Xel-Ha is one of those brilliant accidents – where nature’s handiwork meets man’s creativity. It is located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and 75 miles (122km) south of gorgeous Cancun. The drive to Xel-Ha is just an hour and a half down the coast from Cancun. It is a wonderful, breath-taking scenic trip.
Named after the nearby Mayan archaeological site, the Xel-Ha theme park opened in 1984. Since then, the popularity of its facilities and attractions has never flagged drawing people from all over the world.
The Xel-Ha park area is created by the ox-bow curve of the coast and peppered with numerous tiny islands. The area is pockmarked with numerous caves and grottoes. The incredibly blue waters are populated by innumerable varieties of fantastically coloured tropical fish and underwater plants. The waters are a mix of fresh underwater springs and the ocean’s salty variety adding to its amazing allure. It is without doubt the world’s largest and most beautiful natural aquarium.
The sea-side of the park is protected by a shark fence making it safe for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming. The top attraction in Xelh-Ha is the opportunity to swim and interact with the super-friendly dolphins. You can hug these endearing creatures, which are not averse to giving you kisses or a speed thrill by pushing you over the water on their snouts.
There are other thrills to be enjoyed at Xel-Ha. For the daring there is the Trepachanga, a river crossing activity where you hang on tightly to one rope while trying to keep your balance on another. Then there is the zip-bike ride that has you soaring over the jungle giving you a bird’s eye view while making your heart race. Test your grit at the Stone of Courage as you jump off a rock into the crystal clear waters below.
The fun and adventure is topped off with a trip to the buffet tables for a mouth-watering breakfast and lunch. The choices are huge – international cuisine, sea foods and Mexican foods.
Spending the day at Xel-Ha is an experience that will beat most others hands down.