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-   -   Xcaret info please!! (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/xcaret-info-please-150134/)

Lisa Jan 28th, 2002 05:58 PM

Xcaret info please!!
 
We are planning a trip to Playa del Carmen soon and have heard about the ecological reserve in Xcaret. Is it worth the entrance fee? What are the best activities there for snorklers? Thanks a bunch!!

Geo Jan 30th, 2002 04:06 PM

We heard Xcaret is more like Disney meets Maya so we avoided it. There are plenty of authentic experiences around Yucatan. I used a great guidebook for off the beaten track attractions. Hunter Travel Guides/Adventure Guides to the Yucatan .

Bonnie Jan 30th, 2002 07:56 PM

We visited Xcaret a few years ago. There are ruins, a small zoo, a show in their amphitheatre, and many other things to see. The snorkling in the underground river was great. They do have a beach which was somewhat crowded, but overall, we enjoyed our visit. <BR><BR>You might also want to visit Tulum. The ruins sitting at the Caribbean's edge are magnificent. Day tours include a stop at Xel-Ha for snorkeling, etc.

ellie Feb 1st, 2002 04:08 PM

We enjoyed Xcaret. Plan on getting there as early as possible and stay all day. There is live music, black panthers, a butterfly garden, you can swim with dolphins, go out on a boat, swim in the ocean, swim in the underground river...overall it was worth it if you make a day of it.

Terri Feb 3rd, 2002 05:08 PM

Hi!<BR><BR>We went to Xcaret and really found it very diappointing and expensive for a medicore experience. There are so many free,and good value for the dollar experiences - that this staged experience seems to fall flat - instead try the cenotes, Coba, Hidden Caves etc.<BR>Have fun!<BR>Terri

paula Feb 4th, 2002 07:28 AM

I think it all depends on what you are looking for. We were with our three teenage children - it was a nice diversion from the beaches and the culture/ruins. The underground river was fun - and yes, they take pictures to sell at the end of the day! If you plan right, it can be a quite pleasant experience. If you have have your own snorkel gear, bring it - they will allow you to use your own goggles/breathing apparatus (yes - you will be charged for it otherwise). They will not allow you to use regular suntan lotion - they are an eco park - they sell their own!! What most people did was slather theirs on in the bus - then they had no need to purchase special lotion. They do have lockers - but you are charged for each time you go in and out of it. So, put stuff in, do the underground river, get whatever you will need for the day and you save yourself $$. <BR> <BR>That said, the kids had a great time snorkelling - there are all sorts of little caves and grottos which connect to each other and the underground river. Not alot of colorful fish/plant life, but fun. The swim with the dolphins is expensive, as it is anywhere else on the islands, but if that is what you want to do, it can be done there, as well as scuba diving - for a fee. The butterfly reservation is stunning. The zoo - okay. <BR><BR>One of the first things you may want to do when you get there is walk all the way through and pull some chairs together - put something on them to save your spot. Otherwise, by mid- to - late morning it is tough to find a spot to sit and relax nad enjoy your lunch. <BR><BR>It is a beautiful spot, but it is also a tourist attraction - I think that about says it all!!

cheryl Feb 4th, 2002 08:58 AM

we opted for Tulum and Xel-ha. I would have liked to spend a full day at Xel-ha as the environment was beautiful and very relaxing. Snorkeling was good and plenty of space in the chairs. If you go - eat at one of the ala carte restaurants instead of the buffet. They also have swimming with the dolphins. The park closes at 5 so you are back in your hotel by dinner.

Dawn Feb 6th, 2002 07:49 AM

While in the Yucatan, we did not visit Xcaret. As the second poster noted, the advertisements for the park, which were everywhere, were more than enough to convince us that it was a place that catered to a very "Disneyland" crowd. If you are looking for good snorkeling, then you should go to Cozumel, which is one of the best diving/snorkeling sites in the Caribbean. In addition, a true "ecological" park does not capture wild dolphins so tourists can pay to swim with them. Everything about Xcaret is very unnatural. Go snorkel and swim with wild animals.


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