Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Sammie

How to Plan a Day at Xcaret Mexico [Guide 2022]

Xcaret Mexico

Oh Xcaret [pronounced ISH-caret], how you’ve been buzzing in my ear since I’ve arrived. “You CANNOT leave without going to Xcaret in Mexico!” “I take all of my visitors to Xcaret.” “XCARET MEXICO AHHHHH!”

Ok, got it. I’ll put the theme park on my list.

So weeks go by, plans change and low and behold we have our Saturday in Xcaret, all set and ready to go.

What is this Xcaret, Mexico you speak of?

Glad you asked because up until arriving in Mexico I still wasn’t sure. Xcaret is a nature park. Think Disney World but nature… I love a good theme park but as an adult they don’t tickle my fancy as much. However, Xcaret was a good time. Do I think it’s better than the beaming natural landscape encompassing the Yucatan?  No. But I’m happy to have checked it off the Mexico list. It is a wonderful option for most visitors to Mexico who want to experience as much as they can in the shortest amount of time possible. You have your nature, your traditional dance shows, your thrill seeking adventure activities, culture learning, and tacos.
If you’re still scratching your head after I told you it’s a nature park, let me elaborate. The park is divided into zones with different activities in each designated area. All zones reflect Mexico in some way, whether it’s plant life, animals, or exhibitions. It’s not so much themed as nature as it IS nature. And It is gorgeous. 
iguana mexico xcaret

What do you do in a nature park?

Right. Remember when I said it’s divided into zones? These zones range from an exotic bird aviary (LOVED THAT) and a butterfly pavilion to a natural river weaving through the whole park. There are shows all afternoon and activities available with the aquatic life. And when you’ve had enough walking around in your mandatory hot pink life jacket, you can relax at the beach with a cerveza.. *The life jacket is only mandatory for the snorkeling area and the river. It’s not mandatory for walking, but it seemed like a nice fashion statement. 


What to do at Xcaret in Mexico?

Here’s a list of what you can find at Xcaret in order of how we managed our day from 12:00 to 21:00.
*NOTE:  I am weary of tourist attractions exploiting animals for the general public and try my best to research ethical tourist attractions. Xcaret has received two international certifications; WAZA & ALPZA. These certifications are awarded to organizations with specimens under humane care using correct animal welfare practices. If you are concerned or have any thoughts on Xcaret Animal Ethics, please comment below, I encourage a forum I can learn and help others to as well. 

1. Regional Wildlife Breeding Area and Aviary

Loved this. I finally saw a Toucan! And there are more parrots than there are selfie poses.

2. The Butterfly Pavilion

This was beautiful but it didn’t live up to my image of being surround by hundreds of butterflies landing on my nose and me looking like a nature princess. However, still highly recommend it.

3. Snorkeling

We arrived and we left. There’s so much amazing snorkeling on the Yucatan coast, I don’t suggest wasting time at a park with hundreds of humans all trying to experience the wonder of ocean life together.

4. Underground River at Xcaret

If you can avoid the howling humans, this is quite enjoyable. Enjoy the fruits of your hot pink life jacket and gently float in and out of caves and towering trees for a chunk of the afternoon.

5. Coral Reef Aquarium

This part, entertaining as it was, felt more like a zoo than a natural exhibit. The park does have a dolphin enclosure to snap pictures as well, but out of sensitivity to wildlife I don’t suggest supporting these specific tourist attractions.

6. Horse Exhibition

This is your chance to see Mexican charros (cowboys) showcase the movement of Aztec horses lineage. Personally, I was impressed to watch the women ride side saddle as well as the lasso performance, not something you’d typically see in Chicago.

7. Botanical Gardens

I lost myself in here. We went just before it closed and it felt like we were the only ones in the whole park. Weave between the trees while learning about the natural herbage of Mexico.

8. Mexico Espectacular

This show was intense. A beautiful elaborate representation of the history of Mexico. I highly recommend it. It’s full of traditional dance from the different states of Mexico and reenactments of ancient games such as “pitz”, a game that involves bouncing a ball off of the hips without using their hands.
xcaret mexico

Highly Recommended

Xcaret Mexico Activities 

1. The Prehistorical Show

An impressive show of pre-historic dance immersed in the jungle.

2. The Mayan Village

An option to learn about the daily life of the Mayan people.

3. The Natural Pools

An escape from the crowds and some time to enjoy the sun!
xcaret mexico

How to get to Xcaret:

I would suggest by taxi or colectivo.

Most taxis should know how to get there by name. Remember, it’s pronounced ISH-caret. Not “Ex-Carrot”, not “Sh-carete”.

If going by colectivo you will want to get to Playa Del Carmen then take the Colectivo under the highway heading towards Tulum. Once again, everyone knows Xcaret so if you have any doubts about the bus; simply ask with a smile!

How much is Xcaret?

For the day pass it is $120. If you would like the PLUS pass it is $140 ($20 more than the regular pass). The plus pass includes a meal and though we did not opt for this option, I think it is a better value than buying snacks and food along the way.

xcaret mexico

Final thoughts of Xcaret?

The locals love this place! And for good reason! I think the park does a magnificent job giving you a dose of what Mexico can offer. However, I will always hold my ground and say you should experience the real Mexico, if the time allows it. Mexico is teaming with aquatic life right along it’s beautiful coastline, there are cenotes EVERYWHERE around the Yucatan and multiple ruins sites within an hour of this park. But Xcaret in Mexico has an amazing array of dance shows that I have yet to see outside in “real world” Mexico. Overall, I enjoyed it and it’s a solid way to kill a day of vacation.

If you’ve been to Xcaret Mexico and have tips or suggestions on how to make the most of it, please comment below!

Want more things to do in Mexico? Check out my recent post on CENOTE AZUL, located between Playa Del Carmen & Tulum!

Cenote Azul