Xplaining Xcaret


What is this intriguing place with the unusual name in Mexico?
The popular visitor attraction of Xcaret Park is a privately owned eco-archaeological park, theme park and resort rolled into one, sandwiched between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The name Xcaret means little inlet” because the area was once a small port. The park was named in honour of the archaeological site, Xcaret, built by the Mayans thousands of years ago and still lying nestled within the grounds of the 200 acre park. These ruins offer visitors an intriguing insight into the culture and lives of the Mayan civilisation prevalent in central and south America from around 8000 BC.
Xcaret Park was created to honour the country’s cultural heritage and promote love and respect for nature. It is incredibly environmentally friendly and proudly showcases Mexico’s diverse wildlife. Here are a few things to look forward to:

Park attractions
·       Replica of a Mayan village
·       A river running through a Mayan village
·       Subterranean river for swimming and snorkelling
·       Beach activities
·       Marine animals, from turtles to rays
·       Swimming with dolphins
·       Bird and butterfly pavilions
·       Bat caves
·       Orchid and bromeliad greenhouse
·       Deer shelter
·       Mexican cemetery
·       Museum
·       Equestrian show
·       Mesoamerican ball game
·       Live theatre performances
·       Cultural displays and craft stores
There are also several nature trails to explore, a stunning beach perfect for a little siesta and conservation programmes supporting stunning local wildlife like turtles and manatees.
One of the highlights of Xcaret is the chance to meander along an underground river, as the area is well-known for these natural formations. Life jackets are provided and there is a choice of three routes to try. Do allow at least one hour to complete each one. Whilst it is rather dark in places, the activity is extremely exhilarating! As you float along, take the time to glance up and admire the cave ceilings – you may spot some snoozing bats!
You will also get the chance to experience many aspects of Mexican life both before and after the Spanish invasion. Attractions include a demonstration of the amazing ritual ceremony of Voladores (or flyers), Mexican folklore dances, and an equestrian show within a hacienda. In the evening, you can stay on to watch an array of musical performances celebrating everything Mexican. You’ll soon discover that there is a lot more to this country than the typical Mariachi band! Make sure to check the times of all the performances on offer so that you can plan your perfect day.
One day is simply not enough to experience all that Xcaret Park has to offer. Luckily, the Occidental Grand Xcaret, located next to the park, is the perfect excuse to extend your stay. Ask for the Unlimited Xcaret Xperience (UXX). You won’t be disappointed!

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