Well, it seems natural to beconfused about the Eco parks in the Riviera Maya. The most famous and bigger ones are Xcaret, Xel ha and Xplor. I recommend devoting a whole day to visit each eco park, but if you don’t have a lot of time, I’ll explain here the differences between them and the main attractions.
Xcaret is and ecological and archeological park where you can also enjoy of Mayan traditions and learn about Mayan history. Xcaret is a good combination of cultural, ecological and archeological tourism. You can fin some Mayan pyramids, reconstructions of Mayan towns and typical constructions of the colonial period. You can find a butterfly farm, and aviary, a botanic garden, marine turtles, the Jaguar Island, flamingos, and you can even swim with dolphins! Yes, if you want to learn about Mayan culture and enjoy the flora and fauna of the Mexican Caribbean this is the right choice. Besides the latter, you there are a lot of night and day shows that represent the ancient Mayan way of life.
Xel ha is the right place to enjoy water. You can find an amazing Caribbean seaside, ancient caves and incredible underground rivers. The sea in Xel ha is very beautiful, clean and well conserved. Snorkeling is one of the favorite activities in this park. You can find a vast set of fish living close to the beach. There is an underground river (one of the many in the Riviera Maya) that flows into the Caribbean, where you can gently snorkel or float enjoying the unique blue color of the fresh water or the jungle around you. The Xel ha cave is mystical covered cenote. Here you can relax and enjoy the spectacle of the sunlight reflecting in the water. If you get to visit the cave, you’ll understand why the Mayan people considered the cave as a sacred place. If you want to enjoy the variety of activities related with the magnificent Caribbean waters, this is the right place.
If you want adventure, Xplor is the right place, no doubts. Xplor combines the best of the jungle and the excitement of adventure. The main activities in Xplor are zip lines, amphibious vehicles that you can drive yourself, underground rafts, stalactite rivers and a hammock splash. If you want to feel like a jungle explorer, this place is the right one. The activities are really cool! I would say that a highlight is the 360-degree view you can get of the jungle when you are up experiencing the zip lines. If you are lucky, you can even glimpse a crocodile down in the jungle. I saw one!
So, recapitulating quickly: If you want to learn about Mayan culture and history, and enjoy the flora and fauna of the Mexican Caribbean, go to Xcaret. If you want to really have a ball in the water (whether sea, river or cenote), you should definitely go to Xel ha. If you want to feel like a jungle explorer, go to Xplor (the name of the place speaks for itself).