Theme parks offer vacation attractions for the whole family, and you've probably never experienced entertainment like this. Xcaret and Xel-Ha in Cancun's Riviera Maya region represent the latest innovation in theme parks: They incorporate the assets of their tropical surroundings into exciting activities that introduce the heritage and history of Mexico to park visitors -- especially children.
Xcaret is noted for its unusual underground river passages. These passages were originally used by the Mayans for stealth warfare. The coral-and-limestone ceilings of the passageways have been chiseled a bit higher and wider to allow for the easy passage of visitors bobbing through with life jackets. You can also snorkel in a lagoon, swim with the dolphins, see animal exhibits, and visit Mayan ruins and a re-created Mayan village. Xcaret presents an extravagant evening show that begins with an exhibition of traditional Mayan games. The show also features a cast of 200, who perform folk dances and folk songs.
Although smaller in acreage, Xel-Ha offers a full day's activities. It features a large lagoon for snorkeling, ruins to explore, hidden beaches with hammocks for relaxing, and a Mayan cave. If you're looking for an authentic lazy river ride, you'll find it here in a spring-fed river that has just enough current to take you on an easy trip downstream. You can also investigate Xel-Ha's deep limestone cenotes.
Xel-Ha is home to more than 100 species of birds and 350 species of plants, and its surrounding jungle offers a variety of hiking trails.
Continue to the next page to learn about Mexican traditions that continue today: the Day of the Dead and Night of the Radishes festivals.
Mexican Vacation Information
Mexico Tourism Board - Los Angeles
Address: 1880 Century Park East, Suite 511
Los Angeles, CA 90067