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Xel Ha - snorkel away

snorkel at xelha eco park mexicoXel Ha is a well priced eco-park ($19 adults, $11.40 age 4-12) with a large lagoon for snorkeling. It is a great place for first time snorkelers, and people who want don't want to spend the $40 to get into Xcaret. Inner tubes and life vests are free, and you can rent snorkel gear or bring your own. The park is open daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm.

The lagoon is calm, even on windy days, so snorkeling is easy. The coral is mostly dead, but Xel Ha feeds the fish so there are plenty to see. For a peso, you can feed the fish too. This works well if some of your group gets in the water while one person throws food at them. This way you get to see a swarm of fish all at once. For an extra fee you can swim with the trained dolphins.

There is a river that starts in a spring in the mangroves. It is a relaxing float down on inner tubes, and you can dump all your belongings in the free locked bags provided at the river entrance. On the river you can climb and jump off cliffs or snorkel, but you might want to float and save your energy. The river ends at one side of the lagoon and you have to swim across the whole lagoon to get back to the beach and restaurants.

Xel Ha has a few fresh water cenotes in the park, and hidden beaches with hammocks for relaxing. On the far side of the lagoon, near the bridge, check out the Mayan cave. The restaurants, snacks and sodas are not over priced, so xel ha eco park mexicoyou can enjoy lunch in the park.


You can swim with captured dolphins at the park. Call 984 8730701 for dolphin reservations. It is the same number for reservations at Xcaret and Xel Ha so be sure to specify Xel Ha. Be sure to tell them the age of the swimmers since several of the programs have age/height restrictions.

  • Interactive experience $55 (30 minutes)
    daily 12:00, 2:00, 3:00
  • Educational program $30 (15 minutes)
    daily 1:00

If you take a bus to Xel Ha, you can wait right by the highway for the free Xel Ha bus to take you down to the park entrance.

Xel Ha was a Mayan town

Past Xel Ha is the entrance to the Xel Ha ruins. They are open from 8am to 5pm and the entrance fee is $2. The ruins are small, and mostly unexcavated, but the price is right. Further down on the left are two dive shops for Dos Ojos, a cenote and large cave system.

Caribbean Coast Travel can set you up with tours and transportation to all the popular Mayan Riviera destinations.

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