Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Xplor Park Cancun Beyond the Surface review.

Woke up at 6 am and our breakfast that we ordered the night before showed up promptly a few minutes after we got up.

Linh ordered the Mexican style omelette

I had the hotcakes with sausage, I was hoping for breakfast sausage, but it was served with a hot dog, oh well it's all inclusive anyways.


They also included a pot of coffee

and a basket of assorted breads. The basket consisted of chocolate croissants, muffins, bread, and what seemed like a ham and cheese flat bread. I ate that before I realized that I didn't snap a pic.

Had some Bailey's left over, so why not get the morning started.

It was still dark out.

Timelapse video of the sunrise from our room.

I decided to switch out my better camera for my waterproof point and shoot for Xplor Park. I knew we were going to be in the water and I didn't want to damage it.

If you do decide to go to Xplor Park I highly recommend bringing water shoes. I forgot to pack mine and brought sandals instead. You can get through the day with them, but it would be a lot more convenient if you had water shoes. Also purchasing tickets and transportation online is cheaper than booking at the hotel.

We were told to show up at the front lobby at 7 am sharp. They have a list of people that they have to pick up at every hotel and I doubt they'll wait for you. They have a pretty tight schedule.

We were the first ones to arrive.

While we were waiting at the hotel passenger drop off, I noticed they had a taxi price list for common travel locations.

A taxi to the airport from Fiesta Americana was 350 pesos (about $20 usd). It's quite convenient that they provide this so you know you're not getting hustled. We paid $55 usd (about 975 pesos) round trip. So it's wasn't too overpriced going with USA Transfers.


Our bus finally arrived. We checked in with our host, and they gave us a wrist band based on the excursion that we signed up for.



The bus stopped by a few other hotels and picked up other people.

After the bus picked up everyone from the hotel, we were taken to a bus station, where we all got off and got on to another bus that took us to our final destination. Each excursion is assigned a color, we were assigned orange. When you get off the bus you just follow the colored arrow on the floor that leads you to your appropriate bus.

It was about 10 minutes from our hotel to the bus station and from the bus station to Xplor Park it was about another hour.

They utilize your time on the bus. For the hour ride on the bus, they'll show you a safety video for Xplor Park and you'll also sign a waiver.




They also sell bug spray, eco-friendly sunblock, and waterproof phone cases.

We didn't have any sunblock, so we bought some. They do request that guest use eco-friendly sunblock, so that it doesn't contaminate the waters. So it was a good thing that we didn't bring our own.

Sunblock was 220 pesos (~$11 usd) and the bug spray was 160 pesos (~$8 usd). Apply sunblock first and bug spray after. They do accept usd, but since I brought pesos with me that's what I paid and I did notice that if you pay in pesos it's a bit cheaper than pay usd.

Whatever they don't sell on the bus you can get at the park. They had water shoes for sale. $29 usd.

We finally arrive at our destination.

Tried to snap a pic of the T-Rex crossing sign.... failed.



You get off the bus and just follow the line.



The park is gorgeous. You walk through the jungle a bit and end up underground.


Check in is located underground. The camera doesn't do this place justice. It's an amazing place. Since we already signed our waivers on the bus, all we had to do was give them the waiver and scan our wrist bands. We were each given helmets and a locker key that was attached to a wrist band. It took less than 10 minutes to get into the park.

There are a lot of camera's throughout the park. Your helmet is numbered and there's a chip on it, so you'll be doing your activities in the park and will get random camera flashes. You can purchase all your digital photos to print at home.

The first thing we did, was head to the restroom, lol. I was really amazed at how clean everything was.

Bro-cation. It's time to start our adventure!

We had to walk quite a distance through the park to find our locker, but it's a very scenic walk to get there.

Just seeing the water was getting me excited.


A map of the park. Everything revolves around the center of the park. There's a giant tile heart at the center. From the center you can navigate to all the activities. There are a lot of signs that will help you navigate you way through the park. You can easily get lost in the caves.


If in doubt, just follow the sign to the heart of the park.


The water was a nice 55* F.

There's also a few animal skeletons throughout the park. From what I can remember; we saw a Woolly Mammoth skeleton, two dinosaurs skeletons, horse skeleton, and some hairy bear-ish like creature. There could be more.




The heart at the center of Xplor Park.

We got to the locker, put on our sunblock, bug spray, and headed off.

My brother also visited Xplor Park when he visited a few months ago. His videos are what sold me on visiting Cancun and Xplor Park.

Linh has never zip-lined before. So that was our first stop.

There are two courses you can take. Jaguar or Deer. My brother did only one course of zip-lines and during that course there was a water slide located somewhere among the zip-lines.

We didn't know which course he took, but we wanted to find that water slide. So we jumped into the Jaguar course, but at the last minute we jumped over to the Deer course.


At the top of the first zip-line on the deer course.




Coming in hot.


They even have some zip-lines that go over the water.

Area view of the park from the top of the zip-line tower.

There are zip-lines everywhere.



After about 3 or 4 zip-lines I was wondering if we were on the right course for the water slide, I asked the worker and he told me downstairs.

Sure enough, there it was.

There are bridges that connect to other towers. I even saw a few platforms that didn't have any zip-lines. Maybe for future expansions?


The water slide was awesome, and a great little break from the zip-lines. The water was not cold at all, it was very refreshing.



A zip-line through a waterfall and into the waters.

when riding the zip-lines that go into the water, they require you do take off your sandals. This is where water shoes would have came in handy.

We were soaking wet walking to the next zip-line. Our sandals kept slipping off.

Another zip-line into the water.

The locker bracelet they give you with your locker key.

It was empty at the park. We probably finished the first set of zip-lines in like 30 minutes.
We were kind of hungry. The park has a main dining hall and two beverage huts. We stopped by the closest hut to grab some refreshments.

Around the beverage hut there are a bunch of hammocks and lounge chairs to relax in.

They were serving juices and milkshakes. Xplor Park is also all inclusive. So drink as much as you like. Only down side is there is not alcohol here.

There's also a small pool around the hut to chill in.





After our refreshments we headed off to the underground rafts.

Here's the Woolly Mammoth skeleton.

You have a choice of a single or double person raft. I wanted to snap pics so we got the double raft. It's a bit hard to navigate the raft. They have these wooden paddle that you wear over you hands and that's how you navigate.

There's also two paths you can take. A 30 minute path and a 15 minute path.

The raft loading area.




After rafting we headed off to lunch.

Lunch is served buffet style and is also all inclusive.


pastas, rice, beans, fish,  & grilled veggies.

Grilled burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and pork.


There was also an assortment of Ceviche.


The restrooms also provide bags for your wet clothes.

After lunch we headed to the amphibious vehicles.

The vehicles can fit up to 4 people. There are two courses. I drove the first course. I have driven sport quads before, and even though these were nowhere near as fast as sport quads, it was very fun. Especially since it was a slow weekday, there was hardly anyone on the course. So I was able to go full speed for a while.

The course takes you over bridges

into caves and there are also some pools of water that you run through.

It was a blast, we got off and headed to course 2.

This time Linh was behind the wheel.

unfortunately he got caught behind another car rather quickly. There are plenty of places to pull over and yield to the vehicle behind, but they never yielded.

It was a bit frustrating getting stuck behind a slow car. If you don't want to go fast, please pull over for other cars to pass.

Course two takes you into caves also.

If you have even been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, it feels exactly the same, only difference is your actually driving.

Saw an Iguana while on the course. Wasn't even scared of us. We just drove past him or her... I don't know.

Our next adventure lead us to the Stalactite River swim.

You pretty much walk over, they give you a life jacket and you're on your way. There are two routes you can take. A 5 minute route and a 30 minute route. I highly recommend water shoes for this activity.

There are lifeguards throughout the swim route






A skylight we saw on our way through.

There are several areas for you to get off and exit, if for some reason you don't want to continue anymore.

At the finale of the 30 minute route, There's this awesome waterfall hole.


After the swim we grabbed some more snacks. There's also coffee and oatmeal cookies behind the beverage bar. I don't like oatmeal cookies, but these were really good.

At this point we have done everything in the park. It was only 2 pm. Our bus wasn't leaving until 5 pm so we had plenty of time to waste.

Linh decided he wanted to check out the Jaguar zip-line course. My brother only went on the deer course. So I didn't know what to expect.


The jaguar course doesn't have a water slide, but they do have a few cool cable bridges. I didn't feel to comfortable walking across them.


an even longer cable bridge.

We've already been zip lining and are already high up, and now we go up even higher.

This was the view from the top of the tower.



This zip-line is long. I'm pretty sure it's longer than the one on Catalina Island. This one actually made me nervous. From start to hitting the bumper it was almost a minute ride. This zip-line alone was worth going through the Jaguar course. Glad Linh decided to go through this course.

At the next tower you can see the hole that looks into the Stalactite swim that we were in earlier.

Even the Jaguar zip-line course ends with a zip-line through the water fall and into the water.

After zip-lining we headed back to the Amphibious vehicles. I guess you're only allowed to do each course once. We had already done both course, but since it was slow they allowed us to ride it again, but he asked if I could leave a guest comment in the guest book... Sounds like a good deal to me. I wanted to ride course 2 which is longer, but we had to ride course 1, so I let Linh drive since I already did course 1. Not only did we have vehicles start in front of us, they also gave us the slowest cart ever. Linh couldn't catch up to anyone even if he wanted to. Lol.

While snapping the above photo Linh noticed the Hammock zip-line. We thought it was for kids, but nope it's open to adults too.

There's also a lounge area overlooking the waterfall zip-lines.


No harness needed for this one, just sit int he hammock and off you go.


Headed back to the heart to write a guest review of the place.

Then we headed off for second lunches.

We finished every activity and some. Changed our clothes and had about 45 minutes to burn before we needed to head out to our bus. We finally got a chance to lay on the hammocks.

It was amazingly comfortable and it was a gorgeous day. I fell asleep within minutes. Good thing Linh set an alarm on his phone.


We headed off to our exit. Returned our key and helmets and got on our bus. There are separate buses that take you to different resorts. You just have to find the right one. They have a checklist of names of who's suppose to be on the bus. I think someone was missing, but we only waited about 10 minutes and they never showed up. So the bus left them. So don't be late.

Xplor Park was amazing. I didn't imagine it to be so much fun, the weather was perfect and the activities are exciting. The water is so clear and clean. The water dried and left no water spots on my sunglasses. Definitely would recommend checking out this place. They also do Xplor Park at night.

After a long day at the park we were tired. Fell asleep on the ride back. Got back to the hotel and the sun was still out.

The first thing we did when we got back was to check with the front desk regarding our room issue. We spoke with the same person that checked us in the night before and she said everything was sorted out and they voided Linh's credit card charge from our first day.



Pretty much freshened up and headed down to look for dinner.




On our way to dinner we passed San Telmo which is the steakhouse, but it's by reservation only. Reservation are made a day ahead and reservations are taken between 2-4 pm. We missed the reservation time, because we arrived on Monday at 5 pm and we were at Xplor Park all day today. We only had one night left, so we asked if she could squeeze us in. She gave us a reservation for the next day at 7pm.

We tried to have dinner at El Mexicano, but they said we needed to wear T-shirts. We were wearing tank tops.


We tried Kambu next, but it was the same thing.

So we headed back upstairs to change. We decided to have dinner at Kambu.

There's also a pizza shack with a brick oven.


When we sat down for Kambu, I noticed the menu was Asian themed. Since the Asian themed buffet last night wasn't that good, I didn't have any high expectations for this menu either. I just assumed that the Asian food that was at the buffet was the same stuff they served on this menu.


You can upgrade to lobster for a cost.


Live lobster tank.


Kambu was a really nice restaurant. I've been drinking Vodka at the resort and was curious what they had to offer for Cognac. They told me they had Martell Cognac. So I ordered it with coke.

I was watching them pour my drink and noticed that the bartender filled my glass with a clear liquid from a blue bottle, then topped it off with Martell and coke. I assumed it was probably a Vodka filler to give alcohol content and topped with Martell so that I can get the flavor without noticing the filler. I assume they did this to save on the cost of Martell.

After seeing my first drink being poured, I started ordering Martell by the glass with a side of coke.


I started with the Gyoza. It was good nothing outstanding about it.

I also had Miso soup.

Linh got the Tosa-Mi. It was seared tuna on rice with a honey giner sauce. This was really good.

For my main entree I had the chicken with yellow curry. The buffet served a fish in green curry yesterday and that was what I was expecting, but to my surprise it was something totally different and it was very tasty. I was taken by surprise because the buffet yesterday really set my expectation low.

The curry came with rice, naan and chili sauce. I ate the rice, but the naan wasn't good. It was a bit hard.

Linh had some type of beef stir fry, and that was really good too. The beef was tender and tasty.


For desert I had the Tempura

Linh got the Samosas

Both of the deserts were incredible.

We left a hefty tip for our server and the bartender. The server was coming by our table with the entire bottle of Martell and was just pouring it in a glass and asking me when to stop. We had several glasses before we left the restaurant.


After dinner we headed to the rec room.


It was empty and they were showing a replay of the Rousey vs Holm fight.


They had a pool table in the rec room, but it was leaning to the left and the felt tips on the pool sticks were worn down to a nub.

The bar stays open until 2 am, closes at 1 am if no one is there. They do have Grey Goose and other preimum alcohol, but you have to pay extra for them.

We stayed for a few minutes and decided to head back to the pool/beach area.


Walked around on the beach and found these beach beds.


Looks to be reservations only.

We headed back to the bar at Kambu for more drinks. The other bars didn't have Martell.


No glassware on the beach. Only plastic.


We ended up lounging on the lawn in front of the beach. The beds behind us are available for reservation for 1000 pesos ($56 usd). You book them through Kambu restaurant. For the price you get a bottle of Champagne or wine and a 30 minute massage. You can also split it into two 15 minute massages if you want. Not bad of a deal if you ask me.

We ended up sitting on the lawn for a while. Got pretty wasted.




The bar was starting to clean up.

The bartender let me snap a pic of the alcohol we were drinking. So I was correct on the alcohol filler. It was absolut. Linh was drinking that all night

On our way back to the hotel bar, we passed the kid pirate ship pool playground. I think I talked Linh into going down the slide.

The aftermath. We were drunk. Fun times.


Nothing much happening on a Tuesday night at the bar, but we'll make the best of it.

Had a Strawberry daiquiri to get a break from all the shots.


Eventually shots made there way back into my life. They didn't have Martell so I ended up drinking Johnny Walker Red Label.



The bartender started making random shots and handing them out to us.

More shots.



Met some other drunk people at the bar. Sara on the left with her friend. I think they were from Nebraska.

even more shots.


I don't even know what I'm drinking anymore.

Oh god why...It looks like tiny beers.

Linh befriend this lady that was sitting next to him. She was nice, it was just her and her daughter on vacation. I think they were from Illinois.

Linh and I have been seeing all these coconut trees around the property and we really wanted fresh coconuts. So we asked Luis if he could get us some and he delivered. Gave him a nice tip for his effort.


Mom with her daughter Devon.


They just keeping showing up.

We eventually left the bar. It was the only way to get away from all the shots. I really have no idea what time it was. We left Kambu because it closed at 11 pm. So it's probably 12 ish... maybe?

Headed back to the room.


Linh was hurting.

I was super drunk and decided to go for a walk around the property.

Looks like the bar is empty now, maybe even closed?


Linh still hanging out the window where I last left him.


Went for a stroll on the beach.



Saw this lifeguard chair and thought I should sit in it for a while.






Got back to the room and don't remember ordering room service. Linh doesn't remember either. I'm not even sure which one of us put in the phone order.

but I guess I had a pizza.

That's it for our second night. I woke up and threw up in the toilet. It was a fun filled night.

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