Xel Ha Review

Xel Ha Review: Is this Riviera Maya water park worth it in 2022?

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Are you interested in visiting Xel-Ha adventure park in Riviera Maya Mexico and wondering if it’s worth it? You’ve come to the right guide!

I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, and have become an expert on the Xcaret adventure parks.

And I know just how overwhelming all the Xel-Ha park information can be when you’re first learning about it online. That’s where I’m here to help!

In this comprehensive Xel Ha review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about visiting Xel Ha adventure park including:

  • A park overview
  • Pros and cons
  • Full activity reviews
  • Food and beverage reviews
  • Services and amenities
  • Visitor info
  • Money-saving tips
  • And more!

Ready to find out if Xel-Ha is right for you? Let’s dive in (pun intended!), starting with a quick overview chart:

OVERVIEW

Xel Ha Adventure Park

Xel-HA

🏆 Best XCARET PARK FOR WATER ACTIVITIES

  • Activities: 20+
  • Known for: Water Activities
  • Food included? Yes
  • Basic Admission Price: $99.99 USD

What is Xel Ha?

Known for aquatic adventures, Xel-Ha Park (pronounced “Shell-Ha”) is located on an inlet of the Caribbean Sea, giving it a prime location for natural water activities.

Fun Fact: Xel-Há means “where water is born” because several underground rivers flow into the park’s Mexican Caribbean inlet.

Boardwalks and the Jungle Train connect the park’s cenotes, caves, hidden beaches, and hammock gardens. In the center lies an expansive natural pool, where colorful flags mark areas rich in marine species.

While swimming and snorkeling take the spotlight, the eco-waterpark isn’t just the region’s largest natural aquarium.

Manmade slides, high jumps, and water zip lines add dimension to the park’s natural beauty and there’s even a mile-long lazy river.

For land activities, visitors can explore the manatee sanctuary, Mayan ruins and small archaeological sites, jungle trails, and biking paths.

The park’s most famous structure is the Scenic Lighthouse, which you can climb for panoramic views over the park and descend down its spiral water slides.

👉 Book your Xel Ha tickets ahead of time by clicking here!

Xel Ha Reviews Riviera Maya Mexico

Where is Xel Ha?

Xel Ha is located in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region in between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. 

Situated on a natural inlet, the Xel-Ha Mexico location can be found closer to Tulum.  Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:

  • Playa del Carmen to Xel Ha: 40 minutes
  • Tulum to Xel Ha: 20 minutes
  • Cancun to Xel Ha: 1 hour 30 minutes

Xel Hà Map

How do you pronounce Xel Ha?

Xel-Ha is pronounced “Shell-Ha”.  The key to pronouncing the Xcaret park names correctly is to pronounce the X as either an “Ish” or a “Sh” sound. 

Xel Ha Review

Why visit Xel Ha?

There are many reasons to visit Xel Ha! It’s a one-of-a-kind aquatic adventure park that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Seamlessly embedded into the sea and jungle environment, Xel Ha offers visitors the opportunity to dive right into a completely natural setting. 

Aside from the park’s natural beauty and lush vegetation, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you busy, from swimming and snorkeling to zip lining, cliff jumping, and thrilling water slides.

And with unlimited food and beverage (including alcohol), the park provides great value for a full day all-inclusive experience.

Whether you’re looking for a beautiful place to relax or an action-packed adventure, Xel Ha is one of the best places to visit in Riviera Maya.

Xel-Ha Park Mexico

Who is Xel Ha suited for?

Xel-Ha is suited for visitors of all ages who love water activities and marine life. With both adventurous and low-key activities, the park offers a variety of attractions that will appeal to the entire family. 

Families with young children will appreciate the kid-friendly attractions and activities like Children’s World, the river float, and wildlife encounters.

And older kids will love the high speed water slides, overwater ziplines, and action-packed activities at Adventure World. 

Plus, grandparents and older individuals who may not want to participate in the more adventurous activities will still enjoy floating down the lazy river, hanging out in the inlet, or relaxing in the lounge chairs or hammock gardens. 

And even if you don’t have kids, adults will still have a great time on all the activities.  Plus, you’ll get to enjoy unlimited dining, as well as alcohol at the park’s open bars. 

Xel Ha with Kids

Who is Xel Ha not suited for?

Xel Ha is a large park which requires a lot of walking, swimming, and physical activity. It might not be the best place for you if you:

  • Don’t know how to swim
  • Don’t like being in water and getting wet
  • Have difficulty walking or swimming for extended periods of time
  • Are pregnant, have asthma, claustrophobia, hypertension, diabetes, heart condition, back problems, epilepsy, or recent injuries or surgeries

But even if you are not a strong swimmer, you can still definitely visit Xel Ha!

The park offers life vests and inner tubes all over the park and the waters are very calm. Plus, there are lifeguards to keep a close watch on all the swimming areas. 

You just might not have the best time if you are nervous about being in the water or are unable to participate in all the activities. 

La Caleta Inlet Xel Ha Mexico

Xel-Ha Activities Quick Overview

Here’s a quick overview of the activities at Xel Ha. Scroll down for detailed descriptions and reviews of these activities!

Included Activities

Xel Ha offers over 20 different activities included in the basic admission that you can do as many times as you want:

  • Scenic Lighthouse
  • Snorkel Xel-Ha
  • Trepachanga
  • Salpichanga
  • River Tour Xel-Ha
  • Xel-Ha Cave
  • Cliff of Courage
  • Chuc Kay’s Flight
  • Xel-Há Inlet
  • Bay of Caprices
  • Home River – Mangroves
  • Children’s World
  • “Ixchel” Grotto and “El Dorado” Cave
  • Mayan Wall
  • Jungle Trails
  • Chacah’s Garden
  • Cenotes
  • Floating Bridge
  • Land of Huh – Bike Ride
  • Xel-Há Nursery
  • Meliponary
  • Queen Conch Sanctuary Xel-Há
Xel-Ha Scenic Lighthouse

Optional Activities

These are the premium Xel Ha activities that come at an extra cost:

  • Sea Trek Discover
  • Adrenalina Xel Ha
  • Snuba Cenote
  • Power Xnorkel Xel-Há
  • Zip-Bike Xel-Há
  • Manatee Encounter
  • Spa Xel-Há
  • Stingray Encounter
  • Sea Trek
  • Snuba Caleta
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Fish Therapy

Xel Ha Pros and Cons

Next, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Xel Ha:

Xel Ha Pros

  • More than 20 activities
  • Unlimited food and drink
  • Beautiful scenery and natural pools
  • Lots of marine animals and wildlife
  • Serves alcohol

Xel Ha Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Activities are more low-key
  • Upgraded activities cost more
  • Further away from Playa del Carmen
  • Can get crowded
Xel Ha Sign 2022

Xel Ha Tickets

Xel Ha offers two different admission tickets: Xel Ha All Inclusive and Xel Ha Total:

Xel-Há All Inclusive

The Xel Ha All Inclusive ticket is the basic admission which includes all of the basic Xel Ha activities, unlimited snorkeling, food and beverage (including alcohol), plus the use of snorkeling gear and a free snorkel.

Current Xel Ha All Inclusive admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults: $99.99 USD
  • Children (ages 5-11): $49.99 USD

👉 Book Xel-Ha All Inclusive tickets on the official website by clicking here!

Xel-Há Total

The Xel Ha Total ticket is the upgraded admission and includes everything from the All Inclusive park ticket plus the choice of ONE premium activity: Adrenalina Speed Boat, Sea Trek, or Snuba Caleta.

Current Xel Ha Total admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults: $138.00 USD
  • Children (ages 5-11): $95.00 USD

👉 Book Xel-Ha Total tickets on the official website by clicking here!

Xel-Ha Mexico Playa del Carmen

How to Book Xel Ha Tickets

The best way and most secure way to purchase Xel Ha 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. 

👉 Buy Xel-Ha tickets on the official website by clicking here!

Xel Ha Floating Bridge

How to Save Money on Xel Há Park Tickets

There are a few different Xcaret discounts available–take advantage of these automatic discounts outlined below to get the best deal on Xel Ha tickets 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

Resident Discounts

Xcaret also offers a special discount for 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.

Xel-Ha Eco Park

Xel Ha Arrival Experience

Here’s what you can expect to experience when you first arrive at Xel Ha nature park:

Ticketing and Check-in

When you first arrive at Xel Ha, you’ll be directed to the ticketing check-in line.  You’ll need to present your printed tickets, as well as your photo ID and credit card that was used to purchase the tickets. 

In addition, everyone in your party will need to sign a liability waiver.  You’ll then be given a wristband, which is kind of like your personal identifier and can be scanned to view your photos throughout the day.

After you’re through the turnstiles, you are free to explore the park at leisure and can head to the restaurants for breakfast or straight to the locker rooms to store your belongings. 

Xel Ha Sign Park Entrance
Xel Ha Park Entrance

Locker Rooms

Lockers are included in your admission and there are 5 different locker stations throughout the park. 

You are able to choose whichever locker station you prefer (each is designated as a different color), and you’ll be given a locker key by the attendant.  

The lockers are a good size and large enough to hold a medium-sized backpack.  In the same area, you’ll likely have restrooms, changing rooms, snorkel gear rental, showers, and towel service. 

Be sure to hold onto your locker key carefully as there is a high replacement cost if you were to lose it.  You can wear the key around your neck or wrist.

Travelista Tip: It’s a good idea to choose locker rooms with a central location as you’ll likely be coming back frequently to check your phone, dry off, or reapply sunscreen. I personally went with the yellow locker room station, which is right by the main restaurant. 

Xel Ha Locker Station

Breakfast

Restaurants at Xel Ha are also open for breakfast, which feature a full breakfast buffet with both American and Mexican dishes. 

When I arrived, I asked the staff which was the best breakfast restaurant and they recommended Xula Vista (the international buffet), which is a 2-level restaurant and has the most options. 

Buffet breakfast items include American dishes like pancakes, french toast, eggs, and potatoes.  Traditional Mexican dishes like chilaquiles, tacos, and beans are also available.  

You’ll also find continental sides like fresh fruit, yogurt, and jello. Plus, you’ll have a server for drinks like coffee and fresh juices. Or you can even start your day with a margarita or frozen cocktail!

Xel Ha Breakfast Buffet

Xel Ha Map

Below is a map of Xel Ha aquatic theme park.  Basically, there is a large natural inlet in the middle (known as the “caleta”).  This is where you can snorkel, swim, and explore on your own.  

Jungle trails around the inlet offer walking pathways to the different water activities, cenotes, and attractions.  There is also a large “floating bridge” that connects the two sides of the inlet. 

Xel Ha Map
Xel Ha Park Map

Xel Ha Review: Activities

Here’s a detailed look at each activity and my honest Xel Ha reviews:

Adventure World

Adventure World is an area of Xel Ha natural park with the most action-packed and adrenaline pumping activities.  This is where you’ll find the water ziplines and ropes challenges.

Xel Ha Adventure World

The main activities at Adventure World are:

  • Trepachanga: This area has a few different water and ropes challenges.  One puts your balance skills to the test by having to cross two parallel, suspended ropes over the river. Another is a series of ropes, nets, and obstacles that you’ll have to traverse testing your coordination and upper body strength.  And the last is an overwater tightrope walk with nearly impossible odds!
Xel Ha Trepachanga Ropes Challenge
  • Salpichanga Zip-Lines: Salpichanga is an overwater Xel-Ha zipline that ends with a splash in the fresh water of the Xel-Ha inlet. There are two options for the ziplines – you can either go in a seated harness or hold on tight to a hanging handle.
Xel Ha Zip Lines

Adventure World Review

Rating: 8/10

Overall, Adventure World was one of my favorite activities at Xel Ha! I went here first to start the day with a splash and when I had the most energy.  

The Trepachanga challenges were tiring–yet very fun! It takes a lot of upper body strength to make it across them successfully.

And if you’re short like me, your height will be a definite disadvantage. In the end, many people will fail but it always ends with a laugh! 

Xel Ha Trepachanga
Xel Ha Activities Adventure World

The tightrope challenge seemed nearly impossible – I didn’t see anyone make it past the first few steps! 

I thought the Salphichanga zip lines were fun but they honestly aren’t that intense.  At just a few seconds from start to finish, the zip lines aren’t that long and aren’t super fast. 

After you experience the ziplines at Xplor, it is hard to compete! The Xel Ha zip lines are fun but probably best suited for younger kids. 

Scenic Lighthouse

The Scenic Lighthouse is the famous Xel Ha water slide and main attraction where you can climb to the top and descend by one of its four waterslides.  

Or you can just stay at the viewpoint at the top to snap some photos and get to experience some spectacular seaside views.

Xel Ha Scenic Lighthouse

Scenic Lighthouse Review

Rating: 9/10

The water slides of the Scenic Lighthouse were so much fun and probably my favorite activity at Xel Ha! There are four different slides in total – two blue and two white. 

For me, the white water slides were WAY faster but both were very fun, long, and exhilarating!  Be prepared to end with a splash as you’ll get popped out in a shallow salt water wading pool.

The only bad thing about the water slides is that there can be a line–I probably waited around 15-20 minutes.  I would recommend going to the Scenic Lighthouse before 11AM to beat the crowds. 

Also, you’re not allowed to bring a camera or wear water shoes on the slides so they will give you a separate locker at the base of the lighthouse to store your belongings.  

If you want a picture from the slides, you’ll need to scan your wristband at the top of the Xel Ha slide and purchase the photo package. 

River Tour

Xel-Ha’s River Tour is a mile long lazy river, where you can float with life jackets or on inner tubes, admiring the mangrove forest and other wildlife.

Xel Ha Park River Tour

River Tour Review

Rating: 7/10

I was pleasantly surprised by the River Tour and was impressed by the beauty of the mangroves and naturally enclosed tunnel.  You can choose to go on inner tubes (single or double) or snorkel down the river on a separate path.  

I personally opted to go on an inner tube and found it to be very tranquil and relaxing.  The only thing I disliked was that the current was not very strong. 

If you want to progress, you’ll likely have to use your arms and hands to pick up speed so it can get a little tiring after a while. 

The River Tour passes by Adventure World and ends in the Caleta inlet so you’re free to get off and explore other areas as you wish. 

Mayan Cave

Known as the Mayan Cave, this natural Xel Ha cenote is considered a sacred place where you can snorkel or float among natural skylights.

Xel-Ha Mayan Cave

Mayan Cave Review

Rating: 5/10

The Mayan Cave was pretty small and not that exciting, which is why I’m giving it a lower score. 

It’s basically just a small, semi-enclosed cave with a skylight and photo op in the center.  There’s really not much to do there other than take a picture. 

Snorkel Xel Ha

Snorkeling spots are available all over the park in hidden lagoons, cenotes, and beaches. 

You’ll be able to pick up Xel Ha snorkel gear around these sites to explore the sea life and underwater world.

Xel Ha Review-Snorkeling

Snorkel Xel Ha Review

Rating: 7/10

Snorkeling at Xel Ha eco park was another one of my favorite activities just because the concept is so different and unique. 

Basically, the Xel Ha snorkeling is completely self-guided so you can grab your gear and hop right in at many of the different entrance points throughout the park. 

Snorkel Xel Ha

Most of the locker rooms have snorkel gear stations where you can check out a mask, flippers, and life jacket.  Plus, you’ll receive your own free snorkel that’s brand new and never been used. 

Once you’re in the water, you are free to explore at leisure to get an up close view of the underwater world.  The marine life is most abundant near the large rocks in the inlet where you’ll get to see many different species of fish. 

While snorkeling, I saw many tropical fish, rainbow fish, and striped angelfish.  Some people nearby even saw a stingray!  Away from the rocks, the visibility of the water wasn’t that great (at least the day that I visited).  

But what’s cool is that you can snorkel all over the park so you can take your gear to the Xel Ha river, caves and grottos, and the more secluded coves to check out more unique snorkeling spots. 

Xel-Ha Snorkeling

Cliff of Courage

The Cliff of Courage is a 16-foot wall and climbing challenge where you can jump off the top of a cliff into the refreshing cold waters below.

Xel-Ha Cliff of Courage

Cliff of Courage Review

Rating: 8/10

The Cliff of Courage activity was a definite rush! I have a slight fear of heights so I honestly considered passing on this activity but worked up the courage in the end.  Like me, there were a lot of people that needed encouragement!

The jump was very exhilarating and the height of the cliff is just high enough to give a few butterflies.  But you’ll have a life jacket on which makes it feel safer and a little less intense. 

You can either climb up the rope and rock wall from the water to reach the jumping ledge, or just walk up to it on the jungle trails. 

Travelista Tip: If you have a GoPro, you are advised to hold the camera as high above your head as possible while jumping, which can make it challenging to get some good footage.  Scan your wristband before you jump in if you want to get the best picture. 

Cenotes

Xel Ha offers two beautiful cenotes to explore–Cenote Paraiso (Paradise Cenote) and Cenote Aventura (Adventure Cenote), which are perfect for nature lovers.  

Xel Ha Cenote Paraiso

Cenotes Review

Rating: 6/10

The cenotes at Xel Ha are beautiful but don’t offer any activities.  I was expecting there to be more things to do like swimming, snorkeling, or cliff jumping.  

However, swimming is not allowed. These cenotes are more just like tranquil spots to connect with nature and admire the beautiful natural scenery. When I visited, there was no one else around!

Chuc Kay’s Swing Rope

Located at the “Ixchel” Grotto and “El Dorado” Cave, the Chuc Kay’s Swing Rope is a large rope swing that you can take hold of and drop into the cenote waters. 

Xel-Ha Chuc Kay Rope Swing

Chuc Kay’s Swing Rope Review

Rating: 5/10

This was probably one of the least intense rope swings I have ever done so that’s why I’m giving it a low rating. 

The rope is situated right next to a cenote wall, so the swinging distance is extremely limited and just a couple of feet above the water.  It’s really not much different than just jumping into the water from the side. 

But once you’re in the water, you’ll get to swim through the “Ixchel” Grotto, which is a narrow river enclosed by rocks on both sides.  This was cool but was a little crowded. 

Xel-Ha Ixchel Grotto

Children’s Playground

Children’s World is the perfect place for young kids with a huge natural outdoor playground on land, as well as a floating lily pad obstacle course in the water. 

I didn’t visit Xel Ha with kids so I can’t give the Children’s Playground a proper review but I did walk through it to see what it was like. 

Honestly, it was pretty impressive and I wouldn’t have minded playing on it as an adult!  Probably the coolest thing was the treehouses and suspended tunnels over the jungle where kids can roam and play. 

Xel Ha Children's World Playground
Xel Ha Childrens World Tunnels
Xel-Ha Children's World

Other Activities

Other activities at Xel Ha water park include: Bay of Caprices, Home River Mangroves, Mayan Wall, Chacah’s Garden, Floating Bridge, Land of Huh Bike Ride, Xel-Há Nursery, Meliponary, and the Queen Conch Sanctuary Xel-Há. 

A lot of these aren’t really activities but more places and sights that you can stop and see on your way to other activities. They honestly weren’t too exciting. 

Xel Ha Chacah Garden

Optional Activities

Xel-Ha water park also offers these premium activities that come at an additional cost:

  • Sea Trek Discover: An underwater walk and exploration experience for families with a Sea Trek helmet allowing you to breathe normally under the water
Xel Ha Sea Trek
  • Adrenalina Xel Ha: A high speed jet boat experience that takes you out into the ocean with thrilling 360° twists and turns

  • Snuba Cenote: An underwater Snuba experience in a cenote that combines snorkeling and scuba diving
Xel Ha Snuba Cenote
  • Power Xnorkel Xel-Há: Drive a powerful motorjet under the water while holding your breath for a power snorkeling experience

  • Zip-Bike Xel-Há: A suspended biking experience through the jungle, zip bikes combine riding a bicycle and gliding on a zip line
Xel Ha Zip Bike
  • Manatee Encounter: Swim and snorkel with manatees that are part of a protected rescue program
Xel-Ha Manatee Encounter
  • Spa Xel-Há: An opportunity to pamper yourself with relaxing spa and massage treatments
Xel Ha Xpa
  • Stingray Encounter: Swim, snorkel, and interact with stingrays
Xcaret Adventure Kids Stingray
  • Sea Trek: An underwater walk and exploration experience with a Sea Trek helmet allowing you to breathe normally under the water
Sea Trek Xel Ha
  • Snuba Caleta: An underwater Snuba experience in the main Caleta inlet that combines snorkeling and scuba diving
Xel Ha Snuba Caleta
  • Swim with Dolphins: Swim, interact, and play with dolphins

  • Fish Therapy: A cleansing and regenerating fish spa for your feet 
Xel Ha Fish Therapy

I personally didn’t do any of the premium activities so I can’t review them.  But from what I could see, they looked very fun and well-organized. The Power Xnorkel was probably the most unique!

But in my opinion, the park offered enough activities included in the regular admission to keep me busy for the whole day! 

I honestly ran out of time at the end of the day and could have stayed longer. If I visit again, I will probably consider doing some of the premium activities to give them a try. 

⚠️ The premium activities at Xel Ha offer the ability to interact with dolphins, stingrays, and manatees 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 Xel Ha. 

Xel Ha Review: Food and Beverage 

With four different restaurants and bars to choose from, Xel Ha theme park offers a variety of options when it comes to food and drink. 

Xel Ha Restaurants

These are the 4 restaurants at Xel Ha that offer unlimited dining:

  • Xula Vista Restaurant: Large, two-level international buffet restaurant and bar with both Mexican and American cuisine

  • La Cocina del Pueblo Restaurant: A Mexican restaurant with a delicious regional buffet from the Yucatan peninsula

  • La Terraza Restaurant: A fast food buffet with American dishes like burgers and hot dogs

  • Jardín Corona Restaurant: A restaurant and bar with a grilled meat buffet 

Restaurants are open for both breakfast and lunch, and with unlimited dining included, you’ll be able to enjoy them as much as you want. 

Xel Ha Xula Vista Restaurant
Xel Ha Restaurant La Terraza

I thought the food at Xel Ha was just mediocre. The Mexican food was authentic and tasty but the American dishes were lacking in flavor and variety.  But there are so many options to choose from so you’re bound to find something you like. 

Travelista Tip: The lines can be very long at the restaurants (especially at La Terraza) so dine early if you want to beat the crowds. 

Xel Ha Bars

Perhaps the biggest perk of Xel Ha is that it’s the only Xcaret amusement park with an open bar included in your ticket.  

You’ll get to enjoy unlimited beverages from the domestic open bar like beers, margaritas, and frozen cocktails, which you can order at the many restaurants and bars throughout the park.

Xel Ha Bar Xula Vista
Xel-Ha Alcoholic Beverages

After all the activities, I ordered a frozen margarita and it was the perfect way to end the day!  Make sure to take some time to enjoy some drinks to get the most out of your ticket. 

Travelista Tip: The rest areas around the Xel Ha inlet are a great place for adults to relax and enjoy some drinks or tropical cocktails! You’ll even have lounge chairs and hammocks where you can chill out after a full day of activities. 

Xel Ha Margarita

Xel Ha Review: Services and Amenities

Here’s an overview of the services and amenities available at Xel Ha:

Lockers

Lockers are included in the ticket price where you can safely store your belongings throughout the day.  

Lockers are large enough for a medium sized backpack and you’ll be able to easily visit them throughout the day if you need to access your personal belongings.

Xel-Ha Lockers and Snorkel Equipment

Snorkel Gear

Snorkel equipment is included in the price of admission and you’ll be able to pick up flippers, masks, snorkels, and life jackets from the lockers rooms and head to the various Xel-Ha snorkeling spots throughout the park. 

A free snorkel is included so you’ll receive your own fresh snorkel and won’t have to worry about cleanliness.

Xel Ha La Caleta Inlet

Restrooms, Changing Rooms, and Facilities

Xel Ha offers very clean and well-maintained restrooms, changing rooms, and showers at many of the locker stations throughout the park. Free towel service is also available.

Although they can be crowded, they are a nice added benefit to clean up, dry off, and change your clothes after a full day in the water. 

Gift Shops

Gift shops are located near the entrance and a few different places around the park where you can purchase park photos, snacks, souvenirs, and branded gear (like water shoes, swimsuits, and rashguards). ATMs are also available.

As expected, the gift shops offer items at a premium price so I would recommend bringing your own gear to save money.

Xel Ha Gift Shop
Xel Ha Park Gift Shop

Photo Pass

What’s cool about Xel Ha 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 Xel Ha photo package can be expensive but is a great way to capture your memories if you don’t have a GoPro or waterproof camera.

Xel Ha Parrots

Xel Ha Alternatives

If you’re looking for Xel Ha alternatives, there are a few other options in Riviera Maya:

Jungala

Located at Vidanta Resorts, Jungala is the newest and largest water park attraction in Riviera Maya. The water park features extreme slides like a looping water slide, a free fall slide, a near vertical slide, and a high speed flume ride.

It also claims to have the longest lazy river in the world. And for adults or those looking for a more relaxed experience, you can also take advantage of their private cabanas and spa pool.

Jungala is another fun water park experience in Riviera Maya but it’s more like a traditional water park and not as natural or unique as Xel Ha.

Other Xcaret Parks

Grupo Xcaret offers a total of 8 adventure parks offering a variety of different activities for every interest. 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!

Xel Ha Hammocks Cenote

What to Wear to Xel Ha

Below is what I would recommend wearing to Xel Ha:

  • Swimsuit: You will definitely be getting wet so you’ll want to wear a swimsuit.  I usually always wear a one-piece bathing suit to be most comfortable on all the activities.

  • Water Shoes: Bring water shoes to protect your feet while in the water and while walking along the jungle trails.  

  • Waterproof Shorts: I would also recommend wearing athletic or waterproof shorts to throw on 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.  There are some areas of water in the Caleta that are much colder than others (even in summer!) so a rash guard will help to keep you warm. 

What to Bring to Xel Ha

Here are the essential items to bring to Xel Ha:

  • Biodegradable Sunscreen: Regular sunscreen is prohibited at Xel Ha so you’ll need to bring biodegradable sunscreen to protect the reefs and wildlife. You can pick up my favorite brand on Amazon here.

  • GoPro or waterproof camera: Xel Ha is action-packed and involves lots of water activities so you won’t be able to use your cell phone to take photos. Bring a GoPro or waterproof camera to capture some epic memories.

  • Change of Clothes: Bring a change of clothes to change into at the end of the day after the water activities. 

You do NOT need to bring a towel to Xel Ha as they are provided and you can use as many as you want. 

Xel Ha Lounge Areas

Xel Ha FAQs

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Xel Ha:

What are the Xel Ha park hours?

Xel Ha hours are every day from 8:30AM-6:00PM. You’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowds and get your money’s worth.

Is Xel Ha transportation included?

Transportation is not included in the Xel Ha price of admission. To get to Xel Ha, you can go on your own, take a taxi, take the ADO bus, or add the round-trip 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 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.  They’ll then pick you up by bus at your hotel, resort, or designated meeting point. 

What are the Xel Ha age restrictions?

Xel Ha is suited for all ages and children under 4 years old are free. 

What’s the Xel Ha cancellation policy?

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 Xel Ha cancellation policy can be found here.

Xel Ha Water Park Riviera Maya Mexico

Tips for Visiting Xel Ha

Follow these tips to make the most of your Xel Ha experience:

  • Get there early: Xel-Ha opens at 8:30AM so I would recommend getting there right when it opens.  There will be fewer crowds and you can grab breakfast and get an early start on the activities.  With all the activities that are included, the day goes by fast!  Maximize your time there to get the most bang for your buck. 

  • Don’t forget your printed tickets:  When booking Xel Ha 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. 

  • Bring a GoPro attachment: A lot of the water activities require you to use both hands to hold onto ropes and handles, which makes it difficult to use your GoPro with just the floating grip.  I would recommend bringing a wrist strap or other hands-free attachment. 

  • 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.  Consider this if you think you’ll want Xel Ha park pictures.  Just remember to scan your wristband and utilize as many of the photo opportunities as possible on the day of your visit. 

  • Bring eco-friendly bug spray: Xel Ha is located in the middle of the jungle and the mosquitos can be intense along the jungle trails, especially after 5pm. Bring eco-friendly bug spray to protect against insect bites. 

  • Leave time for drinks:  If it’s your first time to Xel-Ha, the day is going to go by very fast! Try to leave some time at the end of the day to enjoy a cocktail in the lounge areas or hammock gardens. The park closes at 6PM. 
Xel-Ha Park Mexico Rest Areas

Xel Ha Review Final Thoughts – Is Xel Ha worth it?

I hope this honest review and complete guide to visiting Xel Ha was helpful in planning your visit!

I honestly had such a great experience at Xel Ha and would recommend it to anyone that’s visiting Riviera Maya and looking for a fun day trip. 

With the Xel Ha All Inclusive admission ticket, I found it to be great value for the money with so many activities included in the basic admission, as well as unlimited food and drink. 

Xel Ha is the only adventure park in Riviera Maya that has an open bar so that is an immense value in itself!

Plus, what I loved about Xel Ha was the beautiful scenery.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it, where everything looks so natural and is so seamlessly embedded into the sea and jungle environment.  

Everywhere you turn, you’ll see bright blue hues, turquoise waters, and lush green vegetation–no filters needed! And the Xel-Ha activities were unique, action-packed yet relaxing, and a ton of fun. 

Xel Ha definitely lived up to my expectations and I daresay it might be my favorite Xcaret adventure park! 

So what do you think, are you ready to visit Xel Ha?!