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Hotel Xcaret Mexico
View prices for your travel dates
- Excellent 10,447
- Very Good 801
- Average 366
- Terrible 433
- All languages ( 12,249 )
- Spanish ( 6,467 )
- English ( 5,378 )
- French ( 215 )
" Please don’t go to Hotel Xcaret Mexico so you don’t have to go through what I went. "
" There’s always a line in every restaurant. "
" Contact the hotel well in advance (they recommended a month ahead) for reservations to certain restaurants. "
" There is so much to do, if you are on the fence stay longer. "
" Be patient because this place is trully worth every penny. Reserve your trips before you go to your rooms. And most of all be Humble "
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
HOTEL XCARET MEXICO - Updated 2023 Prices & Resort (All-Inclusive) Reviews (Riviera Maya/Playa del Carmen)
Price & Hours
- Facilities 4.0
- Atmosphere 4.0
Both experts and travelers say Xcaret is a sort of Yucatán-style Disneyland , a large outdoor "eco-park" filled with an aviary, a dolphin aquarium, a turtle sanctuary and a beach perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling. The park also offers various excursions like dolphin interactions, stingray encounters, shark swims, snuba tours and speedboat rides. Stay the day at Xcaret then enjoy the evening events, which include a dinner show that showcases more than 500 years of Mexico history through historical reenactments, traditional dance and live music. Xcaret is home to a few dining venues as well.
Past visitors were big fans of Xcaret, noting that the park was filled with attractions, things to explore and activities to enjoy, though some do say it can get very crowded. Some also note Xcaret's admission fees are expensive, but most say it's worth it, calling out the well-maintained exhibits and beach, as well as the pleasant staff. Past visitors recommended setting aside at least one full day to take advantage of Xcaret's attractions and experiences. In fact, some said you could spend two days here and not see the same thing twice. Travelers also note you can save money by purchasing your tickets in advance online.
If you're hoping to spend lots of time at Xcaret during your Playa del Carmen vacation, it can help to book a nearby hotel. Options closest to the park include Hotel Xcaret Mexico and Occidental at Xcaret .
The park is open daily year-round from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Prices for admission vary depending on the ticket you purchase and the number of days you want to spend at Xcaret. If purchased online in advance, tickets start at about $130 for adults and around $100 for kids ages 5 to 11. There are build-your-own package options available and discounts if you book combo packages with photos, add-on activities or admission to its sister attractions. Keep in mind: Not all activities are included in the admission price. You can also add on transportation to and from the park. Xcaret is located about 6 miles south of Playa del Carmen. If you don't have your own set of wheels, you can reach the park via taxi (fares cost approximately $14 to $15) or by public bus. Buses to the park leave from Playa's main bus station on 5th Avenue. For additional information on Xcaret's attractions and admission costs, check out its website .
More Best Things To Do in Playa del Carmen
#1 La Quinta Avenida
U.S. News Insider Tip: Watch out for locals on 5th Avenue who insist they're a waiter at your hotel. These savvy characters aim to trick you into visiting a local shop, where another person is ready to use high-pressure sales tactics on you. – Holly D. Johnson
Playa del Carmen's main street, La Quinta Avenida, runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway for travelers and locals. The avenue is several miles long and is lined with an assortment of street performers, restaurants, hotels, hostels, condominiums and bars, making it one of the best nightlife spots in the city.
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Xcaret Park Review: Is this iconic Riviera Maya adventure park worth it? (2023)
Do you want to visit Xcaret Park in Riviera Maya Mexico and wondering if it’s worth it? You’ve come to the right guide!
As a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen , I’ve become a resident expert on the Xcaret adventure parks and tours.
Xcaret Park is one of the most popular adventure parks in Mexico but with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know what the park is actually like and if it’s really worth your time and money.
That’s why I’ve broken it all down for you in this comprehensive Xcaret park review , where you’ll learn everything you need to know about visiting Xcaret park including:
- A park overview
- Pros and cons
- Full activity reviews
- Food and beverage reviews
- Visitor info
- Money-saving tips
So by the end of the review, you should have an idea of what to expect when visiting Xcaret Park and be able to make an informed decision on whether or not it will be worth it for you.
Ready to find out if Xcaret is right for you? Let’s get started!
🏆 Best Xcaret Park for Families
Pros: ✅ 50+ Activities ✅ Mexican History & Culture ✅ Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Show ✅ Nature & Wildlife
Cons: ❌ Most Expensive Xcaret Park ❌ Food is Not Included ❌ Low-Key Activities ❌ Many Add-Ons & Extra Costs
Coupon Code: XC23AF Discount: $5 USD off
What is Xcaret?
The original of Grupo Xcaret’s parks, Xcaret (pronounced “Ish-ka-ret”) is an adventure and nature park located in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
The park is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the culture and natural history of Mexico.
ℹ️ One important clarification to make is that “Xcaret” is the name of the overall company, but it’s also the name of the adventure park.
Xcaret Park features over 50 attractions within its massive property where visitors can immerse themselves in Mexican culture and history.
Visitors can watch traditional music and dance performances, view ancient ruins, swim in underground rivers, snorkel in coral reefs, and much more.
Drawing your attention towards Mexico’s culture and heritage, its range of park activities and wildlife encounters makes it the perfect choice for families with younger children–it can easily be equated to a tropical zoo!
You can stroll through open-air aviaries, the Butterfly Pavilion, Coral Reef Aquarium, and interact with sea turtles and manatees. Plus, historians will love the Mayan ruins and Mexican Folk Art Museum.
But Xcaret Park’s main highlight is the nightly Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production, which is a 300-person crew show that is a history lesson but fun – featuring pre-Hispanic dances and more!
🤑 Get $5 USD off at Xcaret using the coupon code XC23AF ! Must book by December 12, 2023.
Where is Xcaret park?
Xcaret is located on an oceanfront inlet just 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:
- Playa del Carmen to Xcaret : 15 minutes
- Tulum to Xcaret : 45 minutes
- Cancun to Xcaret : 1 hour 15 minutes
Fun Fact: Xcaret means “small inlet” due to the park’s oceanfront location and because a part of the Caribbean Sea enters the land. Xcaret was once used as a merchandise port by the Mayans.
How do you pronounce Xcaret?
Xcaret is pronounced “Ish-ka-ret”. The key to pronouncing the Xcaret names correctly is to pronounce the X as either an “Ish” or a “Sh” sound.
Why visit Xcaret?
There are plenty of reasons to visit Xcaret park in Mexico, but here are just a few:
- To learn about Mexican culture: Xcaret is the perfect place to learn about Mexican culture and history. Through traditional live music and dance performances, as well as exploring ancient ruins, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of this rich culture.
- To experience natural beauty: Parque Xcaret is a beautiful Playa del Carmen water park and home to beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and underground rivers. Visitors can swim, snorkel, and explore the park’s many natural wonders.
- To have fun: Xcaret is a great place to have fun and relax. With so many Xcaret attractions to choose from, there’s something for everyone at this popular adventure park.
Who is Xcaret suited for?
Xcaret is probably best suited for families with smaller children. There are no age limits at Xcaret–and kids under 4 are free!
It’s a great place to bring babies, toddlers, and small children to enjoy the park’s numerous kids activities, shallow pools, and animal encounters.
With its greater accessibility, Xcaret is also well-suited for multi-generational families if traveling with both children and grandparents, as its paths are much easier to navigate with strollers and wheelchairs.
But at the same time, Xcaret is not just for kids. It’s also a fun and interesting excursion for adults that are nature lovers and appreciate cultural attractions.
Visitors can learn about Mexican history and Mayan culture in a fun, colorful, and interactive environment.
And the Xcaret México Espectacular production is a true highlight for all ages!
Who is Xcaret not suited for?
If you’re an adult who is easily annoyed by kids and strollers, Xcaret may not be the best adventure park for you.
With its many kid-friendly attractions and activities, the park can get pretty noisy and chaotic with children and families.
On the physical side, if you’re not able to walk or stand for long periods of time, you may also have a tough time enjoying all that Xcaret has to offer.
The park is huge and there’s a lot of walking involved, as well as some standing in line.
And if you don’t like culture or history, you probably won’t appreciate all the educational exhibits and shows at Xcaret, which is a more relaxed experience and has a larger focus on sightseeing than adventurous activities.
If you prefer more adrenaline-pumping activities, there are other parks (like Xplor or Xel-Ha ) that may better suit your interests.
Xcaret Activities Quick Overview
Here’s a quick overview of the activities at Xcaret Playa del Carmen. Scroll down for detailed descriptions and reviews of these activities!
Included Xcaret Park Activities
Here’s an Xcaret activities list of all activities that are included in the basic admission.
- Cultural Activities: Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, Scenic Tower, Main Plaza, Mexican Folk Art Museum, Archaeological Sites, “Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery, Mayan Village, Horse Exhibition, “Vino de Mexico Xcaret” Wine Cellar, Pre-Hispanic Performances, Papantla Flyers, Hacienda Henequenera, Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, House of Whispers, Xcaret Posadas
- Kids Activities : Coral Reef Aquarium, Sea Turtles, Jaguars Island, Butterfly Pavilion, Aviary, Regional Fauna, Children’s World
- Nature Lovers: Natural Museum of Orchids and Bromeliads, Manatee Lagoon, Tropical Jungle Trail
Optional Xcaret Park Activities
These are the premium Xcaret activities that come at an extra cost:
- Optional Activities (Add-Ons): Adrenalina (Speed Boat), Adventure Kids (Stingrays), Sharks, a Hands On Adventure, Stingray Encounter, Stingray Sea Trek, Sea Trek, Snuba Reef, Temazcal, Snorkeling Tour, Xpa Xcaret, Paraxute, Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Dinner, Wine Pairing at Xcaret Wine Cellar
ℹ️ You can find detailed descriptions of each activity on the Xcaret website here .
Xcaret Pros and Cons
Next, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Xcaret:
- More than 50 activities
- Variety of water, land, and cultural activities
- Focus on culture and history of Mexico
Xcaret Mexico Espectacular
- Beautiful scenery
- Lots of nature and wildlife
- Many restaurants and bars
- Most expensive Xcaret park
- Food is not included
- Lot of add-ons and extra costs
- Full day time commitment
- Not as exciting activities
- Can be crowded with kids and strollers
- Lots of walking
Xcaret offers 4 different admission tickets:
Xcaret plus admission, xcaret total admission, xcaret at night admission.
Xcaret Admission is the most basic admission package and includes the basic activities with no food included.
Xcaret Plus Admission includes the basic admission, plus a buffet meal at one of the park’s numerous restaurants.
You’ll also get access to the exclusive Plus area with complimentary lockers, dressing rooms, private restrooms, as well as the use of snorkel equipment for the Underground Rivers.
The Xcaret Total Admission is an upgraded package that includes everything in the Xcaret Plus Admission plus the choice of ONE activity:
- Stingray Sea Trek
- Sharks, a Hands On Adventure!
The Xcaret at Night Admission only includes access to the park after 4PM and entrance to the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular with no food included.
Which Xcaret tickets should you buy?
The main differences between the Xcaret admission tickets are around food and activities.
Xcaret Basic vs Xcaret Plus
Deciding between the Xcaret and Xcaret Plus admission tickets comes down to how much you think you’ll spend on food.
The basic Xcaret admission ticket does not include any food, so you’ll still need to pay for lunch and drinks at the Xcaret restaurants at a-la-carte prices.
This might save you a few dollars, but honestly you’ll probably be there all day long, so having a meal included is a nice added benefit.
Xcaret restaurant prices are above average so you can expect to spend around $30+ USD per person (not including alcohol).
With the Xcaret Plus admission , you’ll also get lockers (normally $5.99 USD) and snorkel gear (normally $10.99 USD) included and won’t have to pay for those separately.
For around $44 USD more, the Xcaret Plus Admission provides good value.
🎟️ I personally went with the Xcaret Plus admission ticket and appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to pay for much else throughout the day.
Xcaret Plus vs Xcaret Total
Deciding between the Xcaret Plus and Xcaret Total admission comes down to added activities.
Basically if you want to do Adrenalina (Speed Boat), Sea Trek, Stingray Sea Trek, or Sharks, a Hands On Adventure! then purchase the Xcaret Total admission ticket.
The Xcaret Total Admission ticket is only around $33 USD more than the Xcaret Plus ticket, so it’s a great deal as those 4 premium activities are about $75 USD each if purchased separately.
If you want to do any of the other premium water activities other than those 4 options, you’ll need to add those on separately.
How to Book Xcaret Tickets
The best way and most secure way to purchase Xcaret tickets is by booking on the official park website , which has some automatic discounts and frequent promotions.
Once your tickets are purchased, you’ll receive an email confirmation where you’ll have to print your tickets and present them at the ticket window on the day of your visit.
How to Save Money on Xcaret Park Tickets
There are a few different Xcaret discounts available–take advantage of these automatic discounts outlined below to get the best Xcaret deals and avoid paying full price for admission.
🦜 Explore my Xcaret resource hub for easy access to all of my Xcaret park reviews, comparison guides, as well as current Xcaret coupons and promotional offers.
Book in advance
You can automatically save by booking online on the official park website in advance:
- 10% off – ticket purchase 7 to 20 days in advance
- 15% off – ticket purchase at least 21 days in advance
Create your own package
If you’re interested in visiting more than one of the Xcaret parks and tours , you can save by creating your own combination package:
- 15% off – ticket purchase for any combination package of two or more parks and tours
- 20% off – ticket purchase for any combination package of three or more parks and tours
Stay at one of the Xcaret Hotels
Staying at an Xcaret all inclusive hotel gives you all “fun-inclusive” access to the parks, meaning you get unlimited access to all of the Xcaret parks during your stay.
This is an especially great option for families if you plan on visiting more than one of the parks. Check out the hotel websites below for more info on these all inclusive resorts:
- Hotel Xcaret Mexico
- Hotel Xcaret Arte (adults only)
- La Casa de la Playa (adults only)
🎨 Wondering what it’s like to stay at an Xcaret hotel? Find out in my Hotel Xcaret Arte review !
Xcaret also offers a special discount for Mexico and Quintana Roo residents which is valid only at the park’s ticket booths, online, or through the contact center.
Tickets for Quintana Roo residents can be purchased through the website here but it is only available in the Spanish language.
You’ll need to present an Official ID of Quintana Roo to get the best price and be eligible for the discount. For foreigners living in Quintana Roo, Temporary and Permanent Resident Cards are accepted.
Xcaret Arrival Experience
Here’s what you can expect to experience when you first arrive at Xcaret nature park:
Ticketing and Check-in
Once you arrive at Xcaret park, you’ll have to stand in line at the ticket window to sign a liability waiver and exchange your ticket voucher for your wristband.
Be sure to bring your printed ticket voucher , as well as a photo ID. Electronics vouchers on your phone are not accepted.
Sign Up for Optional Activities
Once you enter the park, you’ll be directed to a line to sign up for the optional activities (at an extra cost).
This is where you can purchase add-ons and schedule the times for extra activities like Sea Trek, Snuba, Stingray Encounter, Adrenalina Speed Boat, etc.
Travelista Tip: If you’re interested in any of the optional activities, sign up for them online in advance. The line is extremely long at the park entrance to book the optional activities.
After making your way past the main entrance, you can head to the locker rooms to store your belongings.
Lockers are not included in the Xcaret basic admission so you’ll need to pay $5.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for the use of lockers.
However, if you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission ticket , you’ll have access to an exclusive “Xcaret Plus” area of the park with complimentary lockers, restrooms, changing rooms, showers, and snorkel equipment rental.
You’ll be given a locker key to hold onto–be sure not to lose it as the replacement fee is pricey!
Lockers are large enough to hold a medium sized backpack and you can easily return to the locker rooms throughout the day to retrieve your belongings.
Xcaret Park Map
Below is a map of Xcaret theme park. The park is divided into 6 different colored routes which lead you to the main activities:
- Pueblo Maya Route (White)
- Del Rio Route (Black)
- Playa Route (Green)
- Delfines Route (Red)
- Acuario Route (Blue)
- Mexico Espectacular Route (Brown)
Most of the park’s water activities take place at the “Caleta” which is the oceanfront lagoon, where you’ll find beaches, snorkeling, and natural pools.
If you get lost, you can simply follow the colored lines on the ground which will guide you to the activities.
Travelista Tip: Download the Xcaret app to your phone here for an interactive park map and detailed activity information.
Xcaret Park Review: Activities
Here’s a detailed look at each activity and my honest Xcaret park reviews:
Rating : 9/10
The Aviary at Xcaret is a beautiful natural bird sanctuary where tropical birds interact freely.
You’ll get to see colorful parrots, toucans, macaws, eagles, king vultures, and many different bird species. You might even get to see some live hatchings!
I thought the Aviary was one of the most beautiful parts of Xcaret Park Mexico. With free flowing waterfalls and many different levels connected by stone paths and hanging bridges, it feels like a lush tropical jungle.
There aren’t a ton of hands-on activities but lots of photo and bird watching opportunities. All of the kids were absolutely thrilled!
🦅 Related Reading: What is the National Animal of Mexico?
Rating : 6/10
Xcaret also offers a few archaeological sites around the park with replications of ancient Mayan ruins.
These are interesting spots to learn about the Mayan culture but they are not that large or interactive and quite honestly look a little fake.
You’ll get to see small pyramids and structures but nothing as large or as grand as the pyramids of Tulum or what you’ll see on a Chichen Itza Ruins tour .
“Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery
The “Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery is Xcaret’s hillside recreation of a traditional Mexican cemetery. With multiple levels of colorful tombs and mausoleums, it’s quite impressive.
I was fascinated by the colorful tombs and headstones and spent quite a bit of time just walking around and admiring the creativity and all the minute details.
You’ll get to learn about the Mexican traditions of celebrating loved ones that have passed rather than mourning their deaths.
🪦 Is the Xcaret cemetery real? The Xcaret cemetery is not real and no one is actually buried there–it’s rather a recreation of a traditional Mexican cemetery.
Rating : 7/10
After the Aviary, you’ll continue on to the Butterfly Pavilion, which is a lush jungle area where you can see many different types of butterflies flutter around you.
You’ll also get to see and learn about caterpillars in various stages of development.
You’ll want to climb to the top of the stairs to see the most butterflies! And you’ll even have the opportunity to attract them with small plates of fruit that are scattered around the enclosement.
I thought the Xcaret Butterfly Pavilion was beautiful but I’m not a huge fan of butterflies and it was very hot and humid! It is probably best suited for children and nature lovers.
The Children’s World of Xcaret is a fun area for kids under 12 years of age to have fun on slides, suspension bridges, tunnels, and cenotes.
I didn’t visit Xcaret with kids so I can’t properly rate Children’s World but it looked like a fun and unique place that kids would love.
Coral Reef Aquarium
The Coral Reef Aquarium is a marine life museum where you can learn about the reef ecosystems and marine species.
It’s an interesting place to learn about the underwater world that is unique to the Mexican Caribbean without descending to the bottom of the sea.
I thought the Xcaret Aquarium was interesting but it could have been a little more interactive.
Kids will love seeing the large and colorful fish and there are small ponds with crabs, starfish, and other marine life that you can see up close.
The Hacienda Henequenera is a typical 19th-century Mexican mansion and a tribute to the golden age of haciendas in the Yucatan peninsula.
You’ll get to explore this cultural recreation with an expansive courtyard, shops, and exhibits that are adjacent to the Chapel of our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Hacienda Henequenera is a colorful and interesting cultural site but there aren’t many interactive activities so it’s just a short stroll.
Rating : 8/10
The Horse Exhibition is a full equestrian show that takes place once a day (normally in the evening). At about 20 minutes long, it’s a popular activity to see before the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular .
You’ll get to see traditional performances by charros and adelitas (women jockeys) riding magnificent Aztec horses.
I really enjoyed the Horse Exhibition and was impressed by the talent and precision of the riders and horses. With traditional Mexican music and a live emcee, it’s a fun and colorful production.
Near the Aviary, you’ll get to walk across a bridge over Jaguars Island, which is where you can see roaming jaguars.
When I visited, it was very hot and the jaguars were resting in the shade and were difficult to see.
It’s kind of like a large cat exhibit at a zoo and there are also observatory-type binoculars you can use for a closer look.
After entering the park, you’ll wind up in the Main Plaza, which is a building at the main entrance where you’ll find a large Xcaret gift shop, plus food and handicrafts, the Silver Mine, and the Mexican Wine Cave.
This is not really an attraction, but rather a shop and meeting point, and also where you can sign up for the optional activities.
At the Manatee Lagoon, you’ll get to see rescued manatees and watch them swim, eat, or rest in a quiet natural lagoon. It’s a popular attraction for kids and families.
At the Mayan Village, you’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of ancient Mayans and get to see recreations of their homes and customs.
Within the houses, you’ll also get to browse traditional Mexican handicrafts and souvenirs such as hats, jewelry, and baskets.
I thought the Mayan Village was cool to see and was tempted to buy some of the unique souvenirs!
The Papantla Flyers is a traditional ceremony where native performers descend down a tall pole hanging by their ankles.
I didn’t get a chance to see the performance at the pole near the Xcaret Plus area as it only happens a few times a day.
However, they also perform at the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production, which was very impressive. I’ll never understand how they make it look so easy!
The Paradise River is a leisurely boat ride, which is ideal if you want to experience Xcaret’s rivers without getting wet.
You’ll get to sail aboard a comfortable raft along a short river and admire different natural sites along the way.
I enjoyed the Paradise River activity and thought it was a relaxing activity. The boat does not go very fast so be prepared for a leisurely ride!
While walking along the different routes of the park, you’ll get to see different animal species like pink flamingos, deers, monkeys, and even bats.
I thought the pink flamingos were probably the most impressive and make for a colorful photo op!
Along the aquatic route, there are a few different places where you can see sea turtles of all shapes and sizes. There is even an underground viewing point to see the sea turtles underwater.
I thought it was interesting to see the sea turtles and learn about the different species. The largest turtles were huge and easy to spot!
But at the same time, it was kind of sad to see so many turtles confined to small pools.
At the Scenic Tower, you’ll get to take a ride to the top of an 80 m (262 ft) tall spinning tower, which is the highest point in Riviera Maya featuring spectacular seaside views of the jungle and Caribbean Sea.
The Scenic Tower was one of the first activities I did at Xcaret and it was probably one of my favorites.
It was a clear day and getting to see the entire region from that high up was very impressive. Plus the inside of the cabin is air conditioned and very comfortable!
St. Francis of Assisi Chapel
The St. Francis of Assisi Chapel is a beautiful white chapel at Xcaret’s highest point in the Mayan Village.
I thought the chapel was beautiful but there is not much to see and do once you climb up to the entrance.
The Underground Rivers are probably the most exciting activity at Xcaret, where you can wear a life jacket and float down the bright turquoise waters through underground caves.
There are many photo ops along the way and towards the end of the river you can get out to take a photo in front of the large Xcaret sign before exiting near the beach area.
The Underground Rivers were probably my favorite activity at Xcaret because they are really the only adventurous activity at the park that’s included in the basic admission.
The rivers are pretty long and it can be strenuous at times with lots of swimming but you can lay back and float if you need to take a break.
Xcaret’s Aquatic Paradise
At Xcaret’s oceanfront inlet, you can take a dip in natural rock pools or relax in a lounge chair on the beach.
There are beautiful areas of shallow beachfront where you can swim and relax, as well as opportunities for snorkeling in the lagoon.
I thought Xcaret’s Aquatic Paradise was very beautiful and picturesque with bright blue and green hues. The natural pools are located right on the ocean, offering stunning views and unique swimming areas.
However, this is also one of the most crowded places in the whole park so the Xcaret snorkeling areas are pretty busy and congested.
The Xcaret Mexico Espectacular is a 300-person crew production and evening show featuring lively and colorful cultural performances and pre-hispanic dances.
The production will take you on a journey through the country’s history and its different cultural regions.
I enjoyed the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular and thought it was unique and interesting.
You’ll get to see recreations of historical landmarks in Mexican history such as ancient Mayan ball games, the arrival of the Spanish, and the Industrial Revolution.
You’ll then get to see dances and performances unique to the different regions and states of Mexico. I thought it was really impressive but you will probably be very tired after a long day at Xcaret!
A few other activities at Xcaret park that I didn’t get a chance to see include:
- “Vino de Mexico Xcaret” Wine Cellar, Pre-Hispanic Performances, House of Whispers, Natural Museum of Orchids and Bromeliads, Mexican Folk Art Museum
Xcaret park Riviera Maya also offers these premium activities that come at an additional cost:
- Adrenalina Xcaret: A high speed jet boat experience that takes you out into the ocean with speeds up to 90km/hr and thrilling 360° twists and turns.
- Adventure Kids: A unique and safe adventure for kids, where they can interact and feed small stingrays, and then snorkel with them in a natural lagoon.
- Sharks, A Hands On Adventure!: A shark encounter where you can get in the water with nurse sharks and watch them swim near you.
- Stingray Encounter: A stingray encounter and snorkeling experience where you can touch, feed, and swim with stingrays in a shallow pool.
- Stingray Sea Trek : An underwater walk and stingray exploration experience wearing a Sea Trek helmet which allows you to breathe normally under the water.
- Sea Trek: An underwater walk and exploration experience at a depth of 16.4 feet wearing a Sea Trek helmet which allows you to breathe normally under the water. I personally did this experience and would highly recommend it! I got to see loads of fish and stingrays.
- Snuba Reef: An underwater Snuba experience that combines snorkeling and scuba diving where the oxygen tank floats on the surface, allowing you to move under the water more freely without being an expert diver.
- Temazcal: An ancestral ritual in a sweat lodge heated by hot stones and led by a shaman who conducts a traditional ceremony for healing, relaxation, and releasing toxins.
- Snorkeling Tour: A reef snorkeling experience at the INAH coral reef, very close to the coast of Xcaret where you can see a variety of coral, tropical fish, and marine species.
- Xpa Xcaret: A jungle spa experience where you can treat yourself to a relaxing massage and feel the peace of nature.
- Paraxute: A parasailing experience at a height of up to 300 ft (100 m) with views of the Caribbean Sea and the Mayan jungle from up above.
- Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Dinner: A seven-course dinner and front row seating at El Gran Tlachco theater during the Xcaret México Espectacular.
- Wine Pairing at Xcaret Wine Cellar: A 5-course wine tasting event with select wines from the Xcaret Wine Cellar.
- Swim with Dolphins: An interactive experience where you can swim, interact, and play with dolphins.
⚠️ The premium activities at Xcaret offer the opportunity to interact with dolphins, stingrays, and sharks held in captivity. While these animals are part of protected rescue programs, I typically don’t like to recommend activities that involve the mistreatment of animals. Of course, everyone can make their own decision but I encourage you to keep that in mind when choosing your activities at Xcaret.
Xcaret Park Review: Food and Beverage
Xcaret offers over 15 food and beverage outlets and dining options across its expansive grounds from buffet restaurants to beach bars to coffee shops.
Most of the restaurants at Xcaret are buffet-style offering unlimited dining and non-alcoholic beverages.
Menu options include a range of Mexican food, international cuisine, and seafood.
But even with a focus on elevated gastronomy, you’ll still be able to find burgers and hot dogs!
If you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission with food included, you’ll be able to choose a buffet meal in one of the park’s restaurants.
Any additional purchases throughout the day can be made a-la-carte (Xcaret food prices at the buffets are around $30 USD per person).
These are the restaurants at Xcaret:
- La Orquidea Coffee Shop
- La Cocina Restaurant
- El Manglar Restaurant
- El Yucateco Restaurant
- La Caleta Restaurant
- La Laguna Restaurant
- Dos Playas Restaurant
- La Peninsula Restaurant
- La Isla Restaurant
- Mexico Espectacular Dinner
- Pairing at Xcaret Cellar
In addition, premium food and beverage experiences can be purchased like the 7-course Mexico Espectacular Dinner and the Wine Pairing at Xcaret Cellar.
Most of the Xcaret buffet restaurants seemed to have similar menus, so choosing a restaurant really comes down to location and convenience.
I personally ate at La Peninsula restaurant, which I chose for the oceanfront views. I thought the Xcaret food was pretty mediocre, but it hits the spot when you need to refuel after the activities.
There are also a couple of bars located around the park where you can purchase alcoholic beverages. You can also order alcoholic drinks at the restaurants for an additional charge.
These are the bars at Xcaret:
- La Cucaracha Bar
- Las Rocas Restaurant-Bar
I ordered a margarita from the La Cucaracha Bar while waiting for the Horse Exhibition to begin and it was actually very tasty and not overpriced!
Xcaret Snack Bars
If you get hungry throughout the day, you can also pick up some snacks at a snack bar or coffee shop throughout the park.
At these stands, you can purchase food items like chips, slushies, bottled water, juices, and other refreshments.
These are the snack bars at Xcaret:
- La Playa Bar and Snacks
- Snack Venados and Snack Jaguares
Xcaret Review: Services and Amenities
Here’s an overview of the services and amenities available at Xcaret:
The basic admission does not include lockers so you’ll need to pay $5.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for the use of lockers.
If you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission ticket , you’ll get complimentary lockers in the exclusive Plus area. Lockers are large enough to hold a medium sized backpack.
Xcaret includes the use of life jackets for water activities. With the basic admission, snorkeling gear rental costs $10.99 USD and requires a refundable deposit of $25 USD.
The Xcaret Plus ticket includes complimentary snorkel gear with a refundable deposit.
Restrooms, Changing Rooms, and Facilities
In terms of facilities, Xcaret eco park also has several rest areas, dressing rooms, restrooms, WiFi, ATMs, and free parking.
Gift shops are also located around the park where you can purchase park photos, souvenirs, swimwear, and gear (like water shoes).
What’s cool about Xcaret is that there are cameras and “Xelfies” photo opportunities seamlessly embedded all over the park to get the best shots.
Tracking technology is inserted in your wristband so you’ll have to scan your wristband at the photo spots and then you’ll be able to review them all at the end of the day.
A Photo Pass can be added to your admission package upon purchase, or you can purchase them at the park gift shops on the day of the visit.
The Xcaret photo package can be expensive but is a great way to capture your memories if you don’t have a GoPro or waterproof camera.
📸 I personally purchased the Xcaret photopass and thought it was worth it! You can see a lot of my Xcaret photos throughout this post.
If you’re looking for Xcaret alternatives, there aren’t really any other adventure parks that offer the size or range of activities.
But if you’re looking for more adventurous activities, then I would recommend visiting one of the other Xcaret adventure parks like Xplor or Xel Ha.
See my Xcaret comparison guides for more info:
- Xcaret vs Xplor
- Xcaret vs Xel-Ha
- Xcaret vs Xel-Ha vs Xplor
And if you’re interested in visiting more than one of the Xcaret parks , you can create your package and get an automatic bundle discount.
What to Wear to Xcaret Park
Below is what I would recommend wearing to Xcaret:
- Comfortable clothes: Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as there will be a lot of walking and it will be HOT! I personally wore workout shorts, a tank top, and tennis shoes, and then changed into my swimsuit once I was ready for the water activities.
- Swimsuit: Wear a swimsuit if you plan on doing any of the water activities or you just want to take a dip at the Xcaret beach. I usually always wear a one-piece bathing suit to be most comfortable when wearing life vests and equipment.
- Water Shoes: Bring water shoes to protect your feet while in the water and while walking to the different activities. Water shoes are especially great to have in the Xcaret Park Underground River or if you choose to do any of the premium water activities.
- Waterproof Shorts : I would also recommend wearing athletic or waterproof shorts to throw on over your swimsuit while you’re eating at the restaurants or in between activities.
- Rashguard: Another item that’s nice to have is a rashguard , which is a swim shirt to protect you from the sun and keep you warm in the water. The Underground Rivers are pretty cold and rash guards are recommended.
What to Bring to Xcaret Park
Here are the essential items to bring to Xcaret:
- Biodegradable Sunscreen : Regular sunscreen is prohibited at Xcaret so you’ll need to bring biodegradable sunscreen to protect the reefs and wildlife. You can pick up my favorite brand on Amazon here .
- Sun Hat: Bring a sun hat or visor to protect your face and shoulders from the sun when walking around Xcaret. It can be very hot and there are areas with little shade.
- GoPro or waterproof phone case: Bring a GoPro or waterproof phone pouch to take pictures throughout the day. There are a lot of photo opportunities around the park.
- Towel: Bring your own beach towel to save money and dry off after the water activities. Towels are not included at Xcaret so you’ll need to pay $3.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for use of a towel. These microfiber beach towels are a great option because they are lightweight and dry quickly.
- Water Bottle: Xcaret involves a LOT of walking and temperatures can be hot all year round. Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day – they are water stations around the park where you can fill up your bottle.
- Change of Clothes : Bring a change of clothes to change into at the end of the day after the water activities. You’ll definitely want to have a dry change of clothes for the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production.
- Money: Xcaret is not all inclusive and depending on which type of ticket you purchase, there will likely be added costs throughout the day. Bring cash or a credit card to pay for extras like equipment rental, snacks, drinks, alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, or optional activities.
✅ Biodegradable Sunscreen
✅ Waterproof Phone Pouch
✅ Beach Towel
✅ Water Bottle
Tips for Visiting Xcaret
Follow these Xcaret tips to make the most of your Xcaret experience:
- Get there early: Xcaret opens at 8:30AM so I would recommend getting there right when it opens. With all the activities that are included, the day goes by fast! Maximize your time there to get the most bang for your buck.
- Upgrade to the Xcaret Plus admission ticket: I personally went with the Xcaret Plus admission ticket , which includes a buffet lunch. You will likely be there all day long (8:30AM-10:30PM) so you’re going to need to eat at least once-if not twice! Plus, you’ll have access to the exclusive Plus area with complimentary lockers and snorkel equipment.
- Don’t forget your printed tickets: When booking Xcaret tickets online, you will be sent an email confirmation with your ticket voucher. You will need to print your tickets and present them at the ticket office when you arrive. Electronic tickets are not accepted. Be sure to print your tickets at home or they can usually be printed at the front desk of your hotel.
- Be prepared for a long day: A visit to Xcaret will be a very long day starting early in the morning to late at night. Be prepared for the heat and lots of walking – get a good night’s rest and don’t drink a lot the night before!
- Sign up for the optional activities ahead of time: If you’re interested in doing any of the premium activities, I would recommend signing up for them ahead of time online. The line to sign up for activities at the park was extremely long.
- Bring a water bottle: Xcaret is very hot so bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day and save money from having to purchase bottled water. There are water bottle stations to fill up around the park.
- Buy the photo pass ahead of time: You’ll get a discount on the photo pass if you add it to your package when buying tickets online. Consider this if you think you’ll want Xcaret park pictures. Just remember to scan your wristband and utilize as many of the photo opportunities as possible on the day of your visit. I personally bought the Xcaret photo package and thought it was worth it!
Visiting Xcaret Park: FAQs
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about visiting Xcaret:
Xcaret hours are every day from 8:30AM-10:30PM. You’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowds and get your money’s worth.
Xcaret is suited for all ages and children under 4 years old are free.
Reservations canceled more than two days in advance of the date of visit are subject to a 10% administration fee. Reservations canceled in 2 days or less before the visit date, or in case of a no-show, are not refundable. More information on the Xcaret cancellation policy can be found here .
Xcaret Mexico Review Final Thoughts – Is Xcaret worth it?
So, is Xcaret worth it? I hope these Xcaret reviews and travel tips have been helpful in making your decision!
Personally, I think Xcaret is worth it if you have kids. As an adult, I was a little bored with the activities because it involves a lot of sightseeing and few adventurous activities.
But if I was visiting Xcaret amusement park with my nieces and nephew for instance, I know they would absolutely love all the wildlife encounters.
If you do visit as an adult, then I would recommend adding on one of the premium activities to make it more exciting. I personally did Sea Trek and it was the highlight of my visit!
So, Xcaret is probably best suited for families or adults that are culture seekers, nature lovers, or history buffs.
But overall the park is so beautiful, unique, and interesting that I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
So what do you think, are you ready to visit Xcaret?!
Allison Sicking is the founder of Viva La Travelista. After moving to Playa del Carmen, Mexico in 2018, she created her travel blog to empower others to travel safely and confidently in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. Using her Spanish language skills and expertise in Mexico travel, she is passionate about teaching others to travel Mexico like a local.
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Hotel Xcaret México
Playa del Carmen - Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Full Review
- Beachfront all-inclusive with breathtaking grounds and views
- Free access and transport to Xcaret, Xenses, Xplor, and Xel-Ha parks
- Lovely, spacious, and contemporary rooms with locally made decor
- In-room sofa beds, minibars, jetted tubs, Nespresso machines, and robes
- All units have hammock-equipped terraces -- some ocean-view
- Several gorgeous pools, kayaks for river, and pretty coves
- 10 restaurants include international buffet, Mexican, and Asian options
- Eatery by Michelin-starred chef (fee) and eight bars around resort
- Swish spa with cave-like treatment rooms, and three gyms
- Kids' club with organized activities, and free yoga and meditation
- Gorgeous chapel, plus several function spaces
- Free property-wide Wi-Fi
- Long lines at check-in and check-out
- Some areas are exclusive to certain guests
- Some restaurants are adult-only, extra fee, or reservation-required
- Those with mobility issues may have difficulties getting around
The massive, 900-room Hotel Xcaret is an eco-minded, upscale all-inclusive resort that draws equal amounts of families and couples thanks to its plethora of on-site features and free access to area parks. Expansive grounds house several pools, stunning architecture utilizing natural rock, 10 restaurants, eight bars, a kids' club, and swish spa. The lounger-equipped beach is lovely, and kayaks are available to weave through a river. Gorgeous rooms have local decor, jetted tubs and separate showers, comfy beds, and furnished terraces with hammocks. Buffet and a la carte dining covers Mexican, Asian, and international cuisines, but a few are exclusive to certain guests or require an extra fee. Travelers won't feel the number of guests outside of check-in and check-out, but otherwise, the atmosphere is largely peaceful and relaxed. For a smaller, nearby property, consider Rosewood Mayakoba .
Hotel & Amenities Photos
Restaurants and Bars
Ocean Front with terrace
Main Swim Up Pool
Pool 3 Casa Espiral
Rooftop Pool Fuego
- Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Playa del Carmen
- Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico
- Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Riviera Maya
- Best Family Hotels and Resorts in Mexico
Oyster Hotel Review
Huge resort with stunning, eco-minded design and caribbean views.
This eco-minded, all-inclusive hotel opened in December 2017, owned by the company Experiencias Xcaret that manages several area parks devoted to Mexican and Mayan history, landscape, and culture. Certainly the Hotel Xcaret's biggest appeal is that guests get free admission and transportation to the parks, as they can simply hop on a bus or shuttle boat numerous times each day. However, there's a lot to see on-site as well, with the design beautifully integrating with the natural rocks, rivers, and jungle. Housing a whopping 900 rooms across five "casas," some of which have special perks and exclusive amenities, grounds are expansive and well-manicured. Guests first drive down a long road past park entrances to reach the big palapa-style lobby, which has hanging planters, various natural materials, and casual cream poofs next to tree stump tables. From there, steps lead down to a stone path flanking a water feature that comes upon the ocean-view infinity pool with a swim-up bar. The resort of the resort is a jaw-dropping mix of caves and coves surrounded by lush greenery, which guests can explore by foot, kayak, or snorkeling -- visitors should keep an eye out for flamingos, iguanas, and tropical fish.
Hotel Xcaret has a breathtaking design with lots of nooks and crannies for guests to explore, and numerous areas take advantage of the lovely Caribbean views. Guests wear wristbands that act as room keycards, access to all-inclusive dining, and even sensors for various cameras spread across the resort. The property attracts an even mix of international and domestic couples and families, and because many spend their time at one of parks, the atmosphere is relaxed. The only time guests will likely feel the crowds are at check-in and check-out, when lines can be quite long. On the downside, swinging bridges and a lack of railings in certain areas can be difficult for those with mobility issues.
The property is undeniably impressive, but rates are high. For a cheaper option with direct park access (but not free admission), consider the Occidental at Xcaret Destination . For a smaller, more intimate property in Playa del Carmen, the luxurious Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a standout.
Coastal setting next to popular Xcaret eco-park
The beachfront Hotel Xcaret has a fantastic location for travelers planning on spending a lot of their time at one of the nearby parks. Guests get free admission and transportation (by boat or bus) to all the parks, including Xcaret eco-park (with raved-about Mayan shows), adventure-filled Xplor, and Xel-Ha, a great snorkeling spot. Additionally, tours of Chichen Itza and area "cenotes" are part of the all-inclusive package, with the former about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. Guests aren't within walking distance of anything, but central Playa del Carmen is about an 18-minute drive away. Laid-back Tulum and its ruins are a 45-minute drive south, and Cancun is an 80-minute drive north. Cancun International Airport is a free hour's long shuttle ride.
Gorgeous, spacious rooms with jetted tubs and hammocks
The 900 rooms at Hotel Xcaret are all decorated similarly, done in a contemporary, beachy aesthetic with lots of locally inspired elements. Expect modern wood furniture, beige marble floors, pink accent walls, embroidered tapestries from Oaxaca, and turquoise pillows. The crowing feature of each room is the furnished outdoor terrace, which has chairs and a hammock, plus loungers and ocean vistas in some. Starting at 575 square feet and getting considerably larger in upgraded units, rooms are spacious and all fit a sofa bed, glass table and chairs, desk, and jetted tub. Bathrooms also come with separate rainfall showers, luxe toiletries that include bath bubbles, digital scales, hairdryers, robes, and slippers. Also standard are flat-screen TVs, free minibars with beer and soda, Nespresso machines, closets with laptop-sized safes, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning.
Rooms are spread among five buildings, each with their own theme. Casa Fuego is for adults only, and it has an exclusive ocean-view rooftop pool and bar, and restaurant. Casa Agua is by the spa and centers around wellness, while Casa Tierra is geared toward families. Rooms on levels 1 and 2 are typically overlooking the river or garden. Large suites are available, some of which have separate living spaces or swim-up access.
All-inclusive covers array of water-based features and parks
Hotel Xcaret is packed with on-site features, plus guests receive free admission and transportation to the Xcaret parks for Mayan shows, snorkeling, and zip-lining, to name a few. Reservations are required for a few of the parks, as well as free tours of Chichen Itza and area "cenotes" (swimming holes). While on the property, there's also a ton to keep visitors busy. Multiple pools, a lagoon, and river offer spots to take a dip, snorkel, or use the free kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. The ocean-view infinity pool with a swim-up bar is a favorite, as is the lagoon with its own stretch of sand and tropical fish. Toward the back of the resort is a family-friendly kids' pool with waterslides, plus an adjacent bar for adults. Casa Fuego has its own sleek rooftop pool. The oceanfront beach is long and lovely, kept natural with rocky areas. Loungers sit under umbrellas and flags designate the swimming conditions -- red means dangerous, while green is safe.
The elegant spa is gorgeous, featuring 15 individual cabins in their own cave-like structures, a hydrotherapy area with hot and cold pools, a sauna, and salon for nail and hair treatments. A well-regarded kids' club has organized activities all day, and it's next to the children-friendly buffet restaurant, Chibali. Tennis courts and three gyms (a couple exclusive to certain buildings) are available, plus the hotel puts on free yoga, meditation, and Tai chi each day. A gorgeous chapel is also on-site, and it provides gorgeous vistas of the surrounding landscape and Caribbean.
Wedding and function spaces are available, and there was a conference being held near the lobby during our visit. Also near the lobby are a store selling snacks and sundries, and an ATM machine. Wi-Fi is free across the resort.
All-Inclusive / Food
10 quality restaurants and several bars.
There are 10 restaurants and eight bars on-site, almost all of which are free for everyone to use. The Ha' restaurant is a gourmet tasting menu eatery run by Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytan; it's only open for dinner and it requires an added fee and reservation. Adults staying in Casa Fuego have exclusive access to an all-day a la carte restaurant and rooftop bar. The main buffet restaurant is Mercado 17, which has 10 themed stations to resemble a Mexican market. Other standouts include the dinner-only Xin-Gao, with Teppanyaki and a sushi bar, and Las Cuevas, a Mexican-meets-international spot serving dinner in a cave setting by the river. Eight bars are spread among the resort, including a swim-up bar, and all liquor, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages are covered. Guests can also find stands selling tacos, fruit, or juices set up. Food receives positive reviews across the board.
Our Favorite Vacation Wear for Playa del Carmen
Caribbean rookie mistakes outfit, shop the look.
Floppy Straw Hat
Travel T Dress
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Men’s Summertime Daywear
Travel Size Sunscreen
Two Piece Swimsuit
Mineral Sunscreen Powder
Women’s warm weather outfit.
Sunscreen Lip Balm
Women’s night out.
Men’s Night Out
Mens beach resort essentials.
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The Everywhere Bag
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Airport transportation, balcony / terrace / patio, children's pool, free breakfast, kids allowed, meeting / conference rooms, mini bar (with liquor), poolside drink service, room service, separate bedroom / living room space, supervised kids activities, swim-up bar, tennis court.
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Xcaret in Cancun Mexico: Our Review
After spending more time in Mexico’s Mayan Riviera area this winter we decided to check out some of the nearby eco-parks. Our kids loved our last visit to Xcaret Cancun so much that we decided to go back again.
There’s plenty to see and do at Xcaret, which is just outside Playa del Carmen, including floating down the underground river, lounging on hammocks by the lagoon, enjoying a buffet lunch, touring the aviary, checking out the many animals and marine life as well as all the cultural centers and the huge Xcaret Mexico Espactacular night show.
Important tip : If you’re looking for the best price, we’ve found the best discounts online through Xcaret’s website , where you can get 10-15% off booking at the gate.
Since it’s been a couple of years and a few things have changed, including some great new attraction additions, we’re writing a brand new review of Xcaret in Cancun Mexico , with plenty of information to make your visit easier and more affordable.
In this Xcaret review, we’ll tell you:
- How to get to Xcaret from Cancun or Playa del Carmen
- The best things to see and do at Xcaret
- Tips for making your Xcaret visit easier
- How to get the best price on your Xcaret tickets
Before we get to our Xcaret review, let’s take a quick look at how to get to Xcaret from Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Xcaret Transportation Information
Xcaret is 37 miles (60 km) south of Cancun , 4 miles (6 km) south of Playa del Carmen , 20 miles (30 km) north of Akumal and 34 miles (55 km) north of Tulum .
We’ve spent a lot of time in the area, including several weeks in Cancun , and months at a time as a family in Playa del Carmen .
By far, the simplest way to get from Cancun to Xcaret is to get a transportation included package from Xcaret. They’ll pick you up at your hotel, drive you to the front door at Xcaret, and pick you up after the evening show to whisk you back to Cancun. You can also get transportation to Xcaret from Playa del Carmen and practically anywhere in the Riviera Maya. The cost is currently about $27 USD for return transportation from your hotel, however that varies on which package you go with.
Tip! If you book online through this link you can get up to a 15% discount on your Xcaret transportation and admission from Cancun. Click here to check prices.
Click here to see options further down for driving yourself to Xcaret, taking the bus to Xcaret, or taking a taxi to Xcaret.
Our Xcaret Cancun review
First, we’ll talk about our trip and what Xcaret has to offer, and then give you some helpful tips to make your trip easier (and hopefully save you some money, as well).
Our kids are huge animal lovers, and Xcaret doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
There are plenty of animals scattered throughout the park, including a huge variety of butterflies and birds like parrots, macaws and flamingos. There’s also tons of animals like monkeys, jaguars, panthers and deer as well as marine animals such as stingrays, sea turtles, sharks, manatees, and a sizable aquarium full of colorful fish and jelly fish. A lot of the animals, like the giant tapir above, are native to the area so it’s nice to get to see them up close as well.
Aquarium with many different fish
Be sure to set aside a good half hour to walk through the Xcaret aquarium. We’ve seen quite a few aquariums worldwide, from the wonderful Vancouver Aquarium to the Aquarium in Lisbon, Portugal , and we still enjoyed Xcaret’s display with over 500 coral reef structures, hundreds of colorful fish and varied marine life.
Inside, besides for the fish exhibits, there are shark and jellyfish exhibits as well a touch pool for the little ones complete with starfish and sea cucumbers.
Outside exhibits house giant sting rays, a manatee lagoon, and, our favorite, sea turtles. Not only can you see baby sea turtles, but large adult ones as well. The sea turtle lagoon where they stay is gorgeous and we could sit and watch the sea turtles swimming around the natural pool for hours.
Both times we visited Xcaret, the bat cave was a huge hit with our kids. Unlike most bat exhibits, this one is in a real, underground cave. To see the bats you enter via a long set of stairs and stand in semi-darkness until your eyes adjust to the lack of light. Once your eyes are acclimatized, you realize you’re in a real bat cave with live bats flying around you.
Xcaret’s bird aviary sanctuary is gorgeous, with waterfalls and ramping pathways on multiple levels. We visited this as one of our last stops in Xcaret, but I really wish we’d had time to linger more. There are over 1,500 birds in here, most housed in one giant aviary, with verdant vegetation and blooming tropical flowers everywhere. It’s well worth an hour or so to visit if you’re a bird lover.
Right next to the Bird Aviary is Xcaret’s Butterfly Pavilion. Here you can see 20 different species of butterflies in one of the largest butterfly enclosures in the world. Similar to the aviary, there are pathways and waterfalls aplenty, as well as a hatching area complete with explanations of for all stages of the butterfly life cycle.
Xcaret features both spider monkeys and howler monkeys in the park. Though they tend to quiet down in the heat of the day, you can see them climbing around in the morning and right before dusk.
Xcaret Underground River
One of the most popular attractions at Xcaret eco theme park is their underground river. The river winds its way through naturally formed caverns and caves under Xcaret. The water is a crystal clear aquamarine, and you can even find little fish along the bottom. Floating from beginning to end can take about an hour, however there are numerous locations along the way to get out if you want to.
Tip! We found that the water got a little cool for our eight-year old after a while and we decided to exit around the 3/4 mark. Because of that, it’s a good idea to rent or bring flippers to speed up your journey (we didn’t have any) since the water slows down in certain areas and the flippers will help you along. If you get a Xcaret Plus pass , snorkeling equipment is included in your ticket price. Life jackets are free (and mandatory) for everybody.
At the start of the underground river, Xcaret staff put your belongings in a duffel bag, and transport it to the end of the lazy river for you to pick up. You’ll get a waterproof label with your number on it for pickup, and the duffel is stored in an area with Xcaret staff at the end of the river. You’ll need to show the number to pick up the duffel.
We did find that the duffel bags were slung around and piled on top of each other. If you have any breakable equipment or valuables, you may want to rent a locker instead of using the free duffel bags. Because we were going to the lazy river, but we had our DSLR camera with us, we elected to use the secure locker area. It’s $5 for the day and there is also a $10 key deposit that is returned once you leave.
Tip! You may want to bring water shoes or waterproof sandals for the Underground River. Charles found that the rocks along the underground river were a bit hard on his feet, and sandals or water shoes would make standing up in, and getting out of, the underground river much easier. I was wearing my trusty waterproof Keen sandals (with an enclosed toe), so I had no problems.
There are showers and washrooms at the main exit point of the underground river, however it’s a long walk back to the rental lockers if you need to pick up any of your other personal belongings. It’s definitely a good idea to throw some sandals or shoes in the provided duffel bag if you elect to go barefoot or use flippers down the river for your return walk.
Lagoon and hammocks
Xcaret has a gorgeous location on the Caribbean sea, with a calm-water lagoon between the beach and jungle areas at Xcaret. There are lots of hammocks along the beach to the right of the lazy river exit, as well as lounge chairs and tables set out around the inner lagoon.
We loved lounging in the hammocks on the white sand, watching the little blowhole spray and looking out over the ocean. There’s also a protected lagoon for swimming nearby and some fantastic photo opportunities all along the water.
Xcaret Children’s World
Xcaret’s new Children’s World area is lots of fun for kids aged 0 to 12. There’s a playground, a small splash park, a small beach, a parakeet habitat and a cenote (natural freshwater pool). We found the cenote to be a little full of leaves the day we visited, but otherwise looked like a great way to cool down in the hot afternoon.
Our eight and eleven year old both loved the Children’s World Secret Adventure area, which has four water slides, hanging bridges, a waterfall and lots of rope climbing. It’s like a mini adventure for kids and is a good distance from nearly everything else in the park so it’s a fairly quiet area.
Parents can walk alongside on a separate path around the activities, but the adventure area is meant for 4-12 year olds and most adults won’t fit through the ropes even if they wanted to join in.
Note: To get the most out of the area, kids should wear water shoes, otherwise their feet could get sore on the ropes and rock walkways. Ours didn’t have any and had to be a lot more careful where they stepped and while playing in the water than other kids we saw wearing some. The cenote is a natural pool and as such, there are rocks and sharp areas along the sides as well if they decide to explore a bit.
The Children’s World zone also has it’s own washroom and a small store complete with drinks, small snacks and beach toys. There’s also a small sandy area for the little ones and lots of seating for everyone in the shade. The children’s area is not near the ocean side of Xcaret and is off to the side, far away from the crowd. Expect a bit of a walk getting to it.
Xcaret restaurants, buffets and snacks
Xcaret natural adventure park has many snack areas and several buffet restaurants.
Tip: We found it a much better value to get Xcaret Plus than to pay for the buffet and flippers separately.
Both times we’ve visited Xcaret, we’ve eaten at the largest buffet restaurant, La Laguna. There’s a wide variety of food there, and it seems to be restocked quickly. Our kids loved the desserts and the soft serve ice cream bar.
The first time we were at Xcaret, we ate around 2 pm and it was quiet. On our second visit, we ate right at 12:30, and it was very busy. Servers were constantly re-stocking the buffet, though we only needed to wait ten minutes for items to be refilled, as the restaurant looked to be at full capacity. I’d suggest eating slightly before or after noon to make sure the buffet was less busy.
Soft drinks, coffee and tea are included in the buffet price, but you’ll pay extra for fancy drinks or additional alcohol at the bar.
Here’s a list of the restaurants at Xcaret.
This is the restaurant at the beach area, where you can get a Mexican snack or a Caribbean buffet.
La Peninsula specializes in seafood and offers a buffet.
A large restaurant near the center overlooking the Jaguar exhibit, La Luguna is an international buffet, with plenty of pasta, pizza and sushi.
A smaller restaurant near the park entrance, La Cocina offers Mexican snacks and is a great place to sit and watch the daily equestrian show while enjoying a cold beverage.
This restaurant offers a la carte breakfasts and snacks.
If you’re a carnivore, this is the buffet restaurant that specializes in meats.
El Manglar is only open during high season, and focuses on seafood.
This is a restaurant for private events, like weddings, that seats up to 500.
Mexico Espectacular Dinner
This is where you’ll sit if you opt to buy supper with your Mexico Espectacular night show tickets.
As well as the above, there are many other smaller snack areas and bars all throughout Xcaret Park Cancun.
Cultural activities in Xcaret
If you’re interested in Mayan or Mexican culture, there’s a lot to see at Xcaret. The big draw, of course is the Mexico Espectacular show at night (more on that later), but there are also many interesting smaller attractions in the park like watching the high flying Voladores.
Unfortunately, we always seem to be in a hurry to finish and grab supper before the nightly show when we visit the Mayan villages and colonial Mexican areas. It’s a shame, because the traditional Mayan mini villages, with displays of traditional houses and cooking, look interesting.
The Mexican graveyard, next to the bird aviary, is colorful and gives a glimpse into Mexican culture, though I do wish there had been more signs explaining its significance.
We saw the equestrian show on our last trip to Xcaret, and it was well done and interesting. I suggest you check out our previous Xcaret review if you want to read up a bit more on the traditional aspects of the park.
Some of the cultural highlights in Xcaret include the Mayan archaeological sites found throughout the park, the Hacienda Henequenera with its 19th century story, the views from the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel overlooking the bay and the Mayan Village with its fascinating take of pre-Hispanic living.
There’s also a chocolate cafe, and chocolate and coffee workshops. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have time to visit them on this trip, but it’s high on my list for our next visit!
Nightime Xcaret Mexico Espectacular show
This is a huge draw for Xcaret, and it’s easy to see why. The show is two hours long and it has a cast of hundreds, colorful and varied costumes, plus a spectacular lighting show. The performances showcase Mexican culture and history, from the time of the ancient Mayans, through the arrival of the Spanish, to modern Mexican culture and music.
You can buy tickets for the night Espectacular show only, if you don’t want to visit the Xcaret park. The Xcaret at night includes admission to Xcaret from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm so you can see a few exhibits before the big show.
Honestly, the full Xcaret admission is only about $20 more than Xcaret at night, and you get a lot more, including admission for the full day.
Click here for our link to get up to 10-15% off admission to Xcaret.
You can also add the Xcaret Xclusivo to get a reserved seat at the Grand Tlachco Theater, a selection of dried fruits, one bottle of sparkling wine, soft drinks for kids and personalized attention.
We’ve been to see the night Espectacular show twice, and enjoyed it both times. It’s fun for adults and kids, and both our kids watched the entire two hour show without fidgeting in their seats. It may have helped that we fed them cotton candy from the snack shops outside.
Tip! Head over to the night show by 6 pm if you want to be near the center lower down for a better view.
There are plenty of photo ops throughout the park. When you enter, you’re given wristbands that are tied to your ticket. Throughout the park there are locations that allow you to scan in your wristband and take a picture with fixed cameras. The online system keeps track of your photos throughout the day. There are also photographers on site at various locations, with distinctive yellow shirts and plenty of signs indicating they work with Xcaret.
At the end of your visit, you stop by a kiosk, and can get all your photos. The cost onsite is $100 USD for digital photos of your entire group, or you can opt to pre-pay for them as part of your admission.
We found the onsite cost for photos a bit pricey for us, so we just used our own phone cameras at their photo op locations (since they’re so well placed). That said, there are plenty of photo stations throughout the park and it saves you from having to carry your camera throughout the day so they can be a great way to keep your memories alive once you leave the park.
Tip! The best deal for photos is online, where you can buy a photo pass with your park tickets for around $59 USD. Even better, that photopass covers ALL the photos for up to a group of 10. You can get details on the photopass here .
There is no shortage of souvenirs at Xcaret, ranging from T-shirts to stuffed animals to magnets and postcards.
Pick up your souvenirs before the nightly Mexico Espectacular show. We were busy during the day, so we decided to pick up a small souvenir for Jordan on our way out of the night show.
Unfortunately, after the Espectacular show, the gift shop was so packed with people leaving for the front gates that we decided it wasn’t worth the wait. It would have been much easier to pick up a souvenir during the day when the gift shop was quieter.
Need a break?
Xcaret is a lot of fun, and it’s also a lot of physical activity like walking and swimming. Our favorite place to take a rest are the hammocks on the beach, which are a beautiful place to relax for a while. However, if you have little ones, the new Children’s Area is a great place to unwind away from the crowds and in the shade.
Xcaret wants to encourage using biodegradable sunscreen. You can deposit your regular sunscreen at a booth when you get there and they give you biodegradable samples for free. Be sure to remember to grab your own sunscreen on the way out. You’ll need to show the claim ticket they give you.
Lockers are by the Xcaret Plus zone. The cost for lockers is 100 pesos (about $5 USD at the time of writing), with a 100 peso deposit fee for the key. There are changing booths in the locker area, along with benches and shade. Because we were going to the lazy river, and had our DSLR camera with us, we elected to use the secure locker area.
Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to check out the Xcaret Spa, but it definitely looked inviting. It would be a great way to spend a few hours away from the kids and be pampered so maybe next time!
While we were there, we happened to see a wedding by the lagoon at Xcaret! It’s a gorgeous setting, and I would have loved to see more, but unfortunately we had to leave for the evening show. You can contact customer support if you’re thinking of having a wedding at Xcaret to find out what kind of services they offer.
Xcaret Admission Plans
Regular (Basic) Xcaret admission doesn’t include lockers, flippers, or any food (but it does include life jackets for the underground river).
When you get an Xcaret Plus admission , you get lockers, flippers, snorkel and mask, towels, and a buffet meal, as well as access to the Xcaret Plus locker area. It’s a good value if you’re planning to do the underground lazy river and eat at one of the buffet restaurants.
Your buffet meal includes one beer and unlimited beverages (soft drinks, flavored waters and coffee) while consuming food at the buffet.
The Xcaret Plus admission was $109 USD at the time of writing, while basic admission is $84. Both prices are the discounted online price you’ll pay, 21 or more days in advance, on the Xcaret website.
Xcaret Optional Activities
You can add on optional activities like SNUBA, the Adrenelina jet boat, the Mexico Espectacular Dinner, Dolphin Ride, Swim with Sharks, Stingrays Encounter, Sea Trek Stingrays and Adventure Kids, a children’s ray and shark encounter, when you buy your tickets online.
You can see all of Xcaret’s optional activities here .
The Xcaret Total admission package , which will get you one optional activity from three Optional Activities: Adrenalina, Sea Trek® or Snuba®. You also get the lunch buffet and Xcaret Plus admission. This is a great deal if you’re already planning to check out one of these activities anyway.
See Xcaret Total prices here.
Xcaret is a big park, and planning a bit before your trip can help make it a lot more comfortable and fun for the whole family.
Plan your day
Xcaret is a huge place with lots of walking. We found that with kids, it just wasn’t possible to see and do everything we wanted in one day (though we came close!). You may want to make a list of must-see items, and do those first, to ensure you don’t run out of time.
Our must-see list this time included seeing the animals, checking out the aquarium, lounging in the hammocks, floating down the underground river and watching the Xcaret Espectacular Show.
Prepare for the heat
Even in Mexico’s cooler season, it’s hot. Make sure you wear lots of sunscreen, a hat, cover up, and drink lots of water or non-alcoholic liquids.
Wear comfortable shoes
Xcaret is big, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking, with some of it up and down stairs. Make sure your shoes are comfortable.
You may also want to bring water shoes or waterproof sandals. These will make standing up in, and getting out of, the underground river and some of the play areas much easier.
Xel-ha vs Xcaret
We get a lot of questions as to whether Xcaret or Xel-Ha is best for kids. While Xcaret is a huge park with an underground river and lagoon, it also has a lot of space devoted to aquarium, cultural and animal displays. Xel-Ha’s focus is much more on water activities and adventure, with snorkeling, zip lines over the water, caving, cliff jumping into the water, rope swings, and more.
It very much depends on your children’s level of activity and adventure, but parents of children under six, or kids who aren’t as comfortable in the water, will probably enjoy the activities at Xcaret more than Xel-Ha . Teenagers or those kids who crave wilder adventures might prefer Xel-Ha however, that said, no one is too young or too old to enjoy Xcaret.
Xenses vs Xcaret
If you only have a limited amount of time, you can read our Xenses review as well. (Subscribe to our newsletter above to be informed when that gets posted in the coming days).
Just across the road from Xcaret, Xenses is a unique park, owned by Xcaret, that delights in shocking your senses. If you have around 4 hours to spare (it’s also cheaper than Xcaret) and you’re looking for a different experience, then this newly built park might be for you.
I don’t want to spoil too much but if you like to experience new things, have a sense of humor and a sense of adventure then you’ll probably enjoy Xenses. It’s such a different take on a theme park that Xcaret vs Xenses can’t really be compared but to give you an idea, our older son actually prefers Xenses while our younger daughter says Xcaret is still the reigning champ of eco-parks.
Xcaret coupon code
We’ve found that the cheapest and easiest way to get tickets for Xcaret is to buy them online on the Xcaret website. Click here to check prices online at Xcaret now .
You can get Xcaret discount tickets that are between 10 to 15 percent off when you buy online, and the park also offers package discounts if you buy multiple parks or add on transportation to Xcaret. If you’re planning to visit multiple parks, these can be a great deal.
You can check out the package discounts here .
Kids are half price! If you buy online, there’s even a weather guarantee that will let you rebook any day within one year.
You can use our link to check out the online discounts.
Important! Xcaret often has specials on the website.
The specials change every few months. The best way to see current deals are to go to the Xcaret promotions here .
Click here go directly to Xcaret Promotions to see the deals.
How to get to Xcaret park cancun
We talked about this at the beginning of the article, but the easy button for getting from Cancun to Xcaret is to add transportation to your Xcaret ticket. They’ll pick you up at your hotel, drive you to the front door at Xcaret, and pick you up after the evening show and drive you back to Cancun.
If you book through this link you can get up to a 15% discount on your Xcaret transportation and admission from Cancun.
Driving from Cancun to Xcaret
If you want to self drive, it’s an easy, flat road from Cancun past Playa del Carmen to Xcaret. The 50 miles (80 kilometres) should take you about 60 minutes from the Hotel Zone in Cancun. The highways are in good shape and signs are everywhere for Xcaret. Parking at Xcaret is free.
Tip! Whenever we rent a car, we quickly do a search on Expedia or another booking site to compare costs for different rental car companies.
Driving from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret
It’s just a short 15 minute (6 mile/10 kilometer) drive from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret. Just head south down Highway 307 (the main highway) and follow the signs to Xcaret. The turn is on the right from the highway but veers over. Parking is free.
Taxi from Cancun to Xcaret
Few people opt to take a taxi all the way from Cancun, because of the cost, which should run between 60 and 100 USD one way. You may also have trouble finding a taxi at the end of the day outside Xcaret that’s willing to drive you all the way back to Cancun.
Taxi from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret
From Playa del Carmen, it costs about 150 pesos ($8 USD) to get a taxi to Xcaret, and typically about 180 pesos ($9 USD) to get back. You can hail down a taxi anywhere in the city however if you’re having a hard time finding one you can try outside either of the ADO bus stops or outside any of the larger stores like Walmart or Chedraui. Like anywhere, it’s not a bad idea to agree on the price before you get in so there are no surprises when you get there.
Uber to Xcaret
Uber has just started operating in Cancun, but isn’t in Playa del Carmen as of mid-2017. You’ll need to check the Uber app to see if a driver is available to pick you up in Cancun for drop off at Xcaret, but you may need to arrange alternate transportation back to Cancun.
Bus from Cancun to Xcaret
You can take the ADO bus from Cancun Airport or the downtown Cancun bus terminal to Playa del Carmen. It’s about 114 Mexican pesos, or 6 USD). Once in Playa del Carmen, you’ll need to transfer from the Playa del Carmen bus terminal to either the ADO bus that runs past Xcaret (ask at the terminal), or grab a collectivo (shared van/taxi) for about 3 USD on Calle 2.
However, and this is important, the collectivo will only drop you off at the highway. There’s a tunnel you need to walk through off the highway and then there should be an Xcaret bus waiting that will shuttle you to the park entrance. If for some reason the shuttle is not available, I estimate that it’s at least a 20 minute walk (1 mile) from the highway to the Xcaret entrance.
On the way back to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you’ll need to grab the ADO bus back since there are no collectivos available then. It was a long wait, and we were all tired and worn out, so we took a taxi. It cost us about $10 USD to get back to Playa del Carmen from Xcaret via taxi.
Staying near Xcaret
Thinking of staying at Xcaret?
2018 Update! Xcaret parks now have their own official hotel, called the Hotel Xcaret ! Your stay includes fully free access to Experiencias Xcaret Nature parks and tours, as well as each of their dining plans. There’s a free shuttle to the parks.
Click here to see the on site Xcaret Hotel prices and details.
Click here to see Xcaret Hotel all-inclusive plans! In addition to day and night time activities and meals at the resort, it includes full access to Experiencias Xcaret’s nature parks and tours, as well as each of their dining plans.
If you don’t want to stay at the Xcaret Hotel, the all-inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination (also known as the Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel) is right next door. It gets great reviews (we may even stay there the next time we’re in Playa!) and features 10 bars, 11 restaurants & 5 outdoor pools to keep you busy as well as their own jungle excursions and Mayan ruins.
If you like, you can even get their Unlimited Xcaret Xperience which gives you full access to Xcaret for the entirety of your stay.
Click here to check prices at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination.
Click here to book now.
Are you thinking about going to Xcaret? Do you have any questions? Ask us in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you out!
Where is Xcaret?
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you book after clicking on one, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
We did Xcaret on our first visit to the area and Xel-ha a few years later. We loved them both and would highly recommend them to anyone, with or without kids. This is an awesome review and just makes me want to go back again.
hi, Thank you for the helpful tips. We will be staying at Ocean Riviera Paradise, which is north of Playa del Carmen downtown, but still part of PDC (zone 4 in the taxi map). If we buy transportation from xcaret, it will be $81 for 3 of us. So we are thinking taking taxi from hotel to xcaret, but afraid that we maybe over charged. Do you know what will be the approximate cost from our hotel to xcaret? Then after the dinner show, will it cost us more to go back to the hotel (more demands)? Thank you in advance
This is really helpful, thanks.
Hi Great tips thank you. Visiting in July and wondered if I buy the photo wristband package will it include photos from any extra activities I pay for such as swim with dolphins?
Hi. I really enjoyed reading your information. We were there 19 years ago and loved it there, but things have really changed since then. I am a bit unclear yet as to whether or not the evening show is included in the cost of the plus admission. Could you please let me know if the show is included or do we have to purchase a separate ticket for that? Thanks so much.
I really enjoy your post. Good tips and informations Thanks for sharing
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My Honest Review of Hotel XCaret Mexico
Home » Blog » Featured » My Honest Review of Hotel XCaret Mexico
This post contains affiliate links
Hotel XCaret Mexico
First and foremost, Hotel XCaret is stunning. The buildings blend seamlessly with the flora and fauna of the Yucatan’s landscape. The jungle, lagoons and rivers flowing throughout the resort make you feel like you are miles away from civilization. The hotel itself is located about one hour south of Cancun in Playa Del Carmen.
Hotel XCaret is a large scale resort with 900 rooms, although it doesn’t feel that large. The resort is spread out and designed in a way where it never feels crowded. During our week we never waited in line for a meal or had a problem finding a pool or beach chair. We had no problems with loud rooms or even having to wait for an elevator.
The resort has 11 restaurants, 13 pools, and an extensive beachfront lagoon that is perfect for kids and adults alike. We especially appreciated the beach lagoons considering much of the Cancun area is plagued with seaweed that is currently congesting the nearby beaches. There was no seaweed to speak of here.
The pools and beach both have drink service. However, there isn’t any food service, which we kind of missed. There were times when we wished we could order some snacks by the pool instead of having to pack up and head into a restaurant. They do however have quick-serve food carts around the pool areas serving things like burgers, crepes, elote, and ice cream. You just need to go to them instead of them coming to you.
All Fun Inclusive
Hotel XCaret takes the all-inclusive concept to a whole new level. They consider themselves an “all-fun” inclusive, which means so much more is included here than at a traditional all-inclusive resort. A stay at Hotel XCaret includes unlimited access and round trip transportation to all of the nearby parks: Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco, Xenses, Xavage and Xenotes. In addition to the parks, excursions are also included to places like Tulum, Chichén Itzá, and Isla Mujeres.
The only problem I faced with all of these activities and options was feeling the need to try to fit them all in. Once I realized that there was no way to do it all in one week, I planned out what we were most interested in doing and went from there. During our stay we visited Xplor Fuego, XCaret, Xel-Ha, Tulum and Xenses. We also felt it was important to make sure we planned a few days to also relax and enjoy the resort.
The rooms are spacious and nicely appointed. Our room had two queen beds and a pull out couch, which gave our family of four plenty of room to sleep. The rooms have somewhat of an open concept when it comes to the bathroom area. The sink and whirlpool tub are in the room, while the toilet and shower are tucked away behind a sliding mirror. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the room’s layout, especially since we were traveling with our kids. Having the sink in the sleeping area makes it hard to do things like washing hands and brushing your teeth without waking everyone up. The room could also be better when it comes to storage. The drawers and closet provided barely enough room for our clothes. The accommodations seem to be more for double occupancy, not quadruple.
Halfway through our stay, we decided to splurge a little and upgrade our room. We switched from an ocean-view suite to a jump-off river suite. I have to admit that this was a great decision. It didn’t only give us the chance to experience an entirely different section of the resort, but it also gave us the ability to enjoy the lagoons and river straight from our room. If you can, I highly recommend booking one of these rooms. These rooms are different from the swim-up suites. The swim-up suites give you direct access to a pool, while the jump-off lagoon suites give you direct access to the ocean-fed lagoons and rivers.
The resort has 11 restaurants plus a 24-hour room service. The room service is actually quite fabulous. We enjoyed many breakfasts out on our patio overlooking the lagoon while watching the fish swim by. It’s also worth noting that the resort also offers lots of vegan and vegetarian choices, including Bio, their fully vegan restaurant.
During our week-long stay, we tried six of the eleven restaurants. I can honestly say that we never had a bad meal or experience, although my husband did end up eating a bowl of bugs, but that was his choice. He didn’t realize that chapulines in Spanish translates to fried grasshoppers! It was dark inside the restaurant and he just kept popping them in his mouth until my daughter yelled out, “I think those are bugs!” Oh well, to be honest, he said even the grasshoppers were quite good.
Is Hotel Xcaret Kid Friendly?
You bet it is. Hotel XCaret Mexico is open to all ages. However, its sister resort, Hotel XCaret Arte, is adults-only. My kids are 12 and 15 and they absolutely loved everything about Hotel XCaret Mexico. They were able to do as much or as little as they wanted. My only complaint is that the game room requires an adult present for anyone under the age of 18. That was a bit of a bummer since my husband and I were looking forward to a little alone time while the kids played.
Travel Sustainability and Cleanliness
I feel it’s worth mentioning Hotel XCaret’s commitment to sustainability. Hotel Xcaret México received the EarthCheck certification for Planning and Design in 2017, making them the first hotel on the American continent to receive this international award before its opening. You won’t find things like single-use plastic water bottles here. Instead, you will find purified water in reusable glass bottles. Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t recall seeing any single-use plastic at all during our trip.
I also wanted to point out something that is really important to me when I’m staying at a hotel or resort, and this is cleanliness. Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than feeling dirty or seeing garbage all over. I was absolutely impressed by the cleanliness of this resort — especially considering the resort was at capacity and it was spring break. Everything was absolutely pristine.
Would I Go Again?
This is solid yes! While I love to visit new places when I travel, I would definitely vacation at Hotel Xcaret again. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of things to experience at this resort. Despite all of the amazing things Hotel Xcaret gets right, there were some things I would like to see improved upon. First, I would like to see a bigger variety of room options with different layouts, which I know is a pretty big ask. On the easier side, pool-side food service with a selection of easy-to-eat-by-the-pool and kid-friendly options would be amazing. Despite these minor inconveniences, the plusses greatly outweighed the minuses we experienced during our stay. We would most definitely visit Hotel XCaret again.
Mom of two and seeking sanity in the everyday. Let’s chat about family, school struggles, travel, and living our best life. Located in the San Francisco Bay area.
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Happy December! I honestly can’t believe that it’s already Christmastime. These are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving break at Disneyland. It was the best way ever to really ring in the holiday season. I will have a few more posts coming up on some of the really cool things we did on this trip that I can’t wait to share with you. I also have our cute Mickey shirts linked in my bio and on my LTK. they are only $14 and you get the customize the color! https://liketk.it/4pwrF #disneystyle #matchingshirts #disneyfamily #matchingdisneyshirts #amazonfinds #disneylandchristmas #disneymagicmoments #shopltk #momlifebestlife #disneyhacks
Our latest Disneyland trip over Thanksgiving break was definitely filled with lots of magic moments. I just love it at Christmastime. #disneyland #disneylandchristmas #disneylove #disneymagicmoments #disneylandcalifornia #magicmoments #disneymom #momlifebestlife
I am smitten with my new light-up tins. They even come filled with shortbread cookies and cocoa! I found these @target and I also have them linked in my bio. #marksandspencer #christmasdecor #christmasgifts #giftideas #targetfinds #holidaydecorating #christmasmusthave #holidaymusthave @marksandspencerfood
I have the full supply list and directions to make the holiday arches in the link in my bio. #christmasdecorations #diydecorations #diychristmas #holidayarches #christmasarches #holidaydecorations #christmasdecorating #christmasdecor #christmasdecoratingideas
When it comes to Christmas trees do you prefer real or fake? Every year we head up to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut down our tree. It’s a fun tradition that we’ve done since the kids were little. Although now we do find ourselves discussing the option of maybe getting a fake tree next year. Has anyone ever went from real to fake and regretted it? Or do you love your fake tree? Now that our tree is cut, up, and decorated I can’t imagine having anything else. #christmastree #realtree #christmastreefarm #santacruzmountains #momlifebestlife #blackroadchristmastreefarm
Happy Thanksgiving! Our 28 pound bird barely fit on the grill, but got it in there. It sure is smelling good. How do you usually cook your turkey? Wishing you all a fantastic turkey day! #happythanksgiving
My pillow is coming in very handy on our long drive down to Disneyland today! It’s also on sale right now during TRTL’s Black Friday sale! This is Trtl’s biggest sale of the year with up to 40% off site wide. You can find a link to shop in my bio. #trtl #trtltravel #travel101 #travelmusthave #travelessentials #blackfridaysale #travelpillow #roadtrip #roadtriphacks #thanksgivingtravel #familytravel
Birthday Dinner! Another year older and another year wiser, although the jury is still out on the wiser part. 😂 We had a fantastic Teppanyaki dinner and are next headed to Disneyland over thanksgiving break to continue the celebrating. I figure now that I only have a year left in my 40s, I might as well make it a year to remember! #happybirthday #thisis49 #teppenyaki #kyotopalace #momlife #momlifebestlife
Are your shitters full? 😂 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation still makes me laugh every time I watch it. I have the sign linked in my bio. #shittersfull #christmasvacation #christmasdecorations🎄 #christmasdecor #cousineddie #funny
I love our family game nights - especially the ones filled with lots of fun, bonding, and laughter! Have you had a family game night recently?? Because our last game night was unforgettable with the new game “My Parents Might be Martians” - making it one of those memorable nights. This game is from the new line of games called Kitten Games which is part of the Exploding Kittens family of games. @gameofkittens I love that these games are fun for all ages, easy to play, and keep my kids coming back for more. You can find this game and more like it right now at Target - check the link in my bio!! #explodingkittenspartner #kittengames #targetfinds #targetgames #kidcardgames
What can I say, I’m conflicted! 😂 Who else has already started planning next year’s travel? #travelbug #wanderlust #europetravel #hotelxcaretméxico #italytravel #veniceitaly #romeitaly #paristravel #londontravel #amalficoast #familytravel #travelingwithkids
I just think that a my phone sometimes gives me a better idea of what the outfit actually looks like. I just bought the skirt and the shoes and I’m trying to figure out what top to pair with them. Do you like top #1, 2, or 3 best? I have both the skirt and the shoes linked in my bio. I think they’re both perfect and fun for the holiday season. #holidaystyle #holidaystyles #tryon #whatiwear #fashionover40 #styleover40 #ltk #ltkfashion #whatiweartoday #holidayfashion https://liketk.it/4n6ME
“If I could turn back time” This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I love when we change the clocks back! I love my extra hour of sleep, and I love that it’s finally daylight again when I get up in the morning. Now ask me again in April when we spring forward, and my opinion is sure to be a little different. That one is always so much harder than the one in the fall. Do you like or hate daylight savings time? #daylightsavings #fallback #unpopularopinions
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My Favorite Things
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DIY Holiday Arches
I agree. It is a beautiful resort with great resteraunts, and the animals and birds were amazing. It was our first visit and our family was very pleased with everything the resort had to offer.
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- Reviews of Hotel Xcaret Mexico All Parks All Fun Inclusive
Reviews of Hotel Xcaret Mexico All Parks All Fun Inclusive This rating is a reflection of how the property compares to the industry standard when it comes to price, facilities and services available. It's based on a self-evaluation by the property. Use this rating to help choose your stay!
Carretera Federal Chetumal Puerto Juarez, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
#7 of 227 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Based on 758 hotel reviews
Value for money
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Showing 1 - 25
Reviewed: November 19, 2023
- • Leisure trip
- • Family with young children
- • Suite Garden
- • Stayed 2 nights
- • Submitted from a mobile device
Very big clean and beautiful
Everything was included the rooms were great and the staff was very friendly and attentive
Stayed in November 2023
Reviewed: November 17, 2023
- • Couple
- • Stayed 9 nights
The pillows are way too soft. The hallways are always noisy with loud noises at night, doors slamming and people yelling. The price is a bit high.
The service is always excellent as this is our second time staying at the hotel. Overall we felt safe and appreciate the included transportation.
Reviewed: November 14, 2023
- • Stayed 1 night
Their reservations system was down when we arrived and it took a while to check in. We went there with our 3 year old and many activities were restricted for older kids with not much to offer for her, this includes the kids club and many of the park attractions. I would recommend it for families with older kids over 120cm height.
The whole complex is enormous, you can take a day just to see everything it has to offer. Lots of food options, everything we tried was great, specially the japanese restaurant. Buses to the parks are constant and we didn't have to wait long.
Stayed in September 2023
Reviewed: October 30, 2023
- • Stayed 5 nights
very nice people and nice food
Stayed in October 2023
Reviewed: October 25, 2023
- • Quadruple Room
- • Stayed 7 nights
Outstanding architecture and landscaping, great staff, and excellent drinks and food, park concept superb
Reviewed: October 22, 2023
- • Stayed 4 nights
Octopus kids water slide had a sharp edge that cut my son hechad to get the cut clean and treated he was afraid to get back on the slides after staff repaired the slide.
Hotel accommodation were excellent
Reviewed: October 18, 2023
- • Suite Ocean View
- • Stayed 3 nights
Staff from the sales department are hunting down the guests every time you go to the reception
I like the location and amenities
Reviewed: October 5, 2023
We liked everything, no negative comments.
Staff, they are great. All inclusive to the parks is worth the price you pay for the room. Many restaurants to choose from, the quality of the food is excellent. Transportation from/to the hotel to the parks is efficient. Additional tour options. Best place to spend your vacación if traveling to Cancun. I will come back with my family. Suggest to get a room with ocean view. If you are traveling with kids, then select a room in the area where the kids pools is, they will enjoy that. There are areas for adults only.
Reviewed: October 4, 2023
Everything, amazing hotel!
Reviewed: September 22, 2023
Reviewed: September 10, 2023
- • Stayed 6 nights
Wifi didnt work all the time.
The destails in every corner.
Reviewed: September 7, 2023
Very clean and spacious!!! Good garden view.. I most definitely going back
Reviewed: September 2, 2023
The “caleta” has stuck water or barely water a flow so it has this funny smell and debris
The staff was great Food was also great That the parks are included with your stay
Reviewed: August 20, 2023
- Nature, view - Staff is kind, feels like they enjoy their job (unlike the parks where it seems the tourist is bothering them)
Stayed in August 2023
Reviewed: August 19, 2023
Everything! The property grounds were beautiful, the food was amazing, and the entire staff was friendly.
Reviewed: August 15, 2023
The prices were a bit steep, and the hotel tried to cancel my stay because they claimed they couldn't use my credit card to guarantee my room. I double-checked the number, and it was correct. I called my credit card company, and no transactions were attempted. The price was about 30% lower than current rates, so the only guess I had was that they wanted to charge more. But I was able to call on the phone and they emailed me a payment link. I paid using the same credit card I had provided online and it went through without any problems. That was more drama than I wanted to deal with, but in the end, it worked out fine.
The rooms were excellent. Great decor, very spacious. The balcony was amazing, I especially enjoyed the hammock outside on the balcony. The bathroom was nice, and the included toiletries were high-quality. The bath robes were a nice touch, too. And if you like big fluffy towels, they have you covered. The nicest hotel towels I have ever used.
Reviewed: August 11, 2023
They need to put fans in some places,like resturant "Las playas"
Reviewed: August 10, 2023
- • Suite Ocean Front Family
The hotel needs to improve on adding more ventilation, fans, and air conditioning in all dining areas.
La playa restaurant, Guillermo, made our stay exceptional trying to.accomadete all our needs at all time. Jorge at the shopping store and the cleaning service.
Reviewed: August 8, 2023
- • Swim Up Garden View
- • Stayed 11 nights
Need more fans outdoors and indoors to keep the air moving on hot, humid, still days
Stayed in July 2023
Reviewed: August 6, 2023
The air conditioning did not seem able to keep up with the heat in the afternoon and early evening. I really disliked the feel and scent of the shampoo.
Clean and comfortable with very pleasant staff and facilities.
Reviewed: August 2, 2023
"check in starts at 3, doesn't mean we have the rooms ready at 3." Is what I was told. Had to get on them to get my room at 345pm. Around 5pm I overheard one of the front desk staff tell a family she still owed them a room. Same staff made a huge deal about the shuttle back to the airport, to leave 4 hours before the flight because of traffic, we woke up incredibly early only to get on the shuttle, the hour and a half it would've taken was only 1, reception staff made us lose time at the resort. All other staff was exception.
The amenities are amazing.
Reviewed: July 31, 2023
Hospitality and surround by nature
Reviewed: July 21, 2023
We've been coming here since the first year in operation. We love it but the food quality has gone down. There is less attention from the staff. Many times we had to get up to get our drinks at several restaurants. Also, the pressure to buy has started to give the feel of walking through the Cancun airport. I don't expect that from a five diamond resort.
The best all inclusive resort! You can't beat the price for all the parks, tours and food.
Reviewed: July 20, 2023
What we didn’t like was that the pool bars and pool closed too early, we wanted to relax at the end of the night in the pool and couldn’t.
The hospitality, the abundance of food and drinks, beautiful views, overall everything was AMAZING!
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Review: Weekend at the Xcaret Hotel Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
Curious about Xcaret Hotel in Mexico and want an honest review? Back in 2020, Denver and I managed to find a couple of nights at the beautiful Hotel Xcaret Mexico and decided to take a weekend adventure to our first-ever All-Inclusive Resort. I’ll kick off this review by saying we came incredibly skeptical and turns out we fell in love with the resort and are counting down the days before we get to go back !
About Xcaret Hotel
Hotel Xcaret México is a stunning all-inclusive resort located right along the water in Playa del Carmen along Highway 307. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, with plenty of hotel-provided shuttles that allow you to get to and from the airport easily.
The resort itself is named after the archaeological site Xcaret, a settlement constructed by the Mayan people and sinks into the rich sustainable mission of Hotel Xcaret. The hotel group does have a huge sustainability focus that you can learn more about on their website , focusing on re-utilization of the geographical terrain and mission to take care of their community and people. The resort also adapts to the landscape, featuring tons of stunning coves, rivers, forests, and gardens from the geography of the region.
What Does All Inclusive Entail?
In addition to all inclusive food at the 11 restaurants on the property, beverages at any of the restaurants and bars, transportation to and from the airport, and access to all the stunning features of the hotel, Hotel Xcaret also includes access to all 7 of their parks with the hotel!
I cannot stress enough how unique and incredible this is! We loved the all-inclusive eating and drinking and were blown away with the ability to also use kayaking or paddleboarding on the river, so the access to the parks was simply icing on the cake. These waterparks are easily going to entertain you for 7 straight days, and that doesn’t even include the time you can spend exploring the hotel grounds!
Restaurants Included :
Xin-Gao La Cantina Los Faroles La Trajinera Mercado de la Merced Chibalí Teatro del Río Restaurant Cuevas Restaurant Las Playas
Access to all 7 Xcaret Parks Shuttle to/from Cancun Airport River Activities inside hotel Yoga, tai chi and meditation classes Access to main gym (+18 years) Access to the hotels water slides Concierge services
About the Rooms & Suites at Hotel Xcaret
There are four different types of rooms and suites available at Hotel Xcaret: Junior Suites, Suites, Swim-Ups, and Master Suites. Each of these is available in different “Houses” across the property, with a further selection of whether you want Garden View, Spa View, River View, or Ocean View.
During our stay, we reserved a Garden View adult room on the second story, and it was one of the most incredible rooms we’ve ever stayed at. Including some insane rooms, we’ve stayed at in South Africa and in Hong Kong ! The room had EVERYTHING you could think of, and a stunning outdoor patio with a hammock to relax in.
Each Room Includes the Below:
- 1 King size bed or 2 doubles (subject to availability)
- Hammocks on the balcony
- A stocked minibar of snacks & drinks
- Beach bag with essentials
- Jacuzzi bathtub (my favorite)
- Rain showers
- Hairdryers & hair care
- Security boxes
- 55′ flat-screen TV
- Espresso coffee machine
- Complimentary WiFi
While we absolutely loved our Garden Room, we think the best rooms on the property have to be the swim-up suites with direct access to the pool OR the river suites that included stunning diving platforms directly into the river. These are ideal for families with kids, as it’s the best way to keep an eye on kids and let them enjoy the river access from the room!
About the Restaurants & Food at Xcaret Hotel
The food at the Xcaret restaurants is some of the best food I have had anywhere. We came in with lower expectations of the resorts food and left incredibly impressed. Regardless of which restaurant you eat at, I have no doubt you’ll find the food to be phenomenal!
Our Favorite Restaurants:
HA – Ha was the only restaurant we ate at that did require an additional cost of $150 per person. To be clear, we did get this meal included as we visited just after the Hotel had reopened from COVID and they were offering the meal included with the stay. However, this was hands down one of the top 3 meals I have ever had in my life and I would pay for this any day. And that compares to some of the best restaurants in the world. The food, the drinks, and the overall experience was truly phenomenal .
LA TRAJINERA – This restaurant is located right at the main pool of the hotel, and this is the one where we had low expectations. However, every bite we had was delicious. We ate here for 2/3 of our meals because we just couldn’t resist coming back. It had the most convenient location and some of the best food!
XIN-GAO – We are absolutely suckers for good sushi (we’re spoiled by Uchi in Austin) and oh my gosh Xin Gao was delicious. We actually barely managed to snag a reservation and had a weird time because of it and got so lucky. Every bite was amazing and even when we got full we kept ordering because we knew we wanted to try everything!
Shop Our Favorite Resort Essentials:
Xcaret Hotel Attractions & Activities
If the above reviews about the amazing rooms, restaurants, and parks don’t sell you then I hope the bonus of the hotel activities does! Hotel Xcaret is absolutely set apart with the caliber of activities the park offers. Almost every feature at the park itself (not even including the Xcaret Parks) is included with your stay! Some of our favorites include:
Paddleboarding & Kayaking on the River: It was Denver’s first time on a paddleboard, and we loved that this was just casually included at the hotel! Instead of just spending the whole day laying by a pool, we got to be active and enjoy going along these rivers and enjoying their beauty.
Hidden Waterslides: We decided to wander the property one day, and came across MULTIPLE hidden waterslides! These slides were a blast and dumped you right into the river. We loved that these hidden gems existed and spent hours one afternoon looking for all 7 once we heard there were more!
A Fitness Obstacle Course: Our lovely concierge let us know that instead of the gym, we could hunt for the obstacle course on the property! This was a blast, and even how we came across the waterslides. It’s a large ropes and fitness course designed to be a full workout and a blast at the same time.
Evening Shows: While none of the shows were going on during out stay due to COVID, we love that the shows exist for those who don’t want to head over to the parks that evening!
Xcaret Parks & Attractions
When you book a room at the Xcaret hotel, you also get access to the 7 Xcaret parks and transportation to and from the parks every day! We had a blast at the hotel, and loved having even more to do at the parks. A huge benefit if you’re there with the family!
Xcaret Park: The main Xcaret park featuring ocean-life shows, underground rivers, stunning beaches, large cenotes, and plenty of restaurants and bars to relax at! We spent our one day at this one and loved it. We also greatly enjoyed the shows featuring Mexican culture from the different regions in Mexico!
Xel-Ha Park: The natural Xcaret park featuring outdoor activities such as snorkeling and swimming! The park to go if you want to spend time walking through the nature forests and enjoying a dip in the river.
Xplor Park: The park for extreme adventures such as rafting through the river, zip-lining along the top of the Riviera, and touring natural caves along the water! A blast if you want a more active day.
Xavage Park: Looking for even more adventure? Head to Xavage for wild ropes courses, 4-wheeler rides through the rocky landscapes, kayaking on the rapids, or speeding on a jet boat. Not just for adults, all activities are safe and enjoyable for kids as well!
Xplor Fuego Park: The nighttime park at hotel Xcaret featuring drives through torch-lit paths, paddling along their “laval” rivers, and flying across ziplines, and enjoying their incredibly delicious BBQ.
Xoximilco Park: The more festival based park featuring gondola rides through the jungle, dancing and singing with mariachi, and a traditional dinner!
Xenses Park: Everything in the park is designed to throw your senses into the wind and explore a virtual and upside-down world. From thrills to whirlwinds to everything in between, this park is not like anything you have ever seen before.
Xenotes Park: This is the only reservation-required park as it does take you to actual outside-park cenotes and adventures. You’ll go with a guide who knows the history and the region, and explore it for yourself. You’ll end your adventure day with a luxury picnic to top it off!
The Final Verdict:
We’re seriously counting down the days until we can go back, because it was the best hotel stay we have ever had. The incredible attention to detail, the delicious food and drinks, the attractions, and the property itself was a level above anything we could have imagined. If you’re debating it, trust me you will not regret your stay. We LOVED it, and would review every aspect with 5 stars.
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