Xelha or Xcaret?? Which do you prefer and why?

Mar 1st, 2005, 05:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 100
Xelha or Xcaret?? Which do you prefer and why?

Have heard varied reviews. Wondering if you had to chose one, which would it be and why? Are both all day parks? Also, which is best value for the admission price - don't know cost of each. Thank you!
travel333 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
We just returned from Cancun last weekend. We booked the Xcaret tour and thought it was way overpriced. The snorkeling did not appeal to us and to us there were not really that many attractions to see. The best thing was the Mexico Espectacular night show, but you had to waste a whole day waiting around for it. Otherwise, you could exit the park on your own and that would be too expensive to go back to Cancun and return. It's about 40 mins. away from Cancun. Unfortunately we booked with a tour company (Olympus Tours) and they charged US$95 per person. On top of that the restaurant we ate at, Dos Playas, had expensive and disappointing food. You're not allowed to bring in outside food btw.

In fact, we had booked Tulum plus Xel-Ha a couple of days after Xcaret. After Xcaret we decided to cancel Xel-Ha and do Tulum only, but the tour operator wouldn't allow it so we ended up canceling the entire thing. In fact, the Olympus rep. was rude and was reluctant to refund us until we argued back with him.
francophile03 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 80
franco, maybe you should have asked some similar questions as the OP BEFORE you booked those tours. Just because you had a bad experience at Xcaret, you cancel the best part of your trip...to Tulum? Op, Xelha is not as over run with tourist on day trips as Xcaret, but the best part of Xelha is across the road at the ruins. Some of the best preserved wall paintings I've seen are in these buildings right at the highway. rent a car and do these sights at your leisure. It's not difficult and you will enjoy the area much more not being at the mercy of someone elses timetable.
belle is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 10:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Belle, I'm afraid you're right sort of. I got the impression that Xcaret was fantastic from a few people who visited and loved it. Their info. is posted on another travel site. I got so irritated that we missed out on Tulum because we were leaving the following day and coudln't visit. If we ever return to Cancun I'll be sure to visit Tulum and it seems that Xel-Ha may have been better suited to us than Xcaret as Xel-Ha is all-natural unlike Xcaret.
francophile03 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 80
Franco, I understand your frustration. What one person might see as just the greatest experience of a lifetime, is not always what you might have envisioned. I just got back from Panama, where I relied somewhat on travel board information and booked a villa at Gamboa resort. It definately was not my cup of tea,but man how everyone raves about it! In fact,it turned out to be a sorta Xcaret experience for me.... My biggest problem with Xcaret is the swim with dolphins program they have, but I THINK Xelha has one now too. I hope no one will contribute monetarily to these programs as it will just encourage them to keep doing it. The entire Yucatan peninsula is drivable, except for maybe Merida, and I've been doing it for years, many, many times on my own, and it has always been very safe for me. You can see everything along the corridor down to Tulum in a day. Rent a place at Solimon bay and drive to the more spectacular ruins of Coba, but Tulum, although not nearly as extensive is a good place to start, with a great view...but, rent a car so you get there BEFORE the tour busses and the hoards of other people! Hope your trip was otherwise enjoyable?
belle is offline  
Jun 26th, 2005, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 158
We got around very, very easily in the whole Tulum-Xelha corridor by taking the white "collectivo" vans that run every ten minutes or so along the main highway. They stop outside of major hotels and you get on! Ask at your hotel. Very cheap, just fine. That's how we got to Tulum and Xelha. We didn't have to book with a tour at all. So Easy. If you go to XelHa on a Sunday, cost is reduced. Also a decrease if you bring your own snorkel gear and put it in a locker. We loved Xelha, doing it that way! Also, I agree with the comment about Coba--such cool ruins, in the middle of the jungle along trails with periodic temples and tablets, some of the ruins half-covered with trees and vegetation. It felt so authentic there. We just cabbed it back to our hotel, for not much cash! Getting around down there is quite easy, actually.
snorkelluvn is offline  

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