So my little brother just came to visit me here in Playa del Carmen for a while, and we all know what that means… I get to play tourist! One of the major items on our to-do list while he was here was to hit at least one of the 3 major park type attractions here in the Riviera Maya – Xcaret, Xel-ha or the Xplor Adventure Park.
Xplor seemed to offer the most activities – the longest zip lines in Latin America, underground cenote passages to swim surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites as well as ones to check out on a raft, and of course the amphibious vehicles to drive around the jungle and through water and caves.
Sounds like a blast to me – especially since they also have a great buffet included in the ticket price. Oh, and a juice bar as well. And free cappuccinos, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. Gotta fuel up between adventures, right? 🙂
Xplor Zip Lines
Be aware that the day is broken into two parts – and your tickets are only good for one of the two. The regular daytime opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm with Xplor Fuego opening at 6pm and going until 11 pm. We did the daytime one and we decided to hit the zip lines first – starting with the highest and longest route first, and then taking the shorter one that ends up with you in the water at the end of most of the runs.
Over 3.8 kilometers of zip lines and heights of up to 45 meters – that’s about 150 ft for my gringo readers – will send you sailing over the top of the jungle canopy at speeds of over 20 mph…. a great start to the day!
I wish I had brought my Go-Pro camera. The next time, I’ll have some killer video coming off the top of some of these towers.
Xplor – Buffet Lunch and Nap in the Hammocks
After the zip lines we hit the Troglodyte Restaurant and stuffed ourselves on a huge variety of food – everything from arracherra steak to seafood salad and pasta dishes. There were hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, chicken and many different kinds of cuisine from around the world.
Of course, no lunch would be complete with a mocha cappuccino and some caramel flan.
Not too far away from the restaurant was a place set aside to rest your body and digest your lunch. Many hammocks and lounge chairs set up under the shade of the jungle canopy provided a great place to grab a little post-grub siesta. A nice little 30 min nap gave time for the food to settle and recharge for the next adventure!
Xplor Amphibious Jeeps
Next up? We took the amphibious jeep type vehicles cruising through the jungle trails, over suspension bridges and down into the underworld inside some really cool caves. The majority of the caves had water levels that varied from cave to cave but cruising through those in total darkness, with only the weakish headlights on the vehicle was pretty damn cool…. it gave the whole experience a really neat Indiana Jones sort of feel.
Of course, the jeeps were toned down quite a bit and they just didn’t seem to go quite fast enough. For me anyway. Still, keeping safety in mind, they were a lot of fun. I think doing the park at night time and hitting those trails by torchlight would be very cool as well.
Xplor Underground Cenote and Stalactite River
This was by far my favorite of the day. This ancient underground river flows through caves that have been around for millions of years, creating stalactites and stalagmites that have formed, drip by drip, over thousands and thousands of years. The visual experience of swimming through this was absolutely awe-inspiring.
I seriously could have spent so much more time in this part of the park. Except that the water was not the warmest. Lol… but the caves themselves were simply amazing.
We were able to get on the last rafts of the day and see more of the underground river and cenote in relative warmth. I am still in awe at the cavernous underground tunnels and rock formations. It’s seriously like stepping into another world – or another time.
We finished up the rafting and grabbed a quick shower in the locker room/rest room area. It felt good after a full day and we still had a little time to hit the gift shop on the way out. I was playing tourist but not to the point of spending $25 on a coffee mug. Cool stuff available for those who don’t mind parting with their hard earned cash for a couple trinkets.
Xplor Mexico is a must do activity for anyone visiting the Riviera Maya… For those of you like myself who are fortunate enough to live here, you will have plenty of chances to go with people when they visit you here. I’ve had no shortage of people coming down this way and this is one thing I would recommend to anyone coming to Playa del Carmen or Cancun.