Last week I mentioned we went on some shore excursions during our last cruise. Snorkeling was awesome, but so were the underground lazy rivers in Xcaret. Xcaret is a nature preserve and water park in Cancun, Mexico. It has a bunch of stuff to do, but Mr. BFS and I wouldn’t know what to tell you about except for the rivers, since that’s where we spent almost all of our time. 🙂
When they refer to their “underground” rivers, what it means is that they have river routes you can float through that go through caverns, small canyons, and through tree roots. It’s pretty amazing. We’ve been to a man-made lazy river at Schlitterbahn, but this place makes that look like a kiddie park.
The water is almost perfectly clear and goes from 5 ft deep to 8-9 feet deep throughout the whole river. You are wearing a VERY boyant life jacket the whole time and the river never moves very quickly at all. There are two entrances to different paths of the same general river. One river path took us through caves and caverns while the other took us through small canyons, what looked like a flooded chapel, and finally through a tunnel of mangrove tree roots.
Each path is about 2000 ft long and exits are spread along the route so you can get out if you’d like. If you paddle through at a regular pace, you can easily complete each route within 30 minutes or so. We took about an hour since we were barely paddling at all and just taking in the sights. The water was a slightly chilly 75 degrees, but it felt perfect to us within just a few feet. I’d highly recommend this place for anyone that’s near Cancun at any point.
According to its site, the basic admission fee is $69 per person, but we paid $99 through Carnival Cruises. That did include the rountrip tickets for the 45 minute ferry ride we had to take from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen as well as the 10 minute bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret. Remember sea-sickness medication for the ferry ride if you have the tendency to get sick at all…it wasn’t a smooth ride. The only other thing we spent money on was a $4.30 nacho and Pepsi combo. If you wanted to eat real food, it was a minimum of $29 per person for a Mexican buffet or restaurant, so I’d suggest eating before you go.
I’d also suggest booking through your cruise line if that’s how you are getting to Mexico since so much can go wrong along the way and I rather not be left behind. Cruise ships will not wait for late passengers unless they booked their excursions through them.
Here’s a little photo montage of Xcaret:
Have you ever enjoyed a lazy river? If so, where?