Xel Ha Mexico is a destination that is well worth keeping in mind when looking for things to do in Playa del Carmen or any of the other Maya Riviera destinations. Found approximately 30 miles south of Playa del Carmen, this nature park offers plenty for visitors to enjoy. Swimming and snorkeling are among the most popular water-based activities, and should you wish to do some exploring on land, you can go by foot, bicycle, or motor vehicle. Complementing the list of activities is the park's natural beauty, and should you be wishing to drop by for more than a few hours, there are food and beverage services.
Much like Xcaret Park, Xel Ha Park is a destination that many Maya Riviera tourists like to include on the itinerary. It's not hard to understand why when you consider how much fun this park can be and how beautiful its landscape is.
During your visit to Xel Ha, you can rent watersports equipment and play in what amounts to a large natural aquarium. Spectacular rock formations lie beneath the water's surface, and since more than 70 marine animal species inhabit the park's inlet, you are guaranteed to see some fascinating creatures while snorkeling. Perhaps you'll spot a stingray, a turtle, or even a dolphin. You can actually interact with dolphins at Xel Ha Park, and the overall snorkeling experience is simply hard to beat.
You can also indulge in some fun land-based activities at Xel Ha Mexico. Most of the 200 acres that make up the park are tropical forest, so there is plenty to see on land as well. A variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles call the forest home. More than 200 species of plants have been recorded as well. Porcupines and coatis are among the animals that you might spot. Hiking or biking are good ways to go if you want to get some exercise while you explore the forest terrain, and you can board one of the colorful tour buses if you prefer a more leisurely sightseeing experience.
Visitors can enjoy the Sea Trek experience at Xel Ha Park. This involves putting on a special helmet that provides oxygen and walking along the seabed. Visitors can also swim in cenotes, or sinkholes, jump off cliffs into the water below, and make their way down a lazy river on an inner tube. It's a place where getting bored really isn't an option, and when a break from all the activities is in order, there are wonderful places to dine. Xel Ha Park is home to several restaurants, the likes of which specialize in both Mexican food and international cuisine. Complementing the restaurants are a bar and some ice cream shops, so kids and adults alike should have little trouble finding something good to eat or drink.
Xel Ha Mexico visitors can rent snorkeling equipment if they are without their own, and when it comes to the various activities, additional fees most usually apply. There are special "all inclusive" Xel Ha packages that allow visitors to enjoy access to snorkeling equipment, life jackets, inner tubes, relaxing hammocks, and deck chairs. Go the all inclusive route, and your drinks and food will also be covered. Those who wish to take things farther can try to book a Xel Ha package that also includes a trip to the walled city of Tulum to see Mayan ruins or a visit to Xcaret Park.
There are no Xel Ha hotels to choose from, so unfortunately, staying on the park grounds isn't an option. That being said, there are plenty of great hotels in the general region. You might start with the many wonderful all inclusive resorts in Playa del Calrmen or the Cancun hotels. Regardless where you decide to stay while in the area, you can drop by Xel Ha on any given day to enjoy its numerous activity options. It is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.