Swimming along Xcaret’s Underground River

Perhaps one of our families’ highlights on a recent trip to the Mayan Riviera of Mexico was when we spent the day at the tourist attraction of X-Caret. We declined the invitation to purchase a day trip from our resort hotel as we had enough people to fill a mini-van Taxi cab which ended up saving us money on the transportation. Not only that, but it was a direct ride from the hotel to Xcaret without any stops at other resorts to pick up more passengers. The drive only took about 10 to 15 minutes and we told the Taxi driver as we got out that we would like him to pick us up for the return trip (a good thing as it made our trip home nice and quick).

Although Xcaret is being developed into a touristy Mexican Disneyland, it does have some wonderful natural features that are unique. It is a rather large park that is spread out over many acres of trails and river streams so it does involve a moderate fitness level to endure a day of walking around. As we arrived we were quick to rent a stroller for our 4 year old son. He didn’t sit in the stroller more than a few minutes the entire day but it was helpful in carrying all the snorkel gear (not necessary), swimsuits and other items we had brought with us.

Our first stop was to grab the life vests provided and head on a 1.5 kilometer swim down one of the two rivers that wind through the park. What was unique about this river was that one is an underground river that winds its ways through a series of caves and tunnels towards the ocean. If caves are not your cup of tea then a more open route is available to explore.

The rest of the park was more like a zoo and cultural potpourri of events. Butterflies, panthers, monkeys, parrots and iguanas are just of the few animals you will find. A Mexican rodeo, old Mayan Village, cemetery and underground caverns were among the cultural activities to amuse us throughout the day.

The second highlight was the two hour cultural evening performance which took us through the history of Mexico from the time of the ancient Mayans to the days of the Spanish conquest and then modern Mexico complete with its traditional dance and Mariachi bands. It was a fun filled cultural experience.

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