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Travel bucket list idea:

Xel-Ha

Last updated: 19 April, 2024

This popular water-based theme park with rides, slides, snorkelling and zip lines, comprises a series of broken, crystal-clear bays and glassy streams, teeming with brightly coloured marine life and fringed with low tropical forest. It’s great for families with safe, supervised activities and excellent snorkelling.

It also offers the chance to swim with captive dolphins, manatees and stingrays (though consider the ethics of keeping these animals in captivity before supporting them by participation).

Logistics

Price from: £80
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Xel-Ha is about 10 minutes’ drive north of Tulum on the main 307 Highway (about 30 minutes’ drive south of Playa del Carmen).

No pre-booking is required for admission, but book ahead for the swimming with dolphins and manatees experiences. Book online in advance for a 10% discount.

Eating and changing facilities are on site. The entry price includes a buffet breakfast, lunch and snacks.

When to do it

It’s open all year round, seven days a week.

The weather in the Mayan Riviera is generally good all year round, and the water is always warm enough for swimming. The rainy season from May through October sees the fewest visitors to Mayan Riviera. June through October is hurricane season. The dry season – November through April – gets busy everywhere.

If you can, avoid peak season in December to January, when it gets oppressively crowded, especially around Christmas and New Year.