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Xcaret, the wildlife reserve in the Riviera Maya

Posted by Oliver Weickardt on 2015-11-26
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If you are planning a trip to the Riviera Maya hotspots of Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum, you are probably wondering if a visit to Xcaret is a good idea. After all, the entry fee is a bit hefty, and you could be spending that money in a great night out. Well, let me tell you something: Xcaret is not just a popular eco-themed park, it’s the greatest day out in the whole Riviera Maya! I was wondering too until I took the plunge and made the decision to go for the day. Nothing I read on their website prepared me for the magic going on beyond the doors of this eco-themed park in the proximity of Playa del Carmen.

You would be well advised to take the full package with all the extras, since the added facilities are worth the extra $30USD. That gives you full access to the free buffet, and a personal locker that will come handy if you plan to go underwater. Xcaret has managed to get the whole bounty of the tropics and the cultural heritage of Mexico in one place. I was taken by the butterfly gardens and the pink flamingos, but mind you, there are manatees, tortoises and jaguars, and the whole array of exotic tropical birds like colorful toucans on sight.

Not surprisingly, they live happily in this open environment and greet the visitors with their exotic tunes. I was in the middle of the jungle! And right in the midst of mangroves and cenotes, I had the chance of pampering my eyes with the widest variety of orchids in the world!

Mexican archeological sites are scattered around the park, as is the Mexican cemetery, and a whole Mayan pueblo for you to wander. But the high point of the day for the active traveler inside of me was indeed to go swimming underground in the lazy rivers and cenotes that arrive here from the depths of the Yucatan peninsula.

Well, and to finally swim with the most playful of sea creatures… swimming with the dolphins didn’t just fulfill a personal wish, it was truly the most exhilarating experience ever! After a day of natural wonder, the Mexican show with over 300 performers is the perfect cherry on top of this cake. Let’s just say that I felt like joining in their tribal dances even after all the swimming, snorkeling and walking about. Xcaret made my best day in a long time and it can make yours too!

Nowadays, we are really lucky to enjoy the natural beauty of this land in complete peace of mind. The environment is very well preserved at Xcaret, and here it’s us who go to the encounter of the wildlife and flora in their natural habitat instead of bringing them to our city zoos. Nothing to fear, make the best move of your trip and go say hello to the dolphins, the butterflies and the jaguars at Xcaret!

Villa Experience founder is German born but loves all thing Mexico! He has lived in the country since 2003 and has experienced Mexico´s premier destinations at first hand. His favorite destinations are the Yucatan Peninsula, Baja California Sur, and Puerto Vallarta.