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“Good Experience”
Review of Xel-Ha

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Xel-Ha Park All-Inclusive Admission Ticket
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Xel-Ha Natural wonder awaits you! Xel-Ha is simply unique! Xel-Ha is one of the world's most beautiful, natural aquariums. And it's all inclusive too!!! Swim and snorkel surrounded by rainbow colored fish who have made the river and inlet their home, take long walks in the middle of the jungle, ride a bike, take the train or just relax while enjoying the lazy river! All these activities are included too!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 28 November 2013

We very much enjoyed spending the day snorkeling, riding the ziplines, and hiking around the park. We thought that we had scheduled a trip to both the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Xel-Ha park but found out once we arrived that somehow we had only booked the Xel-Ha park. Initially I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough to do for an entire day, but I was wrong. There was plenty to do from jumping off cliffs into the stream and hours of snorkeling. The food was also quite good for a water park. I do agree with some other posts that the marine life is not going to compare to snorkeling in Hawaii or off some secluded reef. However, it is an all-inclusive water park and I don't think that can really be expected based on the number of people that come to the park. We saw a few stingrays and multiple other types of fish...it isn't a reef experience but it is a very fun enjoyable water park experience that is unlike parks you might experience in the U.S. It is definitely a money-making site as you can pay to swim with dolphins, sting rays etc. As much fun as that may be it is a little pandering and certainly nothing natural about those experiences. The forced life jacket wearing is a little uncomfortable but if you don't let it bother you expect to have a good time. I would recommend it if you want to snorkel in a wave free, safe environment with the family. It is a fun experience but has a bit more of the theme park feel than I would prefer.

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Thank bswarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,362 - 6,366 of 15,663 reviews

Reviewed 26 November 2013

I struggled to write this review. The best way to recommend or not recommend Xel-ha is that if you have never been snorkeling or have not had the opportunity to get in the ocean with sea life then this adventure might be for you. If you have snorkeled before or are somewhat familiar with sea creatures then...DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME GOING! What they don't tell you in advance is that you cannot freely swim or snorkel as all guests must use a life-jacket. Reef life is non-existent as there are rocks and rubble but you will see a variety of fish species.

Xel-ha is really a place to promote eco-tourism to those with limited experience in the wild. It's a place for those who have never considered the concept of conservation, limited experience with recycling, or simply those that do not know how to appreciate life under the seas. Because Xel-ha markets to any and everyone they set guidelines based on the least common denominator which are frankly people who can barely swim, people with no conscience for nature, individuals who do not consider bio-degradable lotions, and those who are accustomed to thinking the world is their trash can. Consequently their guidelines have to both protect what limited beauty is still there and aid in teaching the masses about conservation. It is for this reason I cannot blame Xel-ha because they do a service by helping to educate and promote the unaware or uncaring. In addition, they bus in thousands of people daily and the day's adventure is rather expensive and crowded. I do not feel the location can sustainably and ecologically support such large crowds without a detrimental impact to the natural life they pretend to conserve. Money is king for a site like this so I don't see them limiting visitor counts any time soon, and that I do think is an improvement they can make.

2  Thank SRH_sea2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Excellent all inclusive full day of 'aquarium' activities. There is so much to see and do it takes the day ... and more - we would not recommend taking the half day option. The marine life, quality of water, hygienic allocation of equipment, thoughtfulness to the environment, cleanliness, abundant availability of food and drink, friendliness of the staff and the natural environment you are in are exceptional and nothing we have experienced before. The sunscreen swap is essential and don't forget the underwater camera. We picked a rainy day - torrential at times, but that did not detract from our enjoyment - we were getting wet anyway ! Take the opportunity to swim through the rocks and small inlets where so many varieties of marine fish look for cover - and then inquisitively follow you, amazing. There are other options to swim with dolphins, experience time with a Dugong, Snuba, etc but at an additional price. We had enough to see and do without paying any more. We hope you have as much fun as we did.

1  Thank Adeski1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

It was raining on the morning of the trip, so we thought it would be a bit of a wash out, but it actually didn't make much difference. It probably worked out better, because we didnt have to worry about being sun burnt, or too hot. They don't let you take sun cream in, because of the chemicals, but they give you free samples of chemical free sun cream (not that we needed it at all!). They also dont give you maps to save on paper, but they have giant maps throughout the park, and you can just take a picture on your phone to refer to. They provide free lockers and towels, but you have to pay a deposit for snorkel hire (refundable later). they also have showers etc, so you don't feel too horrible for the journey back. The only thing I would say is that the locker rooms were very cramped, and the lockers are small as they only let you share one between two people.

They have restaurants and a couple of bars as well, and everything is included so you dont pay extra for food. we went to the one by the red lockers which was a mexican buffet restaurant. the food was not too bad, but they could have had a bit more choice.

We walked round to the start of the river, which took about 30 minutes because we kept stopping at everything we went past along the way, (zip lines, clife diving etc), and then at one point it was raining so hard that we had to hide in one of the locker blocks for about 10 minutes for it to stop a bit. by this point we were only 1 minute from the starting point anyway. Some how we missed the bag drop point for the river, so we had to clip our shoes to our life jackets, but they were only flip flops anyway. we did the tubing, and they had photographers everywhere taking pictures (you can buy these on the way out).

as it was raining, the current was a bit stronger, so I did struggle at the end to get to the cove by the restaurant to get off the tube, (I think it took me about 30 minutes). Also, the floating bridge was so much fun, trying to cross it, without stopping, with the massive waves coming in!

They have loads of stuff to do, you can swim with the dolphins, see the manatees, meet the stingrays, (for extra charges though), and they also have a boat with a glass base, so you can see the fish without going in the water if you wanted to.

I would definitely go back, only next time I'm taking insect spray, as I got bitten so many times!

1  Thank Bonster85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 November 2013

Wonderful all inclusive option with some additional buys to add on. Snorkeling, lazy innertubing, hammocks, cliff jumping into cenote/fresh water river, food & drinks, etc. Worth admission.
You MUST BRING your own sunscreen to obtain a "swap" for their biodegradable samples or pay to buy their biodegradable sunscreen. If you swap, they return your sunscreen when you leave.

2  Thank way2gorjus4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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