Sunday, July 23, 2017

Client Review: Xel-ha and Xplor

When visiting the eastern coast of Mexico, you have a lot of options for excursions. Allison and her family including her 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son explored Xel-Ha and Xplor. 

Xel-Ha is a natural, aquatic theme park about 76 miles south of Cancun. Here's their promotional video: 

The first one we went to was Xel-Ha.  Overall, a very good day! 

The bus picked us up pretty early from the resort.  The drive was pretty long- I think maybe an hour and 20 minutes to get there.  Once we got there, it was easy to get in and get started doing activities.  We checked our snorkels and masks and took the kids snorkeling first.  They had a few "reef" areas that had quite a few fish.  Although not a true snorkeling excursion, it was a good intro to the activity for our kids. 

We then decided to go to the lazy river.  It was a short ride on a trolley up to the spot to get your floats, but the line was pretty long.  It then took a while to get into the lazy river, and it was packed.  You float through some really gorgeous twisted vines of some sort for awhile.  Then you float to the more open areas where you can cliff jump (there are 2 cliff jumping areas).  Down a little further, there are zip lines and a couple of ropes courses.  While they are all a lot of fun, I recommend waiting until the afternoon to do these activities.  We went back to this same area after lunch, and there were hardly any people or lines.  We were able to do the activities quicker and enjoyed them more.  Lunch was pretty decent but nothing fancy (all food and drinks included with your entry fee).  After lunch, the kids played in the kids area for a little bit- a ropes course overhead, a little playground, a couple of small water slides, and some lily pads.  Then, we went to the other side of the park and really enjoyed the rope swinging into the water as well as the underground cave.  Some of the cenotes and other things in that area weren't as exciting as we thought they would be, so we went back to the lazy river/cliff jumping/zip lining.  The day went by really quickly.  We enjoyed the excursion and would recommend it.


Xplor is a more adventurous park focusing on activities like Zip Lining and ATV rides. Here's their promotional video: 

A couple of days later, we went to Xplor.  The bus picked us up a little later, but the ride was shorter (maybe 45 minutes).  When we got there, it was completely packed and took awhile to get checked in.  They gave us helmets to wear all day, and that rule was enforced.  It was a little tricky to find your way around in the beginning.  A map in the center had a lighting system to show which rides were full and which had room.  The zip lining was full, as were the ATVs, so we decided to try the one where you paddle through the cave first.  It actually ended up being super crowded as well.  We had to wait in line for a long time, and then when were you going through the cave, the paddle boards were nearly on top of each other trying to get through.  The scenery was cool, but it was obviously not real rock and was man-made. 

After that, we went to the ATVs (the sign said they were busy but not full).  Surprisingly, the wait wasn't very long at all.  The course was very fun and a lot longer than any of us figured it would be.  We would have loved to have done it a second time if time had allowed.  However, it was lunch time by that point.  Lunch was a buffet again, and the food was better than I expected.  We ate quickly so that we could go to the zip lining, which the sign still said was full.  It was the main reason we chose this park, so we decided to just wait in the line regardless.  It was a pretty long wait (probably a little over an hour) to get to the first zip line, but after that, the lines at each one after that weren't too bad.  There were two courses, so we went with the shorter course that also had a shorter line.  The towers were really high, and the views were spectacular.  The first several, our kids could tandem ride with us.  After that, they rode on their own.  There was a water slide mixed in there, and some water entry zip lines.  We were a little stressed towards the end because the course was taking awhile, and we weren't sure if we were going to make it back to our bus in time.  We had enough time to run back to our lockers to change, use the restrooms, and then race to the bus.  We wished we had a little more time here, but we enjoyed the park and would also recommend it.  

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