Is it Worth Visiting Xcaret?

By Saul Garpe

Are you thinking of traveling to the Riviera Maya from San Miguel de Allende? Or more specifically, are you thinking of visiting Playa del Carmen? You may ask: “Is it worth paying 2,200 pesos per person plus food and drinks to visit Xcaret?” This is almost the same cost of a round-trip plane ticket, Bajío-Cancún, chosen with a good time and date.

If you are just looking for a day at the beach, on a lounge chair with a beer in your hand, or to do only a little snorkeling without much effort, my answer to you is quick: you can do this at the hotel.

On the contrary, if you feel you have plenty of energy to walk and swim, prepare to be amazed. A single day will not be enough but you can try. Arrive at 8:30am and try to visit all the attractions at Xcaret.

My expectation was only in the underground rivers that everyone talks about and posts on their social networks. They are impressive, but the park is more than that since it has different features and education on local culture. The area of ​​»Pueblito Maya” is full of huts, merchandise, and the “Panteón” decorated as on Day of the Dead—bright colors, flowers, and folkloric phrases that will make you smile and feel nostalgic for those who are no longer there. Both these areas are ideal to start the tour. But if nature is your thing, Xcaret has an internal Environmental Unit dedicated to the conservation and reproduction of some endangered bird species. Also, it has an aviary with golden eagles among other impressive birds. After that, I think that a break to eat or snorkel and cool off is recommended because we aren’t even halfway there!

Within the park there is a zoo with big cats like the majestic jaguar, a species that inhabits the area, a butterfly garden full of color, and finally, an aquarium. All can be freely explored. Although they are not huge, the heat of the coast will make them seem that way. When done, no matter how tired you are, I recommend that you not leave just yet. You should enjoy what for many is the «Jewel in the Crown,» the musical-theatrical show “México Espectacular.” It is a retelling of Mexican history weaving through the life of our ancestral cultures including the conquest, independence from Spain, the Mexican revolution, and finally the current state of Mexico. Immensely better than a history class at school!

When it was over at 10pm, I didn’t know whether to cry from pride or exhaustion. So, I recommend you take your time.