Xcaret Eco Park is a popular private theme park located just four miles south of Playa del Carmen and 47 miles south of Cancun, in the Riviera Maya. It's also just across the water from Cozumel. Named after Xcaret, a nearby Mayan archaeological site, the eco park is the perfect place to bring a family for a day of water sports, playing with and feeding animals at the aquarium and zoo, walking in the botanical gardens and much more.
The central feature of Xcaret Eco Park is a large lagoon, where you can go swimming and snorkeling. The fish in the lagoon are well fed and highly visible, so this can be a great place for some easy snorkeling. There is also a beach where you can sit with your family and relax while the children play, and hammocks are available for those who want to take a nap. There are also opportunities to do snuba in the lagoon; snuba is a form of diving that combines snorkeling and scuba, meaning that instead of using a tank to carry oxygen, divers' air is supplied by long hoses from tanks on the water's surface. This can be a good introduction to scuba diving, as it uses most of the same equipment at scuba, but does not require certification. Xcaret also has an underground river, where visitors can go diving and snorkeling while seeing some of the interesting subterranean rock formations.
Many visitors who travel to Xcaret Mexico want to see some of the fascinating animals that are kept at the park. Swimming with the dolphins is one of the most well-known activities at Xcaret, and though it is pricey, it can be an incredibly memorable experience. Visitors who participate in this activity get to interact with multiple dolphins, including mothers and their young.
There are also other opportunities to interact with animals at Xcaret Eco Park. The marine turtle program protects baby turtles as they hatch and raises them at the park for one year, releasing them into the wild when they are older and stronger. Visitors who travel to Xcaret Mexico can hold the baby turtles and learn about turtle conservation. At Xcaret, the main types of turtles are the Loggerback Turtle and the Green Turtle. There is also an island where spotted and black jaguars are kept, the largest cat in the Americas, and visitors can view them from telescopes placed around the island. Other animals that you can see at the park include tapirs, bats, monkeys, deer, flamingos, exotic birds, and butterflies. If you are interested in horticulture, you can visit the beautiful orchid garden and the mushroom farm, and sample some of the mushroom varieties grown here at the park's restaurants.
Xcaret Eco Park also offers something in the way of a cultural experience through the archaeological tour. There are several Mayan ruins located on the park grounds that have been restored. A guide will take you to several of these sites and explain their archaeological and cultural significance. Those who travel to Xcaret Mexico may also want to visit the Mayan village—though it is a replica, there are real artisans at work producing beautiful works of sculpture and art. Performances, folk dances, live music and great restaurants complete the experience, and multiple buses from Cancun and Playa del Carmen make Xcaret a convenient day trip from your resort in Mexico.