Xcaret Park - How was our experience?

by - 12:27

If you search for things to do in Playa Del Carmen, the highest and top-rated suggestion on Trip Advisor is Xcaret Park. We had a quick look on YouTube and read a couple the reviews before booking our trip to go and it actually looked so good! Our tour rep described it as ‘water Disneyland’ so that made me want to go so bad as I am a sucker for all things Disney.

But F### me it wasn’t half pricey. It cost us around £100 each which included our entry into the park for the whole day, lunch at one of their buffets, lockers and snorkeling equipment and transport there and back, so I guess that isn’t too bad as it meant a faf free day when it came to expenditure and taxis.

Xcaret Park; what is it?
The park itself is based in the middle of the jungle and surrounded by beautiful beaches, natural pools and has a collection of animals such as jaguars and tigers on the land and then dolphins, stingrays and sharks in the water. It isn’t a water park as there aren’t any slides, other than the occasional one of two in the child’s park which we didn’t venture to.

What did we do there?
To summarise, we spent the day following five different coloured lines. Each line had different activities and different things to do, it was just a simple way to help us get around really, along with the map that was given to us at the beginning.

We started the day by going on the Jurassic boat, which was a boat hosted by a lovely woman through the jungle pointing out all of the lovely creatures that Mexico had to offer including frogs, crabs, parrots and jungle fish. It was actually a lovely relaxing start to the day and the tour woman who was pushing the boat had great English and really knew her stuff.

The highlight of Xcaret which makes it stand out is having a long river under the caves that you’re allowed to swim through with your life jacket. This was pretty cool and although it is quite long, there are options for you to get out at any of the five points; great for younger ones or older ones that don’t think they can manage the full whack. At the beginning, you can send your belongings to the other end of the river in a numbered bag, which they give you a key for, so really there isn’t much need to have the locker included anyway.

My favourite part of the day was being able to swim with loads of tropical fish in the natural pools and a sectioned part of the beach. We had the Go Pro on us, so we had some great footage of the little fishies which made it exciting. We had snorkels here and you need these so if it isn’t included in your price then perhaps fork out for them – although I can’t imagine they cost that much.

There are few out of water activities too including walking around the Mayan village and seeing how the Mayans went to school, lived, made things such as chocolate and behaved. This was pretty cool as it meant that we didn’t need to fork out another £100 on an excursion to see a temple and do something a bit more cultural. When you’ve seen one temple you’ve seen them all.

Other than that, there are shows that go on throughout the day although we only opted to watch the horse show for 20 minutes which was ok but I didn’t really like the fact that the horses were chained up all day to dance around for 20 minutes in 30 degree heat. But yes, they were talented little ponies so I will give them that. Everyone had told us to stay for the big end of the night show so we did – it was impressive, not £100 worth impressive but a lot of thought had gone into it. It is two hours long which is perhaps a bit excessive and maybe after an hour it was a bit boring, but you can’t really fault everything that went into it – lights, acrobatics and music.

Was it worth the money?
Ah, no. I hate to say it because I had a great day but I really don’t think it is worth that much. Whoever told me that it was like a water Disney was deluded because Disney is 10x better and there is so much more to do.

Really, we paid £100 to swim with tropical fish and laze on a beach for the day which isn’t ideal but who were we to know? Oh, and of course swim through the river which was cool but that only took half an hour. It is a long, long day considering you arrive at 8am and you don’t leave until after the show at 9pm so you have a LOT of time to fill in between.

A lot of activities you have to pay extra for, incase you haven’t spend enough already including shark swimming, sting ray swimming, dolphin swimming, getting on a flying boat and many more. If this park was a little cheaper, I would really recommend going but I think it is just a little over priced for what you actually do there.

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