Xel-ha (which is pronounced as shel-ha) is a popular excursion attraction and one of my personal favourites. It is a fantastic place to explore and unwind on your Riviera Maya holidays.
This spectacular Ecological Park features breathtaking scenery and a stunning natural aquarium.
There are over 20 activities to enjoy here, ranging from snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayaking and cycling.
There are two mysterious cenote caves to explore and if you're feeling really adventurous then you can take the leap off the legendary 'Cliff of Courage'.
The Mayan translation for Xel-Ha is; "where the water is born." The name seems quite apt, especially when you glance out at the panoramic views of the picturesque lagoon. It is an enchanting experience to discover the colourful marine life at the park. If you spend time snorkeling in the lagoon, you can identify beautiful combinations of tropical fish.
Snorkeling is a great way to spend time at the ecological park. Many people spend their entire day just swimming around the surface studying life beneath the water.
It doesn't really matter whether you are young or old, this experience can be enjoyed by everyone.
As you make your way around the jungle paths and mangroves you can also encounter a wide variety of Mexican animals in the lush, green surroundings of their natural habitats.
Some visitors to the site head straight for their favourite attractions, whilst other people just venture around discovering new and exciting areas of the park to enjoy. For example, it is a great experience to stumble upon the mysterious Mayan Cave or delve into the depths of the cenote caverns for the first time. Or at certain times of the year, if you venture out to the cove area, you can witness Green Sea Turtles starting their annual migration process.
You could of course, also just spend a relaxing afternoon on the hammocks and watch everybody else rushing around to embrace the park activities.
The Xel-Ha Eco Park has an all inclusive option.
I generally like this idea because you haven't got to worry about taking your wallet, purse or handbag with you, as you make your way around the park.
For the all-inclusive price you get as much food as you can eat for breakfast or lunch and a selection of delicious drinks of your choice from the bar.
There is a breakfast buffet between 9:30-11:30am, lunch usually starts from 12pm. The food varies from traditional Mexican food to a range of popular international combinations. It is a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early at the buffet or just after change over times in order to get the best choice of freshly prepared food.
Every time we have visited the park, the trip has been equally enjoyable
and fun. I will never forget the experience of my wife laughing
hysterically as I struggled to get to grips with snorkeling for the
Being a fairly adequate swimmer I felt there would be no need to equip myself with a life jacket.
Take my advice and avoid the embarrassment (no matter how good you think you are) grab that life jacket before even thinking about jumping into the water.
If snorkeling seems like to much hard work though, then you may enjoy a relaxing experience floating on the lazy river.
After reaching the end of the route, I could not wait to go back and do it all over again. The lazy river is also a great way to top up your tan as you take in the surroundings of the beautiful Mayan Riviera landscape.
You can also go for a bike ride, go hiking or swim into the cenote caves. If you're feeling really adventurous then cliff jumping is also on offer.
After taking part in all of those activities you will probably start to feel a little hungry. There are plenty of restaurants where you can relax and have lunch or bars if you just fancy a drink.
One thing to note when visiting the park is that you have to wear biodegradable sun lotion when snorkeling and diving.
You should use the biodegradable sun lotion rather than the usual type in order to protect the variety of marine life and maintain the local eco-system.
There are a range of facilities at the park, you can use the changing rooms when you arrive and lockers are also available.
Snorkeling and diving equipment can be hired or borrowed with a deposit. It is a good idea to wear wet shoes or sandals when you travel around the park.
There are many activities at the park to keep everyone entertained for the day. However there are also additional Mexico attractions for you to enjoy that are not included as part of the normal admission price.
These activities include the opportunity to experience swimming with dolphins at Xel-Ha.
Other additionally priced activities at the park include the chance to interact with Manatees and the option to relax and enjoy beauty treatments in the spa facilities.
There is also the possibility to enjoy a unique guided tour along the sea bed in a dramatic journey below the waters surface.
So if you're looking for things to do in Riviera Maya, then a day out at Xel-Ha offers a fantastic experience that you will not want to miss.
You may find the following package offer useful if you would like to book your Xel-Ha tickets…