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Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

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Pittsford, New York
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23 posts
7 reviews
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Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I have been following this board for a while but I haven't seen a debate over the choice of Xcaret or Xel-Ha. We can only choose one due to the cost.

Which do you prefer? Why? How is the food at each?

Any tips for a more successful visit?

Judie

CT
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2,117 posts
38 reviews
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1. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I have only been to Xcaret but we really loved it. In reading TA I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

Xcaret is a large property and we really loved the night show and turtle exhibit. We bought the dinner/night show tickets at admission which was well worth it. You get better seats and the dinner is served in several courses and it was good. The show was spectacular.

We ate lunch at the furthest point of the lagoon near the boat that goes out for scuba/snorkeling. It was beautiful and the food was good but pricey.

The only thing we didn't like was the snorkeling in the man made river. Very slow and no fish.

Have a great vacation.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Cancun
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1,747 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I prefer Xel-Ha, for the simople reason that is is a "natural setting" instead of a man made attraction park, which is the case for Xcaret. The first time I went to Xel-Ha was 32 years ago...can you picture paradise? That's what is was...now it is more crowded but it is still a litlle paradise.

Minnesota
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564 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

We (me, husband, and 2 teenage daughters) have done both and prefer Xel-Ha. For your package price you can eat and drink all day long whenever and wherever you want. At Xcaret you get coupons (that you have to keep track of all day) good for one meal and 2 waters/sodas and chips/snack.

Xel-ha had very good snorkeling, floating down the lazy river on inner tubes, jumping off courage cliff and watching others dare to do it, rope bridge.

Xcaret is more zoo-like, and so big that you seem to walk forever to get around to see things. The show at night is good, but is all in Spanish, and for us got too long. We left 10 minutes before the end to beat the taxi rush of everyone leaving at the same time.

Milwaukee
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for Milwaukee
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10,254 posts
62 reviews
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4. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I have only been to Xcaret. We loved it.

From what I have read of Xel Ha it is mainly beach activities. If that's what you are looking for you might prefer Xel Ha.

Xcaret has a nice beach, lagoons, underground river and snorkeling, but also has the zoo, eco exhibits and Mayan cultural exhibits.

We really enjoyed the dinner and night show at Xcaret. It was expensive, but we thought worth the price given that it included apps, dessert and 2 glasses of wine. Yes, the show is in Spanish. I am not sure how they would translate the Mexican Hat Dance into English?

Vancouver
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64 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

Try this.

Get on Collectivo in Playa. pay $25 pesos. Get off at overpass to Akumal. Walk 300 meters to Half Moon Bay, put your snorkel gear on and swim out to the area with "grass' on the bottom and you should run into turtles grazing. do not touch them, simply float above them and wait. They will soon rise for air and you can slowly glide with them only a few feet away.. also watch for rays, tropical fish.

Then take a short taxi ride to Yal Ku lagoon. Entry was $110 pesos per person. Swim around the calm waters looking at all the lovely fish. i saw a huge (4-5 foot long) barracuda in the sandy flats out towards the mouth of the lagoon.

I think you may not want to pay the $67.50 US for Xel Ha after that. Unless you eat a ton and drink a bunch, them it may be worth it. both the lagoon and bay were super easy to snorkel in. No worries at all.

To come back, walk back to highway, when you see a white van with Collectivo coming, wave your arm, if he has room he will flash his lights and pull over, if not he simply keeps going.

have fun.

Wayne

Omaha, NE
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628 posts
81 reviews
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6. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I agree with maxglide! There are so many cool things to do on your own in this area. Another must do is the Dos Ojos Cenote. We took a short cab ride from Tulum (after we had visited the ruins) and it was one of the most beautiful places we have ever been.

Pittsford, New York
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23 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

OK, tell me about Dos Ojos Cenote....

Canby, Oregon
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144 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

Where do you get the snorkel equiptment if you go to Akumal? I've heard of this and would love to go. Is there anything there, like a restaurant or a place to get a drink? Is this crowded? Thanks.

Chicago, Illinois
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285 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

TOTALLY agree with maxglide - head down to Akumal. Amazing beach and snorkeling. Go to Half-Moon Bay and snorkel with giant sea turtles. While you're there stop by La Buena Vida for awesome ceviche and happy hour $5 killer margaritas. You'll have more fun and spend a fraction of the money!

Chicago, Illinois
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285 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Xcaret or Xel-Ha?

I know you can rent snorkel gear there - there are a few different diving/rental shops. Not sure what they charge though. If you can fit it in, buy your own in the states and just bring it. Or - we actually bought our snorkel gear on our first trip to PDC years back. We walked over to the huge WalMart off of 30th. Super cheap and we still have them. La Buena Vida is a wonderful bar/restaurant right on the beach. Great food and an amazing happy hour from 5:00-7:00 (or that was their hours last summer). Also, Turtle Cafe has wonderful food too. I can't recommend Akumal enough. We always stay in PDC at the Luna Blue - Akumal, by 10:00ish pm is usually pretty quiet and sleepy. We love PDC at night. Have a great trip!