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Fodor's See It Mexico, 3rd Edition
Part of the Xcaret nature-adventure park group, Xel-Há (pronounced shel-hah) is a natural aquarium made from coves, inlets, and lagoons cut from the limestone shoreline. The name means "where the water is born," and a natural spring here flows out to meet the salt water, creating a unique habitat for tropical marine life. There's still enough here to impress novice snorkelers, although there seem to be fewer fish each year, and the mixture of fresh and salt water can cloud visibility. Low wooden bridges over the lagoons allow for leisurely walks around the park, and there are spots to rest or swim.
Xel-Há gets overwhelmingly crowded, so come early. The grounds are well equipped with bathrooms, restaurants, and a shop. At the entrance you'll receive specially prepared sunscreen that won't kill the fish; other sunscreens are prohibited. For an extra charge, you can swim with dolphins. There's also an all-inclusive package with a meal, a towel, a locker, and snorkel equipment for $79. Other activities like scuba diving, a sea trek, and an underwater walk, are available at an additional cost. Discounts are available when you book online.
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