October 26

Three Water Parks You Must Visit in the Riviera Maya

Water parks in the Riviera Maya are a popular attraction like no other, with nature as the central role and different activities for all ages. These parks offer a wide range of adventures such as snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming in subway rivers, other marine species, zip lines, driving with amphibious vehicles, and more.

To visit them, you can get your tickets online on the web page or get a private tour; some Cancun airport transportation companies offer this option with entries included or special discounts. If you plan to visit at least one of them, here you can find the three best water parks in the Riviera Maya: 

manatee-at-Xel-Ha

This was the first time I ever saw a manatee. They really are big yet gentle!

Xcaret Park

Perhaps the most famous theme park in the Riviera Maya and one of the first ones built. Xcaret Park has an endless number of activities for all families and is the first option for aqua parks.

You can enjoy a day at the beach in the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea and do some activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. If you prefer, you can also have a lot of fun in the big pools, or if you are more adventurous, you can swim through the line of subway rivers that run under the caverns.

In Xcaret, there are many marine species that you can watch and swim with, such as dolphins, turtles, and sharks, but this is an experience just for the bravest. Also, some areas offer an incredible display of other species like the aviary or the butterfly farm with an astonishing number of colorful birds and butterflies that fly around you.

Do not miss the archaeological sites that create an exciting contrast between the modern facilities and the peculiar cemetery on your visit.

This park is also very famous for its night show called "Mexico Espectacular," which presents a unique journey through the history of Mexico with more than 300 artists on stage, including musicians and singers in impeccable costumes. Over the years, this iconic show has become a reference and a must-see for visitors to the Riviera Maya.

Xcaret's location is at Km. Two hundred eighty-two on the Chetumal - Puerto Juarez highway, about 74 kilometers from Cancun International Airport and only 6 km from Playa del Carmen.

To enjoy the trip it is best to go on your own in a rental car or get private transportation from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Some companies offer special tours and discounts on entrance fees.

Xel-Há Park

Xel-Há is a magical park with different natural experiences for all tastes oriented to aquatic activities. This park is ideal for family visits, with many activities for children of different ages. You can swim in the pretty beaches, natural pools, or subway rivers and have a new adventure in the zip lines or bike rides through the jungle and mangroves that surround the park.

Among the natural attractions, you can find La Gran Caleta, one of the most incredible natural aquariums in the world and one of the most known areas in Xel-Ha. You can snorkel and scuba dive in the freshwater of the subway rivers along with the salty sea of the Caribbean. The mixture of fresh and saltwater causes some visual effects that are now one of the typical experiences of the park.

In Xel-Ha, you can also find some cenotes; there are two of them called Paradise and Adventure, founded when crossing the bridge from the jungle area. Cenotes are very characteristic in the Yucatán Peninsula because of the deep meaning in the Mayan culture, so they are now a great tourist attraction.

Before you leave, Xel-Ha enjoys the stunning views of the coastline of the Riviera Maya in the lighthouse. Do not forget to bring your biodegradable sunscreen, mosquito cream, and all necessary items to make you feel more comfortable in the park. Inside, you can find lockers to leave your things and move around.

Being a trendy destination, it is not difficult to get to Xel-Ha Park. There are many options to go, be it buses, cabs, or private transportation from Cancun to Tulum, as the park is only 5 km north of the archaeological zone of Tulum. The distance from Cancun to Xel-Ha is 114 km and from Playa del Carmen to Xelha is 48 km.

Xplor Park

Xplor Park is the perfect option for those fans of adrenaline who are looking for exciting adventures and activities such as water rafting, cave swimming, and zip lines. However, unlike Xcaret or Xel-Ha, this is not a park for all families because children under the age of 5 are not allowed, and children under eight don't have access to all the attractions, so think twice if you plan to go with your whole family.

Even though Xplor is like an adventure playground, it has fewer activities available than other parks, but they are more than enough to give you a full day of activities. Do not worry; Xplor Park is a very safe space, with instructions upon your arrival and the mandatory use of a helmet during your adventures, among other security measures and expertise of the qualified staff.

There are five different attractions in the park, but the biggest is the zip line circuits. Xplore has 3.8 km of zip lines divided into two courses to fly over the Mayan jungle, from the towers to the cenotes. The highest line is 45 meters high, while the lowest is only 8 meters.

In addition to the above options, there is a unique way to ride the zip lines called hammocking, which consists of sliding in a comfortable hammock in the waters of a cenote.

If you want to put your driving skills to the test, you can cross the jungle in an amphibious vehicle and explore the nearly 5 kilometers of driving circuit through caves and hanging bridges.

But if that's not enough, you can experience Xplor Fuego and enjoy other park activities in the dark of night.

Xplor Park is located some kilometers south of Playa del Carmen with also different options to get there, either you want to rent a car and go on your own or decide to get a private tour. You can also take a cab or a bus, but it can be tedious for transportation. 


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