Having visited the ecologically sound nature park of Xcaret,( Mayan for small inlet) before, I knew a half day would not be enough to thoroughly enjoy all this 200 acre park has to offer. You really need to spend a full day or 2 to leisurely visit all of the displays,activities and performances. If your time is limited to just a day, plan to go early and stay into the night. You wont want to miss the Xcaret's evening entertainment which includes an exciting re-enactment of the Mayan ball game and colorful Mexican cultural dance performances. If you can't devote that much time, I would still recommend visiting the park, there are activities for all ages. Xcaret is devoted to sharing Mexican heritage, culture and nature in an eco friendly way. Biodegradable sunscreen must be used when entering the refreshing waters at the park. It cannot contain any of the following ingredients: Benzophenone, Butil methoxydibenzoilmetane, Octyl metoxycinnamate, Octyl salicylate, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Ethylhexyl or Homosalate. Children are will enjoy collecting the stamps for their "passport" at each exhibit. Strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent for only $12.The park is open from 8:30 am – 9:30pm daily, Saturdays and Sundays are the best days to visit. It is located about an hour drive from Cancun, 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen and 30 minutes from Tulum.
MrTravelD and I wanted to revisit the Butterfly Pavilion, one of the largest in the world and the first in Mexico, it is one of our favorite exhibits! Butterflies are very important to the Mexican culture. Aztecs believed they hold the spirits of their great warriors. There is also a UNESCO world heritage site in Mexico, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere.
At the Butterfly Pavilion you walk though two hanging rope curtain doorways which keep the butterflies inside the 38,000 sq.ft. netted lush tropical garden. A small waterfall is at the entrance of the walkway which makes a nice photo opportunity.
There is also an exhibit depicting the various stages of the butterfly's life cycle. Xcaret's Butterfly Pavilion is home to 20 endemic species which are native to the Yucatan peninsula.
The free flying butterflies are most active in the morning so we recommend making a visit here early in the day. There are butterflies of all shapes, colors and sizes– we even saw blue butterflies. If are lucky, a butterfly might even land right in front of you!
There are 2 types of package categories at Xcaret, Admission to the Park packages and Xcaret Plus packages. The main difference in the Xcaret Plus package a delicious buffet lunch with beverage at one of 4 restaurants, 2 snacks during the day (your choice of soft drinks, water, chips or 1 beer) as well as access to the Plus Area ( an air conditioned area with locker, changing and shower facilities, snorkel equipment and towel-valued at $17) and a 10% discount on certain premium activities the eco nature park offers. Within each category there are options which include transportation, swim with the dolphins and 2 day packages. Both categories include access to more than 40 areas within the nature park. Food and drinks from outside the park are not allowed to be brought in becasue of this a Plus ticket would be my choice and I think it offers excellent value. Children between 40- 55" are 50% off the adult price, wee ones are free. If you only want to see the evening performances tickets are available. Parking is free should you decide to drive to the park.
I will write more about what we did in Xcaret in future posts, in the meantime a HUGE thanks to Delios our host and the staff at Xcaret for their gracious hospitality during our visit. You can find Xcaret on twitter and facebook.
I would also like to thank Ms. Ana Mari Irabien and her assistant, Eva Maria at the Riviera Maya Fideicomiso for inviting us to Xcaret for the day and sharing valuable travel information to the Riviera Maya. For the latest information on what to do in the Riviera Maya, you can like them on facebook and follow the Riviera Maya on twitter
Thank you to the management and staff of Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa and the Mexico Tourism Board for sponsoring the #MexDreams bloggers in Unlimited-Luxury® style! We didn't want to leave you not even for a half day but we sure are glad we didn't miss Xcaret!
,,,,,,,and a final shout to @TravelistaTara for making all this possible–MUCHAS gracias, amiga!