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Once a sacred Mayan city and port, Xcaret (pronounced ish-car-et) is now home to two popular parks on a gorgeous stretch of coastline. The 250-acre ecological theme park, simply known as "Xcaret," is the Riviera Maya's most heavily advertised attraction. Billed as "nature's sacred paradise," it has its own published magazines plus a collection of stores. Just 2 km (1 mile) away is Xplor; half the size of Xcaret, this sister property is targeted at extreme-adventure seekers.

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Fodor's Cancún & The Riviera Maya: With Tulum, Cozumel, and the Best of the Yucatán

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