Xcaret Park Review: Is this iconic Riviera Maya adventure park worth it? (2023)
Do you want to visit Xcaret park in Riviera Maya Mexico and wondering if it’s worth it? You’ve come to the right guide!
Xcaret is one of the most popular adventure parks in Mexico and with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know what the park is actually like and if it’s really worth the money.
That’s where I’m here to help! I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen and I’ve become an expert on the Xcaret parks.
In this comprehensive Xcaret park review, I’m going to give you all the information you need to decide including:
- A park overview
- Pros and cons
- Full activity reviews
- Food and beverage reviews
- Visitor info
- Money-saving tips
- And more!
Ready to find out if Xcaret is right for you? Let’s dive in, starting with a quick overview chart:
What is Xcaret?
The original of Grupo Xcaret’s parks, Xcaret (pronounced “Ish-ka-ret”) is an adventure and nature park located in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
The park is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the culture and natural history of Mexico.
ℹ️ One important clarification to make is that “Xcaret” is the name of the overall company, but it’s also the name of the adventure park.
Xcaret Park features over 50 attractions within its massive property where visitors can immerse themselves in Mexican culture and history.
Visitors can watch traditional music and dance performances, view ancient ruins, swim in underground rivers, snorkel in coral reefs, and much more.
Drawing your attention towards Mexico’s culture and heritage, its range of park activities and wildlife encounters makes it the perfect choice for families with younger children–it can easily be equated to a tropical zoo!
You can stroll through open-air aviaries, the Butterfly Pavilion, Coral Reef Aquarium, and interact with sea turtles and manatees. Plus, historians will love the Mayan ruins and Mexican Folk Art Museum.
But Xcaret Park’s main highlight is the nightly Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production, which is a 300-person crew show that is a history lesson but fun – featuring pre-Hispanic dances and more!
👉 Book your Xcaret tickets ahead of time by clicking here!
Where is Xcaret park?
Xcaret is located on an oceanfront inlet just 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:
- Playa del Carmen to Xcaret: 15 minutes
- Tulum to Xcaret: 45 minutes
- Cancun to Xcaret: 1 hour 15 minutes
Fun Fact: Xcaret means “small inlet” due to the park’s oceanfront location and because a part of the Caribbean Sea enters the land. Xcaret was once used as a merchandise port by the Mayans.
How do you pronounce Xcaret?
Xcaret is pronounced “Ish-ka-ret”. The key to pronouncing the Xcaret names correctly is to pronounce the X as either an “Ish” or a “Sh” sound.
Why visit Xcaret?
There are plenty of reasons to visit Xcaret park in Mexico, but here are just a few:
- To learn about Mexican culture: Xcaret is the perfect place to learn about Mexican culture and history. Through traditional live music and dance performances, as well as exploring ancient ruins, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of this rich culture.
- To experience natural beauty: Parque Xcaret is home to beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and underground rivers. Visitors can swim, snorkel, and explore the park’s many natural wonders.
- To have fun: Xcaret is a great place to have fun and relax. With so many Xcaret attractions to choose from, there’s something for everyone at this popular adventure park.
Who is Xcaret suited for?
Xcaret is probably best suited for families with smaller children. There are no age limits at Xcaret–and kids under 4 are free!
It’s a great place to bring babies, toddlers, and small children to enjoy the park’s numerous kids activities, shallow pools, and animal encounters.
With its greater accessibility, Xcaret is also well-suited for multi-generational families if traveling with both children and grandparents, as its paths are much easier to navigate with strollers and wheelchairs.
But at the same time, Xcaret is not just for kids. It’s also a fun and interesting excursion for adults that are nature lovers and appreciate cultural attractions.
Visitors can learn about Mexican history and Mayan culture in a fun, colorful, and interactive environment.
And the Xcaret México Espectacular production is a true highlight for all ages!
Who is Xcaret not suited for?
If you’re an adult who is easily annoyed by kids and strollers, Xcaret may not be the best adventure park for you.
With its many kid-friendly attractions and activities, the park can get pretty noisy and chaotic with children and families.
On the physical side, if you’re not able to walk or stand for long periods of time, you may also have a tough time enjoying all that Xcaret has to offer.
The park is huge and there’s a lot of walking involved, as well as some standing in line.
And if you don’t like culture or history, you probably won’t appreciate all the educational exhibits and shows at Xcaret, which is a more relaxed experience and has a larger focus on sightseeing than adventurous activities.
If you prefer more adrenaline-pumping activities, there are other parks (like Xplor or Xel-Ha) that may better suit your interests.
Xcaret Activities Quick Overview
Here’s a quick overview of the activities at Xcaret Playa del Carmen. Scroll down for detailed descriptions and reviews of these activities!
Included Xcaret Park Activities
Here’s an Xcaret activities list of all activities that are included in the basic admission.
- Cultural Activities: Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, Scenic Tower, Main Plaza, Mexican Folk Art Museum, Archaeological Sites, “Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery, Mayan Village, Horse Exhibition, “Vino de Mexico Xcaret” Wine Cellar, Pre-Hispanic Performances, Papantla Flyers, Hacienda Henequenera, Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, House of Whispers, Xcaret Posadas
- Kids Activities: Coral Reef Aquarium, Sea Turtles, Jaguars Island, Butterfly Pavilion, Aviary, Regional Fauna, Children’s World
- Nature Lovers: Natural Museum of Orchids and Bromeliads, Manatee Lagoon, Tropical Jungle Trail
Optional Xcaret Park Activities
These are the premium Xcaret activities that come at an extra cost:
- Optional Activities (Add-Ons): Adrenalina (Speed Boat), Adventure Kids (Stingrays), Sharks Adventure, Stingray Encounter, Stingray Sea Trek, Sea Trek, Snuba Reef, Temazcal, Snorkeling Tour, Xpa Xcaret, Paraxute, Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Dinner, Wine Pairing at Xcaret Wine Cellar
ℹ️ You can find detailed descriptions of each activity on the Xcaret website here.
Xcaret Pros and Cons
Next, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Xcaret:
- More than 50 activities
- Variety of water, land, and cultural activities
- Focus on culture and history of Mexico
- Xcaret Mexico Espectacular
- Beautiful scenery
- Lots of nature and wildlife
- Many restaurants and bars
- Most expensive Xcaret park
- Food is not included
- Lot of add-ons and extra costs
- Full day time commitment
- Not as exciting activities
- Can be crowded with kids and strollers
- Lots of walking
Xcaret offers 4 different admission tickets:
- Xcaret Admission
- Xcaret Plus Admission
- Xcaret Total Admission
- Xcaret at Night Admission
|Ticket Type||Inclusions||Adult Admission||Kids Admission||Buy Now|
|Xcaret Admission||Basic Admission||$109.99 USD||$54.99 USD||BUY NOW|
|Xcaret Plus||Lunch buffet + lockers and snorkel equipment||$149.99 USD||$74.99 USD||BUY NOW|
|Xcaret Total||Everything from Xcaret Plus + Adrenalina OR Sea Trek||$191.00 USD||$123.00 USD||BUY NOW|
|Xcaret at Night||Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Show Only||$89.99 USD||$44.99 USD||BUY NOW|
Xcaret Admission is the most basic admission package and includes the basic activities with no food included.
Current Xcaret Admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: $109.99 USD
- Kids (ages 5-11): $54.99 USD
- Kids (ages 4 and under): Free
👉 Book Xcaret admission tickets on the official website by clicking here!
Xcaret Plus Admission
Xcaret Plus Admission includes the basic admission, plus a buffet meal at one of the park’s numerous restaurants.
You’ll also get access to the exclusive Plus area with complimentary lockers, dressing rooms, private restrooms, as well as the use of snorkel equipment for the Underground Rivers.
Current Xcaret Plus Admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: $149.99 USD
- Kids (ages 5-11): $74.99 USD
- Kids (ages 4 and under): Free
👉 Book Xcaret Plus tickets on the official website by clicking here!
Xcaret Total Admission
The Xcaret Total Admission is an upgraded package that includes everything in the Xcaret Plus Admission plus the choice of one activity: Sea Trek OR Adrenalina.
Current Xcaret Total Admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: $191.00 USD
- Kids (ages 5-11): $123.00 USD
- Kids (ages 4 and under): Free
👉 Book Xcaret Total tickets on the official website by clicking here!
Xcaret at Night Admission
The Xcaret at Night Admission only includes entrance to the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular with no food included.
Current Xcaret at Night Admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: $89.99 USD
- Kids (ages 5-11): $44.99 USD
- Kids (ages 4 and under): Free
👉 Book Xcaret at Night tickets on the official website by clicking here!
Which Xcaret tickets should you buy?
The main differences between the Xcaret admission tickets are around food and activities.
Xcaret Basic vs Xcaret Plus
Deciding between the Xcaret and Xcaret Plus admission tickets comes down to how much you think you’ll spend on food.
The basic admission ticket does not include any food, so you’ll still need to pay for lunch and drinks at the Xcaret restaurants at a-la-carte prices.
This might save you a few dollars, but honestly you’ll probably be there all day long, so having a meal included is a nice added benefit.
Xcaret restaurant prices are above average so you can expect to spend around $30+ USD per person (not including alcohol).
With the Xcaret Plus admission, you’ll also get lockers (normally $5.99 USD) and snorkel gear (normally $10.99 USD) included and won’t have to pay for those separately.
For just $40 USD more, the Xcaret Plus Admission provides good value.
🎟️ I personally went with the Xcaret Plus admission ticket and appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to pay for much else throughout the day.
Xcaret Plus vs Xcaret Total
Deciding between the Xcaret Plus and Xcaret Total admission comes down to added activities.
Basically if you want to do Adrenalina (Speed Boat) or Sea Trek, then purchase the Xcaret Total admission ticket.
The Xcaret Total Admission ticket saves you about $28 USD as both Adrenalina and Sea Trek are $69.99 USD on their own.
If you want to do any of the other premium water activities, you’ll need to add those on separately.
How to Book Xcaret Tickets
The best way and most secure way to purchase Xcaret tickets is by booking on the official park website, which has some automatic discounts and frequent promotions.
Once your tickets are purchased, you’ll receive an email confirmation where you’ll have to print your tickets and present them at the ticket window on the day of your visit.
👉 Book Xcaret tickets on the official website by clicking here!
How to Save Money on Xcaret Park Tickets
There are a few different Xcaret discounts available–take advantage of these automatic discounts outlined below to get the best Xcaret deals and avoid paying full price for admission.
🦜 Explore my Xcaret resource hub for easy access to all of my Xcaret park reviews, comparison guides, as well as current Xcaret coupons and promotional offers.
Book in advance
You can automatically save by booking online on the official park website in advance:
- 10% off – ticket purchase 7 to 20 days in advance
- 15% off – ticket purchase at least 21 days in advance
Create your own package
If you’re interested in visiting more than one of the Xcaret parks and tours, you can save by creating your own combination package:
- 15% off – ticket purchase for any combination package of two or more parks and tours
- 20% off – ticket purchase for any combination package of three or more parks and tours
Stay at one of the Xcaret Hotels
Staying at an Xcaret all inclusive hotel gives you all “fun-inclusive” access to the parks, meaning you get unlimited access to all of the Xcaret parks during your stay.
This is an especially great option for families if you plan on visiting more than one of the parks. Check out the hotel websites below for more info on these all inclusive resorts:
- Hotel Xcaret Mexico
- Hotel Xcaret Arte (adults only)
- La Casa de la Playa (adults only)
Xcaret also offers a special discount for Mexico and Quintana Roo residents which is valid only at the park’s ticket booths, online, or through the contact center.
Tickets for Quintana Roo residents can be purchased through the website here but it is only available in the Spanish language.
You’ll need to present an Official ID of Quintana Roo to get the best price and be eligible for the discount. For foreigners living in Quintana Roo, Temporary and Permanent Resident Cards are accepted.
Xcaret Arrival Experience
Here’s what you can expect to experience when you first arrive at Xcaret nature park:
Ticketing and Check-in
Once you arrive at Xcaret park, you’ll have to stand in line at the ticket window to sign a liability waiver and exchange your ticket voucher for your wristband.
Be sure to bring your printed ticket voucher, as well as a photo ID. Electronics vouchers on your phone are not accepted.
Sign Up for Optional Activities
Once you enter the park, you’ll be directed to a line to sign up for the optional activities (at an extra cost).
This is where you can purchase add-ons and schedule the times for extra activities like Sea Trek, Snuba, Stingray Encounter, Adrenalina Speed Boat, etc.
Travelista Tip: If you’re interested in any of the optional activities, sign up for them online in advance. The line is extremely long at the park entrance to book the optional activities.
After making your way past the main entrance, you can head to the locker rooms to store your belongings.
Lockers are not included in the Xcaret basic admission so you’ll need to pay $5.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for the use of lockers.
However, if you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission ticket, you’ll have access to an exclusive “Xcaret Plus” area of the park with complimentary lockers, restrooms, changing rooms, showers, and snorkel equipment rental.
You’ll be given a locker key to hold onto–be sure not to lose it as the replacement fee is pricey!
Lockers are large enough to hold a medium sized backpack and you can easily return to the locker rooms throughout the day to retrieve your belongings.
Xcaret Park Map
Below is a map of Xcaret theme park. The park is divided into 6 different colored routes which lead you to the main activities:
- Pueblo Maya Route (White)
- Del Rio Route (Black)
- Playa Route (Green)
- Delfines Route (Red)
- Acuario Route (Blue)
- Mexico Espectacular Route (Brown)
Most of the park’s water activities take place at the “Caleta” which is the oceanfront lagoon, where you’ll find beaches, snorkeling, and natural pools.
If you get lost, you can simply follow the colored lines on the ground which will guide you to the activities.
Travelista Tip: Download the Xcaret app to your phone here for an interactive park map and detailed activity information.
Xcaret Park Review: Activities
Here’s a detailed look at each activity and my honest Xcaret park reviews:
The Aviary at Xcaret is a beautiful natural bird sanctuary where tropical birds interact freely.
You’ll get to see colorful parrots, toucans, macaws, eagles, king vultures, and many different bird species. You might even get to see some live hatchings!
I thought the Aviary was one of the most beautiful parts of Xcaret Park Mexico. With free flowing waterfalls and many different levels connected by stone paths and hanging bridges, it feels like a lush tropical jungle.
There aren’t a ton of hands-on activities but lots of photo and bird watching opportunities. All of the kids were absolutely thrilled!
🦅 Related Reading: What is the National Animal of Mexico?
Xcaret also offers a few archaeological sites around the park with replications of ancient Mayan ruins.
These are interesting spots to learn about the Mayan culture but they are not that large or interactive and quite honestly look a little fake.
You’ll get to see small pyramids and structures but nothing as large or as grand as the Tulum Ruins or Chichen Itza.
“Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery
The “Bridge to Paradise” Mexican Cemetery is Xcaret’s hillside recreation of a traditional Mexican cemetery. With multiple levels of colorful tombs and mausoleums, it’s quite impressive.
I was fascinated by the colorful tombs and headstones and spent quite a bit of time just walking around and admiring the creativity and all the minute details.
You’ll get to learn about the Mexican traditions of celebrating loved ones that have passed rather than mourning their deaths.
🪦 Is the Xcaret cemetery real? The Xcaret cemetery is not real and no one is actually buried there–it’s rather a recreation of a traditional Mexican cemetery.
After the Aviary, you’ll continue on to the Butterfly Pavilion, which is a lush jungle area where you can see many different types of butterflies flutter around you.
You’ll also get to see and learn about caterpillars in various stages of development.
You’ll want to climb to the top of the stairs to see the most butterflies! And you’ll even have the opportunity to attract them with small plates of fruit that are scattered around the enclosement.
I thought the Xcaret Butterfly Pavilion was beautiful but I’m not a huge fan of butterflies and it was very hot and humid! It is probably best suited for children and nature lovers.
The Children’s World of Xcaret is a fun area for kids under 12 years of age to have fun on slides, suspension bridges, tunnels, and cenotes.
I didn’t visit Xcaret with kids so I can’t properly rate Children’s World but it looked like a fun and unique place that kids would love.
Coral Reef Aquarium
The Coral Reef Aquarium is a marine life museum where you can learn about the reef ecosystems and marine species.
It’s an interesting place to learn about the underwater world that is unique to the Mexican Caribbean without descending to the bottom of the sea.
I thought the Xcaret Aquarium was interesting but it could have been a little more interactive.
Kids will love seeing the large and colorful fish and there are small ponds with crabs, starfish, and other marine life that you can see up close.
The Hacienda Henequenera is a typical 19th-century Mexican mansion and a tribute to the golden age of haciendas in the Yucatan peninsula.
You’ll get to explore this cultural recreation with an expansive courtyard, shops, and exhibits that are adjacent to the Chapel of our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Hacienda Henequenera is a colorful and interesting cultural site but there aren’t many interactive activities so it’s just a short stroll.
The Horse Exhibition is a full equestrian show that takes place once a day (normally in the evening). At about 20 minutes long, it’s a popular activity to see before the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular.
You’ll get to see traditional performances by charros and adelitas (women jockeys) riding magnificent Aztec horses.
I really enjoyed the Horse Exhibition and was impressed by the talent and precision of the riders and horses. With traditional Mexican music and a live emcee, it’s a fun and colorful production.
Near the Aviary, you’ll get to walk across a bridge over Jaguars Island, which is where you can see roaming jaguars.
When I visited, it was very hot and the jaguars were resting in the shade and were difficult to see.
It’s kind of like a large cat exhibit at a zoo and there are also observatory-type binoculars you can use for a closer look.
After entering the park, you’ll wind up in the Main Plaza, which is a building at the main entrance where you’ll find a large Xcaret gift shop, plus food and handicrafts, the Silver Mine, and the Mexican Wine Cave.
This is not really an attraction, but rather a shop and meeting point, and also where you can sign up for the optional activities.
At the Manatee Lagoon, you’ll get to see rescued manatees and watch them swim, eat, or rest in a quiet natural lagoon. It’s a popular attraction for kids and families.
At the Mayan Village, you’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of ancient Mayans and get to see recreations of their homes and customs.
Within the houses, you’ll also get to browse traditional Mexican handicrafts and souvenirs such as hats, jewelry, and baskets.
I thought the Mayan Village was cool to see and was tempted to buy some of the unique souvenirs!
The Papantla Flyers is a traditional ceremony where native performers descend down a tall pole hanging by their ankles.
I didn’t get a chance to see the performance at the pole near the Xcaret Plus area as it only happens a few times a day.
However, they also perform at the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production, which was very impressive. I’ll never understand how they make it look so easy!
The Paradise River is a leisurely boat ride, which is ideal if you want to experience Xcaret’s rivers without getting wet.
You’ll get to sail aboard a comfortable raft along a short river and admire different natural sites along the way.
I enjoyed the Paradise River activity and thought it was a relaxing activity. The boat does not go very fast so be prepared for a leisurely ride!
While walking along the different routes of the park, you’ll get to see different animal species like pink flamingos, deers, monkeys, and even bats.
I thought the pink flamingos were probably the most impressive and make for a colorful photo op!
Along the aquatic route, there are a few different places where you can see sea turtles of all shapes and sizes. There is even an underground viewing point to see the sea turtles underwater.
I thought it was interesting to see the sea turtles and learn about the different species. The largest turtles were huge and easy to spot!
But at the same time, it was kind of sad to see so many turtles confined to small pools.
At the Scenic Tower, you’ll get to take a ride to the top of an 80 m (262 ft) tall spinning tower, which is the highest point in Riviera Maya featuring spectacular seaside views of the jungle and Caribbean Sea.
The Scenic Tower was one of the first activities I did at Xcaret and it was probably one of my favorites.
It was a clear day and getting to see the entire region from that high up was very impressive. Plus the inside of the cabin is air conditioned and very comfortable!
St. Francis of Assisi Chapel
The St. Francis of Assisi Chapel is a beautiful white chapel at Xcaret’s highest point in the Mayan Village.
I thought the chapel was beautiful but there is not much to see and do once you climb up to the entrance.
The Underground Rivers are probably the most exciting activity at Xcaret, where you can wear a life jacket and float down the bright turquoise waters through underground caves.
There are many photo ops along the way and towards the end of the river you can get out to take a photo in front of the large Xcaret sign before exiting near the beach area.
The Underground Rivers were probably my favorite activity at Xcaret because they are really the only adventurous activity at the park that’s included in the basic admission.
The rivers are pretty long and it can be strenuous at times with lots of swimming but you can lay back and float if you need to take a break.
Xcaret’s Aquatic Paradise
At Xcaret’s oceanfront inlet, you can take a dip in natural rock pools or relax in a lounge chair on the beach.
There are beautiful areas of shallow beachfront where you can swim and relax, as well as opportunities for snorkeling in the lagoon.
I thought Xcaret’s Aquatic Paradise was very beautiful and picturesque with bright blue and green hues. The natural pools are located right on the ocean, offering stunning views and unique swimming areas.
However, this is also one of the most crowded places in the whole park so the Xcaret snorkeling areas are pretty busy and congested.
Xcaret Mexico Espectacular
The Xcaret Mexico Espectacular is a 300-person crew production and evening show featuring lively and colorful cultural performances and pre-hispanic dances.
The production will take you on a journey through the country’s history and its different cultural regions.
I enjoyed the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular and thought it was unique and interesting.
You’ll get to see recreations of historical landmarks in Mexican history such as ancient Mayan ball games, the arrival of the Spanish, and the Industrial Revolution.
You’ll then get to see dances and performances unique to the different regions and states of Mexico. I thought it was impressive but perhaps after such a long day I was expecting a little bit more of a wow factor!
A few other activities at Xcaret park that I didn’t get a chance to see include:
- “Vino de Mexico Xcaret” Wine Cellar, Pre-Hispanic Performances, House of Whispers, Natural Museum of Orchids and Bromeliads, Mexican Folk Art Museum
Xcaret park Riviera Maya also offers these premium activities that come at an additional cost:
- Adrenalina Xcaret: A high speed jet boat experience that takes you out into the ocean with speeds up to 90km/hr and thrilling 360° twists and turns.
- Adventure Kids: A unique and safe adventure for kids, where they can interact and feed small stingrays, and then snorkel with them in a natural lagoon.
- Sharks Adventure: A shark encounter where you can get in the water with nurse sharks and watch them swim near you.
- Stingray Encounter: A stingray encounter and snorkeling experience where you can touch, feed, and swim with stingrays in a shallow pool.
- Stingray Sea Trek: An underwater walk and stingray exploration experience wearing a Sea Trek helmet which allows you to breathe normally under the water.
- Sea Trek: An underwater walk and exploration experience at a depth of 16.4 feet wearing a Sea Trek helmet which allows you to breathe normally under the water. I personally did this experience and would highly recommend it! I got to see loads of fish and stingrays.
- Snuba Reef: An underwater Snuba experience that combines snorkeling and scuba diving where the oxygen tank floats on the surface, allowing you to move under the water more freely without being an expert diver.
- Temazcal: An ancestral ritual in a sweat lodge heated by hot stones and led by a shaman who conducts a traditional ceremony for healing, relaxation, and releasing toxins.
- Snorkeling Tour: A reef snorkeling experience at the INAH coral reef, very close to the coast of Xcaret where you can see a variety of coral, tropical fish, and marine species.
- Xpa Xcaret: A jungle spa experience where you can treat yourself to a relaxing massage and feel the peace of nature.
- Paraxute: A parasailing experience at a height of up to 300 ft (100 m) with views of the Caribbean Sea and the Mayan jungle from up above.
- Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Dinner: A seven-course dinner and front row seating at El Gran Tlachco theater during the Xcaret México Espectacular.
- Wine Pairing at Xcaret Wine Cellar: A 5-course wine tasting event with select wines from the Xcaret Wine Cellar.
- Swim with Dolphins: An interactive experience where you can swim, interact, and play with dolphins.
⚠️ The premium activities at Xcaret offer the opportunity to interact with dolphins, stingrays, and sharks held in captivity. While these animals are part of protected rescue programs, I typically don’t like to recommend activities that involve the mistreatment of animals. Of course, everyone can make their own decision but I encourage you to keep that in mind when choosing your activities at Xcaret.
Xcaret Park Review: Food and Beverage
Xcaret offers over 15 food and beverage outlets and dining options across its expansive grounds from buffet restaurants to beach bars to coffee shops.
Most of the restaurants at Xcaret are buffet-style offering unlimited dining and non-alcoholic beverages.
Menu options include a range of Mexican food, international cuisine, and seafood.
But even with a focus on elevated gastronomy, you’ll still be able to find burgers and hot dogs!
If you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission with food included, you’ll be able to choose a buffet meal in one of the park’s restaurants.
Any additional purchases throughout the day can be made a-la-carte (Xcaret food prices at the buffets are around $30 USD per person).
These are the restaurants at Xcaret:
- La Orquidea Coffee Shop
- La Cocina Restaurant
- El Manglar Restaurant
- El Yucateco Restaurant
- La Caleta Restaurant
- La Laguna Restaurant
- Dos Playas Restaurant
- La Peninsula Restaurant
- La Isla Restaurant
- Mexico Espectacular Dinner
- Pairing at Xcaret Cellar
In addition, premium food and beverage experiences can be purchased like the 7-course Mexico Espectacular Dinner and the Wine Pairing at Xcaret Cellar.
Most of the Xcaret buffet restaurants seemed to have similar menus, so choosing a restaurant really comes down to location and convenience.
I personally ate at La Peninsula restaurant, which I chose for the oceanfront views. I thought the Xcaret food was pretty mediocre, but it hits the spot when you need to refuel after the activities.
There are also a couple of bars located around the park where you can purchase alcoholic beverages. You can also order alcoholic drinks at the restaurants for an additional charge.
These are the bars at Xcaret:
- La Cucaracha Bar
- Las Rocas Restaurant-Bar
I ordered a margarita from the La Cucaracha Bar while waiting for the Horse Exhibition to begin and it was actually very tasty and not overpriced!
Xcaret Snack Bars
If you get hungry throughout the day, you can also pick up some snacks at a snack bar or coffee shop throughout the park.
At these stands, you can purchase food items like chips, slushies, bottled water, juices, and other refreshments.
These are the snack bars at Xcaret:
- La Playa Bar and Snacks
- Snack Venados and Snack Jaguares
Xcaret Review: Services and Amenities
Here’s an overview of the services and amenities available at Xcaret:
The basic admission does not include lockers so you’ll need to pay $5.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for the use of lockers.
If you purchase the Xcaret Plus admission ticket, you’ll get complimentary lockers in the exclusive Plus area. Lockers are large enough to hold a medium sized backpack.
Xcaret includes the use of life jackets for water activities. With the basic admission, snorkeling gear rental costs $10.99 USD and requires a refundable deposit of $25 USD.
The Xcaret Plus ticket includes complimentary snorkel gear with a refundable deposit.
Restrooms, Changing Rooms, and Facilities
In terms of facilities, Xcaret eco park also has several rest areas, dressing rooms, restrooms, WiFi, ATMs, and free parking.
Gift shops are also located around the park where you can purchase park photos, souvenirs, swimwear, and gear (like water shoes).
What’s cool about Xcaret is that there are cameras and “Xelfies” photo opportunities seamlessly embedded all over the park to get the best shots.
Tracking technology is inserted in your wristband so you’ll have to scan your wristband at the photo spots and then you’ll be able to review them all at the end of the day.
A Photo Pass can be added to your admission package upon purchase, or you can purchase them at the park gift shops on the day of the visit.
The Xcaret photo package can be expensive but is a great way to capture your memories if you don’t have a GoPro or waterproof camera.
📸 I personally purchased the Xcaret photopass and thought it was worth it! You can see a lot of my Xcaret photos throughout this post.
If you’re looking for Xcaret alternatives, there aren’t really any other adventure parks that offer the size or range of activities.
But if you’re looking for more adventurous activities, then I would recommend visiting one of the other Xcaret adventure parks like Xplor or Xel Ha.
See my Xcaret comparison guides for more info:
And if you’re interested in visiting more than one of the Xcaret parks, you can create your package and get an automatic bundle discount.
👉 Create your own Xcaret package by clicking here!
What to Wear to Xcaret Park
Below is what I would recommend wearing to Xcaret:
- Comfortable clothes: Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as there will be a lot of walking and it will be HOT! I personally wore workout shorts, a tank top, and tennis shoes, and then changed into my swimsuit once I was ready for the water activities.
- Swimsuit: Wear a swimsuit if you plan on doing any of the water activities or you just want to take a dip at the Xcaret beach. I usually always wear a one-piece bathing suit to be most comfortable when wearing life vests and equipment.
- Water Shoes: Bring water shoes to protect your feet while in the water and while walking to the different activities. Water shoes are especially great to have in the Xcaret Park Underground River or if you choose to do any of the premium water activities.
- Waterproof Shorts: I would also recommend wearing athletic or waterproof shorts to throw on over your swimsuit while you’re eating at the restaurants or in between activities.
- Rashguard: Another item that’s nice to have is a rashguard, which is a swim shirt to protect you from the sun and keep you warm in the water. The Underground Rivers are pretty cold and rash guards are recommended.
What to Bring to Xcaret Park
Here are the essential items to bring to Xcaret:
- Biodegradable Sunscreen: Regular sunscreen is prohibited at Xcaret so you’ll need to bring biodegradable sunscreen to protect the reefs and wildlife. You can pick up my favorite brand on Amazon here.
- Sun Hat: Bring a sun hat or visor to protect your face and shoulders from the sun when walking around Xcaret. It can be very hot and there are areas with little shade.
- GoPro or waterproof phone case: Bring a GoPro or waterproof phone pouch to take pictures throughout the day. There are a lot of photo opportunities around the park.
- Towel: Bring your own beach towel to save money and dry off after the water activities. Towels are not included at Xcaret so you’ll need to pay $3.99 USD plus a $10 USD refundable deposit for use of a towel. These microfiber beach towels are a great option because they are lightweight and dry quickly.
- Water Bottle: Xcaret involves a LOT of walking and temperatures can be hot all year round. Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day – they are water stations around the park where you can fill up your bottle.
- Change of Clothes: Bring a change of clothes to change into at the end of the day after the water activities. You’ll definitely want to have a dry change of clothes for the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular production.
- Money: Xcaret is not all inclusive and depending on which type of ticket you purchase, there will likely be added costs throughout the day. Bring cash or a credit card to pay for extras like equipment rental, snacks, drinks, alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, or optional activities.
Tips for Visiting Xcaret
Follow these Xcaret tips to make the most of your Xcaret experience:
- Get there early: Xcaret opens at 8:30AM so I would recommend getting there right when it opens. With all the activities that are included, the day goes by fast! Maximize your time there to get the most bang for your buck.
- Upgrade to the Xcaret Plus admission ticket: I personally went with the Xcaret Plus admission ticket, which includes a buffet lunch. You will likely be there all day long (8:30AM-10:30PM) so you’re going to need to eat at least once-if not twice! Plus, you’ll have access to the exclusive Plus area with complimentary lockers and snorkel equipment.
- Don’t forget your printed tickets: When booking Xcaret tickets online, you will be sent an email confirmation with your ticket voucher. You will need to print your tickets and present them at the ticket office when you arrive. Electronic tickets are not accepted. Be sure to print your tickets at home or they can usually be printed at the front desk of your hotel.
- Be prepared for a long day: A visit to Xcaret will be a very long day starting early in the morning to late at night. Be prepared for the heat and lots of walking – get a good night’s rest and don’t drink a lot the night before!
- Sign up for the optional activities ahead of time: If you’re interested in doing any of the premium activities, I would recommend signing up for them ahead of time online. The line to sign up for activities at the park was extremely long.
- Bring a water bottle: Xcaret is very hot so bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day and save money from having to purchase bottled water. There are water bottle stations to fill up around the park.
- Buy the photo pass ahead of time: You’ll get a discount on the photo pass if you add it to your package when buying tickets online. Consider this if you think you’ll want Xcaret park pictures. Just remember to scan your wristband and utilize as many of the photo opportunities as possible on the day of your visit. I personally bought the Xcaret photo package and thought it was worth it!
Visiting Xcaret Park: FAQs
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about visiting Xcaret:
Xcaret hours are every day from 8:30AM-10:30PM. You’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowds and get your money’s worth.
Transportation is not included in the Xcaret park price of admission. To get to Xcaret, you can go on your own, take a taxi, take the ADO bus, or add the roundtrip transportation service to your ticket for an additional $30 USD per person. A free parking lot is available on site.
If you do choose the Xcaret park transportation service, it’s important to know that transportation can only be added at the time of purchase, so be sure to add this when you’re buying your tickets. Xcaret buses pick you up at your hotel, resort, or designated meeting point.
Xcaret is suited for all ages and children under 4 years old are free.
Reservations canceled more than two days in advance of the date of visit are subject to a 10% administration fee.
Reservations canceled in 2 days or less before the visit date, or in case of a no-show, are not refundable.
More information on the Xcaret cancellation policy can be found here.
Xcaret Mexico Review Final Thoughts – Is Xcaret worth it?
So, is Xcaret worth it? I hope these Xcaret reviews and travel tips have been helpful in making your decision!
Personally, I think Xcaret is worth it if you have kids. As an adult, I was a little bored with the activities because it involves a lot of sightseeing and few adventurous activities.
But if I was visiting Xcaret amusement park with my nieces and nephew for instance, I know they would absolutely love all the wildlife encounters.
If you do visit as an adult, then I would recommend adding on one of the premium activities to make it more exciting. I personally did Sea Trek and it was the highlight of my visit!
So, Xcaret is probably best suited for families or adults that are culture seekers, nature lovers, or history buffs.
But overall the park is so beautiful, unique, and interesting that I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
So what do you think, are you ready to visit Xcaret?!