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Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

Boston...
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Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

My family of three, two adults and one 5 year old are planning to visit riviera maya mid april this year and we are trying to make a choice between Xel-ha and Xcarate, with so many reviews its confusing us.

We love to snorkel and would like to explore the sea life, sea trek looks interesting but we want to do only one park.

Any suggestions? Which of the two park offers more value for the price, as the tickets can get pretty steep. What is the food scene like? is it worth taking the complete package with buffet at either of the parks?

I read on the xcarate website that sea trek and snorkeling are not included even in the all inclusive package... sad..

Also any suggestions for other must-do things around Playa de carmen? Our resort is in the vicinity.

Thanks in advance..

Thanks in advance...

Little Rock...
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280 posts
42 reviews
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1. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

My husband and I have been to Xel-Ha twice and to Xcaret once. I believe with a child Xcaret is probably more family friendly. Xel-Ha activities seem more oriented towards teens and adults. If I was bringing a small child with me, I would opt for Xcaret Park. That is just my opinion.

Meridian, Idaho
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1,182 posts
36 reviews
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2. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

My recent thread might be helpful:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150812-i23-k42408…

Also, have you read this one:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150812-i23-k29860…

They both sound fabulous but we (4 of us in our late 20s) have decided on Xel-ha.

Toronto, Canada
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2,097 posts
86 reviews
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3. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

We have done Xcaret twice and Xel ha once. Xel Ha was my favorite while hubby liked Xcaret better. I think it depends on your love of snorkelling. Xcaret offers more 'land' things to do, while Xel ha is mostly water based. I would also agree that 5 might be too young to fully enjoy Xel ha. Our son was 7 when we went, and he is a very proficient swimmer - he loved it.

Cheers!

CO
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5,477 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

"Also any suggestions for other must-do things around Playa de carmen?"

There are all kinds of things to do around Playa del Carmen, snorkel with turtles in Akumal Bay, cenotes, Mayan sites...no tours needed. The Jungle Place Monkey Sanctuary, horseback riding at Rancho Baaxal, Crococun and just enjoying the beach :)

I have never gone to any of the eco-parks, too expensive for me. All have reviews on here (always remember one titled "Yucatan in a can").

Be sure to check out all the useful info linked on the right under Top Questions, from the airport, public transportation, activities, restaurants, travel and forum tips. Enjoy your trip

St Paul, MN
Destination Expert
for Playa del Carmen
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12,832 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

5 yr old is very borderline for a trip to Xel Ha. I'd have to give the edge to Xcaret as well. Come back to Xel Ha when the 5 yr old is 7 yrs old. You will be back:-)

Grand Rapids
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2,299 posts
66 reviews
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6. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

I would give Xcaret a huge edge with the age of the youngest. You can do so many things at Xcaret, no worries about missing Xel Ha on this trip.

I think you will like it just as well. whether it be floating down the underground river, or looking at the animals, your little one will love it. Don't forget to stay for the nightly Mayan show. Best show I have been to in yrs.

Enjoy

Art

Boston...
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16 posts
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7. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

Thank you all, so very much!! So Xcarate it is.....

Have one more question, how convenient is it to go to cozumel from PDC, in terms of transportation and once you arrive, anything special there to see?

I know our hotel will provide the info but I just want to know any personal experience that was good and we don't want to miss it!

Thank you, again...

Toronto, Canada
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2,097 posts
86 reviews
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8. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

Simple to go to Coz by ferry from PDC. We do it every trip. Only buy a one way ticket as there are 2 different companies, and you by buying one way - you go with whichever company is in port when you want to leave. The snorkelling is great in Coz.

Boston...
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16 posts
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9. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

Thank you, will keep that in mind...

Little Rock...
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280 posts
42 reviews
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10. Re: Xcarate or Xel-Ha?

We loved flotating the underground rivers at Xcaret Park (there are several). I think your 5 yr old will too. Here is an article on the park for more info on traveling there with children. Have fun...I know you will!

…about.com/od/…xcaret.htm