Paradise

Oh the Colors of Mexico: Zihuatanejo

My Secret Lover: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

It is True: I have Two Lovers

Stone Island, Mexico

Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico

Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico, Part 2

Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico, Part 3





  1. Mishele September 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Hello Cacinda,

    What animals are at the park? Are they actually jaguars? Also, what is the price of the gate tickets?


    • admin September 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      According to the website, “At Xcaret, you will be able to marvel at jaguars and pumas, which live on two large islands shaded by leafy trees and surrounded by wide channels of water. These stunning felines will captivate your attention.” Apparently they live on the island itself, Jaguar Island. Cost for Xcaret is $80, but check here for all the different things that they offer: http://www.xcaret.com/xcaret-basic-admission-xcaret-ticket

  2. […] Xcaret, What is it? […]

  3. […] Xcaret, What is it? […]

  4. […] With so many day trip options from Chichen Itza, cenotes exploring and the world-class parks Xcaret Park and Xel Ha, there is plenty to do and see while visiting the Yucatan […]

  5. […] Visit Xcaret Park […]

  6. […] the Dia de los Muertos there, I was singing their praises as you can see from this article about Xcaret written back in 2012. I cannot recommend them […]

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