How many holiday destinations can you think of that start with an ‘X’?
There are probably a million places in China, Tibet and Nepal, but the only place I could think of was Xanadu, and I’m not sure if that even exists or if it is just something Olivia Newton John came up with!
So I’ll stick with something I do know, and that is the stunningly beautiful parks of Xcaret and Xel-Ha in one of my all time favourite holiday destinations – the Riviera Maya Mexico.
If you have ever visited Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel or Tulum, there is a good chance that you visited at least one of these parks during your stay (in addition to the compulsory trip to Chichen Itza!), and while they are somewhat ‘touristy’, I really believe that everyone visiting the Yucatan Peninsula should add them both to their itinerary.
We spent over a month in Playa del Carmen some 10 years ago, and the owners of our delightful boutique hotel provided us with complimentary tickets to Xcaret, an archaeological park some 15 minutes drive from the resort.
During the day, Xcaret offers an action-packed itinerary of swimming with dolphins, exploring underground rivers and lagoons, exhibitions on Mayan culture and plenty of optional activities to keep the whole family occupied.
At night, Xcaret comes to life with an amazing show. 300 plus actors take part in the “musical journey through the history of Mexico”, and if they still do the ‘Danza de los Viejitos’ or ‘Old men dance’ – well, it’s worth visiting Xcaret for that alone, we loved the surprise at the end!
Referred to as the “biggest natural aquatic park in the world” Xel-Ha is a fantastic place to spend a day during your trip to the Riviera Maya, and if you opt for the all-inclusive package, you can swim, eat and drink to your heart’s content!
Perfect for singles who want to mingle, couples, families and groups, this amazing aquarium park offers snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, Snuba® (a combination of diving and snorkelling) and you can even walk under water on a Sea Trek® mission!
I am sure much has changed since we visited the parks back in 2003, but we know many travellers who have visited in recent years, and it seems Xcaret and Xel-Ha are still xtremely xciting…(sorry)!