A Guide to Visiting the Xcaret Park in Riviera Maya, Mexico

While I understand why some people are doubtful about spending a whole day of their vacation in Mexico in a park, I think Xcaret shuts that idea down.  Xcaret is an eco-archaeological park that offers a day full of being up close to exotic animals, floating down lazy rivers, and an amazing glimpse inside Mayan history and culture.  You can even opt to see the spectacular show that the park puts on at the end of night full of vibrant costumes and incredible dancing and singing about Mexican and Mayan history.

Xcaret Eco Park mexican Culture, Folklore and Typical Flavors, Underground rivers at Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Ruta Del Río Route

The black line of the park is full of up close views of exotic animals and creatures, including flamingos, manatees and spider monkeys.  This route also includes archaeological sites and a beautiful museums of different species of orchids.

Favorite things on this route:

Bat Cave & Entrance to the three rivers

Ruta Acuario Route

The blue route is more of an aquarium, where you can interact with and see live sharks, sea turtles, and coral reefs.

Favorite thing on this route:

Sea turtles – they had baby turtles, adolescent turtles, and adult turtles… I was in turtle heaven. 

Ruta Playa Route

This route has amazing views of the beach and opportunities for snorkeling and swimming the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Favorite thing on this route:

Andrew loved walking along this tight-rope to get the best views of the beach from the water.  Of course, I opted to lay and soak up the sun in the lounge chairs in the sand.  


Ruta Delfines Route

This is the route where you can enjoy the spa amenities (extra cost) and enjoy more snorkeling activities.  It also has natural pools by the sea and amazing beach-side restaurants!

Favorite things on this route:

The natural pools and the views of the Caribbean are amazing from this route.  This is also where the famous Xcaret destination sign is, which is a must-see.  We enjoyed an amazing seafood lunch buffet (with a taco station!!) at the El Manglar Restaurant that I would highly recommend.  Tip: With Xcaret Plus you get one free meal at any of the restaurant or buffet locations around the park and it is definitely worth the extra money if you plan to stay for the majority of the day.  

Ruta Pueblo Maya Route (White Route)

This is probably the route that will take up most of your time.  It is full of incredible activities such as the Butterfly Pavilion, the Mayan Village and Ball Court, Jaguars and Pumas, and the Mexican Cemetery called “Bridge to Paradise.”

Favorite thing on this route:

The Butterfly Pavilion was amazing! The butterflies are so close to you and you can spot the many different species and colors as you walk past.  One even landed on Andrew. 

Ruta México Espectacular Route 

This route holds the Chapel of Guadalupe and the Museum of Mexican Folk Art.  Although I did not have time to see either of these, I was able to see the Mexico Espectacular show that takes place here nightly.  We did however, enjoy the sunset from the top of one of the buildings, which was a perfect way to end of the day by watching the sun set on top of the palm trees.

Xcaret Park Night Show Witness the best show at Cancun and Riviera Maya over 300 artist on stage.

Favorite thing on this route:

The show at the end is exactly what is says it is- spectacular! It’s about two hours of dancing, singing, and information about Mexico’s long history.

Tips for the Park:

The park requires that you use biodegradable sunscreen so plan ahead or be prepared to buy some at the park.

It really is an all-day activity if you want to see the whole park, so plan to get there early!

I would absolutely recommend spending the extra money if you can to upgrade to the Xcaret Plus package, where in addition to access to the full park it includes access to lockers, snorkeling equipment, and a meal at one of the restaurants or buffets.

Check out these other parks that are similar to Xcaret:
Xel-Há Park at Riviera Maya Admission + Optional Activities at a special price.Xplor Fuego Park EN At night everything gets better enjoy zip lines, amphibious, rafts & underwater rivers, buffet meal included. Save up to 15% Off presale.


It was an amazing experience to see the exotic and beautiful ecological parts of Mexico.  Xcaret allowed us to see pieces of Mayan history and culture while still being able to explore the waters and jungles of the country that we fell in love with in the first place.

Have you been to Xcaret or any of the other parks or tours? Let me know in the comments!

Want to explore other parts of Mexico? Check out my ultimate guide to Cancun, Mexico here

Stay curious,
L x

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7 Replies to “A Guide to Visiting the Xcaret Park in Riviera Maya, Mexico”

  1. The park is wonderful! Will definitely visit Xcaret next time in Mexico!

  2. I have never been to Mexico but this park gives me a good reason to do so! This tight-rope walking seemed a bit scary. Was it high above the sea? These parrots look so cute!

  3. Oh what a beautiful place – I was here many years ago, but reading your article just made me think that I need to go back and take my hubby and kids! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Amazing! I don’t know why people wouldn’t want to spend a day in a park. I can ALWAYS spend a day in a park and it kinda looks like I could spend a week in this one! Definitely been added to my future travel list. History, wildlife, snorkelling, beaches AND performance art. Think I’d be in heaven!

  5. It would be awesome to experience the exotic and beautiful ecological parts of Mexico. It has long been on our wishlist but somehow couldn’t materialize a plan. But after reading this particular post, would definitely plan a visit soon!

  6. How beautiful is the park in so many ways, from the birds to the scenery!

  7. I’ve been to Riviera Maya but I didn’t go to Xcaret as I thought it would be mostly for kids – I was so wrong! Love all the animals especially the parrots!

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