We had already made our excursion plans with Lomas Travel, and had decided this day to go to Xcaret. We were to meet the bus at the Mayan lobby at 7:15 am.
That was early.
We had ordered room service the night before and they came exactly one minute before we had asked - very punctual.
We stopped at a couple of other lobbies at Iberostar, and then drove down to Xcaret, about 30 minutes south.
The bus was very nice, and they showed us a video of the park with lots of information. You do need to use special sunblock at Xcaret. We knew this so we had planned to buy some there. The tour guide had some for sale and we got a bottle for $12.
Our guide asked where everyone was from, and in our bus of 40 plus people, there were only about 8 of us that spoke English. He asked where the rest were from in Spanish, and we heard Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.
Once we got to Xcaret, the guide made sure we had our brochures and knew where everything was. We were celebrating so had decided to do the dinner package with the show so we made arrangements for that before we started exploring.
It was only about 9 am and a little chilly, so we headed for the bird aviary.
This thing was huge. You entered at the top of the aviary, and wound your way down along the paths, going deeper into the jungle.
Birds were flying everywhere.
Some were just walking around, or hanging out in trees.
These macaws were very friendly.
It was neat to see the species of birds change as we went lower into the aviary.
Right next to the aviary were the butterflies.
All through this area were platters with fruit, which they sat on.
It was the only time they were still, so I didn't get any other good photos of them.
We walked through other parts of the park and saw a few creatures. One was the elusive jaguar, which we could barely see in his tree. There were also these large ant-eater looking things that we called R.O.U.S's.
Everywhere we went there were wild iguanas and lizards wandering around.
Finally we felt it was warm enough to hit the water.
At Xcaret you take the underground river and float to the ocean. There are three paths, and we chose the Mayan.
The river went through lots of tunnels. One was actually so dark, that they had a rope on the side you could hang onto so you wouldn't bump into the walls.
Here we are about to go through a waterfall.
And at one point you go through another tunnel and when you look up you see this beautiful thing:
After 45 minutes or so, the river ended in the mangroves.
We were getting hungry so we stopping in at one of the numerous buffets for lunch. We chose the Caribbean themed one.
After lunch we decided to go snorkeling.
There is a little hut to get your equipment at, and then a large protected lagoon you can snorkel in.
We both had lots of fun diving down to see everything.
There were a few fish to see too.
So for a couple of hours we floated, dove, and explored the lagoon.
After we had had enough we got out and went through other parts of the park. Xcaret has an extensive orchid farm, with thousands of plants.
We also went on the boat ride, through a peaceful stream.
Finally, we went up the Sky Tower. This lifted you up ten stories so you could see all around. We could see Playa del Carmen, the coast, and jungle.
By this time is was getting close to dinner. Each night at Xcaret, there is a show, called Mexico Espectacular. It is a very well done show and is included with your admission.
We decided to do the dinner, which means you get great seats and dinner through the show.
The menus were pre set and lit up so that you could see what was coming next.
Our welcome drinks.
The show lasts for 90 minutes and begins by going through the history of Mexico.
Here is a reenactment of the ancient Mayan ball game.
The Conquistadors from Spain.
Showing the mixture of Mayan and Spanish cultures.
Dinner was delicious. it was excellent food with great flavors. The best presented dish was the dessert, called the Xcaret Flowerpot.
The dessert was served on a grass bed (fake grass) under an edible flower.
The second half of the show showcased different areas of Mexico and their traditional dance and music.
This was the Mexican Hat Dance.
One of the highlights was the Palo Volador, or Pole Flying. Five men were at the top of this 90 foot pole, and danced and played music. Then they tied their feet to a rope and slowly wound around as they came down.
The Grand Finale.
We had such a great time watching the show and eating the delicious food.
We easily found our bus, and got back to our hotel around 10 pm.
Just enough time to make a couple of Havanas and Cokes, and sit on our patio and listen to the waves outside.
Day 1: First Day
Day 2: Checking out the Grand, Bike Ride, Tony's
Day 3: Xcaret
Day 4: Beach Walk, Kayaking, and the Gourmet Restaurant
Day 5, Part 1: Akumal, Cenotes, and Caverns, Oh My
Day 5, Part 2: Japanese Restaurant and Lobby Bar
Day 6: Beach, Kayaking, and the Italian Restaurant
Day 7: Tennis, Walking on the Beach, A Surprise
Day 8: Our Last Day, Boo Hoo