Xcaret -Mayan for “Small Inlet”

Xcaret – (pronounced Ish-Ka-Ret) is located just south of Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula. You cant possibly miss it! With more than 40 activities we were in for a big day.

The parrots are big on arrival

The Macaws are the first thing you see on arrival.

If you’re looking for one spot that has nearly everything at your fingertips then this is it. Seeing as the place is quite huge with so much to do they offer a 2 day package deal. We were there from 9am till 9:00pm & definitely didn’t see or do everything.


Little D could stare in there for hours.

They have pretty cool aquariums scattered throughout the place. Plus an area where you can touch the starfish & some other sea creatures.

One of little D's favourites

One of little D’s favourites.

There is also a turtle release program on the beach but we were too late in the year much to little D’s dismay.

Cute thing only 3 weeks old

Cute thing only 3 weeks old

While looking for the beach we stumbled upon these stingrays who were swimming back & forth & acting very interested so little D put his hand in the water for a pat. We found out later they were coming up for food. One of the trainers then brought one up & asked who wanted to touch of course little D was first to raise his hand.  (They’re harmless as they have their barbs removed)


The only thing an Aussie thinks of in regards to stingrays is Steve Erwin. Luckily little D doesn’t know how he died.

While stopping for a snack these wild creatures came up for a taste. They’re a little scared but are pretty keen for food.


Wild Tejon who ventured over for a snack.

Something we really enjoyed is the 1,590-foot swim in an underground river. At the beginning they give you a life jacket & direct you over to some bags where you put your valuables & attach a padlock. Its returned to you at the end of the swim. Wearing a life jacket is required but can easily be taken off once in the water. I personally didn’t mind as its a 45 min swim & is much easier to float along when you need a break.

At the beginning

About to embark.

After that we were ready for some chill time & headed towards the river boat which happened to be a 20 min walk for a 15 min ride. Its very slow.. but peaceful.

Waiting for our turn on the boat

Waiting for our boat with A. Shelly

I believe this is an original Mayan carving at the entrance of a cave.

This used to be Mayan land

View from the River Boat

There was also a recreated Mayan Village we passed while on the river boat so we went back to explore. We saw how they slept, cooked & lived. Little D had so many questions.

Mayan life

Curious about everything.

Exploring further in we got slightly lost which is always fun until you turn a corner & are faced with a full blown skeleton & no info on who it is & how it got there!



There’s also a lovely inlet where you can play with the multiple floating rings, snorkel or lounge on a beach chair with drink in hand etc.

I lovely little inlet to swim in. (pic by Lewis)

(pic by Lewis)

I LOVE horses so seeing the Fiesta Charra was one of the highlights for me. I got little D into a good spot then stood on my tippy toes to watch… it gets pretty packed.

Horse show

This guy did a fantastic job with the lasso

After a really good buffet lunch with a lot of options to choose from we continued to explore.
Later in the evening we watched a musical journey that took us through the history of Mexico since pre-Hispanic times with 300 performers. I took a little vid. <– click.

Traditional dance

One of the many shows depicting traditional song & dance from each state.

We thought it was the end after that but as we were leaving we saw someone passing out info for the next show which takes you back to Mayan times. The line was horribly long so we decided to check out the mineshaft first.

The narrow way down

There’s a little door off to the side & not well marked. We were tho only ones in there.

Heading underground down a very narrow hole. It was really fun to run around the tunnels & happily no signs saying not to touch which meant little D could have a go with a pick axe, holding an old lantern & trying on a safety helmet.

Mining boy

Trying on an old miners hat

After our little exploration we headed  to the next show. The line had passed & luckily we got some seats. Little D was pretty bored in the previous show but loved this one!


Awesome show!

It was a fantastic with The Great Ball Game, a re-enactment of the Spaniards invasion + bringing Christianity to Mexico & another game involving a Ball on FIRE… for real!

Wild Man

One of the performers

 I know my 2yr old would have been fine had Migs been with us to help, but seeing as he’s in Oz I only took my 5yr old  who loves the adventure as much as I do. He can explore & walk for hours without complaint.

We also saw some Mayan ruins, a Mushroom farm, a Fish farm (stinky) Jaguar island, Spider Monkey Island (a bit of a let down) Giant Turtles (sad seeing them all after Akumal), Manatees, a Tapir that little D touched, Flamingos + so much more.
What we wanted to see & missed was the Butterfly Pavilion, Bat Cave, Stained Glass-Plaza & House of Whispers.

In hindsight I would have paid for the Xcaret Plus ticket instead of the Admission Ticket.
The Admission ticket is just that. You still have to pay for lunch, lockers etc. The Plus Ticket is all inclusive (not for the extra activities like swimming with the dolphins etc) but it ends up being cheaper. Book online 7 days in advance & its cheaper still.

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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

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  1. wow, that place looks amazing, love that macaw and those aqaurium windows 🙂

  2. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for adventures
    with kids

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