Exploring Xcaret

Unique eco-archaeological park in the Riviera Maya offers days of adventure

Maya and Mexican events are held at Xcaret Park in Riviera Maya, such as the Life and Death festival in November.
When thinking of a theme park, the first things that come to mind probably aren’t subterranean rivers, Maya history or archaeological ruins. But that’s exactly what you get at the unique Xcaret Park in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

Xcaret (pronounced “Sh-ka-ret”) Park was built on a 200-acre ancient Maya archaeological site, offering visitors the chance to enjoy multiple attractions that showcase the ecological and cultural diversity of Mexico in exciting and entertaining ways. The sheer size and variety of the park makes it impossible to see everything in one day, though it may be fun to try.

Popular daytime activities in the park include swimming in underground rivers, viewing native animals, visiting a butterfly pavilion, enjoying a coral reef aquarium, relaxing on the beach, exploring archaeological ruins and even swimming with dolphins. When night falls, there are a number of spectacular live shows, featuring more than 300 performers in a living showcase of Maya traditions and Mexican culture.

Other cultural offerings at Xcaret include the chance to visit a traditional Mexican cemetery located inside the park, as well as the opportunity to participate in ancient rites. During a temazcal sweat lodge ceremony, visitors can experience a ritual that the ancient Mayas believed could help balance mind, body and spirit, by entering a temazcal and allowing the heat and steam from hot stones to purify and heal you.

Those who want to take their time experiencing Xcaret should consider staying at the Occidental Grand Xcaret Resort, located next to the park. The resort offers guests unlimited access to the park during stays of three nights or more, with the added benefits of a private guided tour, reserved seating during a night show, discounted meals and beverages, and other perks.

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