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Day excursion to Xel Ha

Chilliwack
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32 posts
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Day excursion to Xel Ha

We plan to be at Excellence Playa Mujeres July 16 - 27. We would like to do some serious snorkelling. Any recomendations?

Has anyone taken the Xel Ha excursion from the hotel? If so, how long was the drive? Cost? Who was it booked through?

Thanks for your help

St. John's, Canada
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1. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

WE did it from Tulum Bahia... back in 2002. So the cost has changed not doubt and I can't remember the price anyway. The ride from EPM would be in the 2 hr range. We booked through the hotel. Price are comparable. Lots of water activities. Snorkeling mostly. Inner tubes down from the river. Slow moving water. Sorry couldn't be of much help.

LTS

St. John's, Canada
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2. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

I think they do have snorkeling trip directly from the resort.

Fairfield, CA
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3. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

My hubby and I are in the same boat. Pretty much the only thing we want to do, besides go to Isla Mujeres, is find some really good snorkeling. Any more information would be much appreciated!

Btw relaxed, we will be there from the 12-18 of July! See you there!

Chilliwack
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32 posts
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4. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

We will need to wait for some other advice on this. See you on the 16th or 17th

Reading...
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5. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

If my estimates are correct, I believe Xel Ha would be at least a 2 hour or more trip from the resort. My husband and I were at Xel Ha in 1992 (back when he was still my boyfriend!) As I recall, it was nice but I believe it was a manmade sort of lagoon with decent snorkeling. The park has been developed to include many more activities now than it was when I was there. It is rather touristy and there are a lot of other people flopping around in the water to scare away the fish. I would not go back as there are many other better snorkeling options in Mexico. I would recommend heading to Isla Mujeres on your own and negotiating with a private snorkel tour operator on the island and I believe you will get a much better experience for a lot less money. Also, you will not be away from the resort for an entire day. If I understand correctly, there is a tour company that will pick you up by boat at the resort and take you out for about 2 hours and it was reasonably priced (around $40 or so per person).

oakville, ON
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for Oakville
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6. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

aqua world has a kiosk directly outside building 8, and they offer a ton of tours ... some of the tours will leave right from EPM beach, and are for EPM guests only. The jungle tour is fun... a trip down a mangrove lagoon on a jet ski type boat out to the ocean, and a snorkel trip in the national reef park.

Isla has some private tour operators that offer excellent snorkel and dive tours, at great rates, as well.

Since you are there in July, you could also look into one of the tours that takes you snorkelling with the whale sharks in open ocean..... about $195 pp.

Kennewick...
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7. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

Xel-Ha has gone way downhill over the past few years. Yes it is still a pretty place but you do not see all the different marine life you used to. Also the water gets pretty cloudy because of all the people. I would say it is a 90 minute drive from EPM.

The Jungle tour is also unimpressive IMO, Yes it is fun but the the place they take you to snorkle sucks. Nothing but a bunch of silver fish and sargent majors and a dead reef.

The best bet for snorkling from the EPM will be to taxi to Puerto Jarez (5-10 minutes) and catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres. From there you can either meet your tour operator if you booked online prior to going or go walk up to Noirth Beach where there are many booths that will book you a nice reef tour for about $25pp. There are two very good reefs off of Isla to snorkle that are not dead and you will see many different fish.

The only problem with pre-booking the snorkle trip is you cannot plan for the weather. Best to just go over there on a day when you know it will be nice. When you get of the ferry there will be many people who will take you to a dive shop that will arrange a private snorkle trip for you.

Also Puerto Morelos (about 20 minutes south of Cancun) has a fantasic live reef that is some of the best snorkling anywhere. If you can book a tour from the resort that goes there then problem solved also.

We will be at the EPM between July 9-15 and are planning a day trip over to Isla to snorkle and hang out on Playa Norte and the Sunset Bar and Grill.

Edited: 13 June 2010, 05:36
California
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444 posts
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8. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

Isla does have some good snorkeling, we were there 2 years ago and had a really fun day. It has several areas to snorkel, some fun bars and many shops to look in and spend some of your money. The ladies in some of the shops would give my husband a beer and a chair so I could shop longer in their store! We had a great time on Isla Mujeres.

Xel Ha is not worth the long ride or the price you will pay to get there IMO, We were there 3 years ago and were not impressed.

We have also done the Jungle tour through Aqua World and I am not sure we would do it again. Riding the jet ski was fun but the place they take you to snorkel is not impessive and the park "rangers" follow you around to make sure you touch nothing. I understand why they have to do this but we were very uncomfortable with them following us around, as if they were waiting for us to do something wrong.

Another great place to snorkel is Cozumel, we loved it there. We took a jeep tour around the island, you get to drive your own jeep and play follow the leader with a group of about 10 jeeps and a guide. They take you to the other side of the island where you have lunch and get to snorkel for a couple hours. Then they take you back and give you time to shop and have a couple drinks before you catch the ferry back to Playa del Carmen. Can't remember the price but thats a fun tour.

Hope this helps!

Fairfield, CA
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9. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

Looks like we'll get to knock out some great snorkeling at Isla too! We really don't want to travel farther than we have to. Thanks so much for the replies!

Chilliwack
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32 posts
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10. Re: Day excursion to Xel Ha

Thanks for all the input on Xel Ha. I am now convinced .... STAY away from Xel Ha. Too much time is lost in traveling there.

If anyone is planning to go to Isle before July 16, let us know what your snorkeling experience was.