Thursday, January 19, 2017

Xel-Ha Park review

Got up bright and early around 6 am. There was a breakfast menu in our room. We just marked what we wanted for breakfast, the delivery time and hung it on our door the night before. As long as you have it on your door by 3 am, they'll have breakfast delivered to you that morning. We chose 6-6:30 am. Breakfast was promptly delivered around 6:10 am.

Tammy and I had the typical american breakfast. It was delicious and eggs were done exactly how I like them.

Not pictured, but our breakfast also included coffee, orange juice, mango juice, & an assortment of baked goods. I was really surprised with how fresh the mango juice was. I thought it would have been from a can, but it tasted very fresh and not processed.

Headed down to the lobby at 7:10 am and shortly after our transportation arrived.

Once on the bus they take you to another hub where you follow the colored lines to the appropriate bus to take you to your designated excursion. Tammy and I chose to visit Xel-Ha Park. I purchased tickets online in advance. If you purchase tickets at least 21 days in advance you save 15%, 7-20 days you save 10%. I was able to get tickets and transportation for about $105 each.

If you do plan on going don't forget to bring water shoes. They do have environmentally friendly sunblock at the park or you can buy it on the bus for about $5.50 or 120 pesos. I also recommend getting bug repellent. Apply sunblock first then bug repellent.

Xel-Ha is about a 1 1/2 hr bus ride from the hotel zone.

My waterproof camera broke a few months ago in Hawaii and I didn't want to miss any picture opportunities. So I bought a water case for my Samsung S5 from Amazon and it performed wonderfully. All of the pictures from Xel-Ha were take with my phone. If you're interested the case I got was the Joto Universal Waterproof Case

Here's a video mash-up of our entire day at the park.

Entrance to Xel-Ha

Hammock village. I know I'll be here eventually.

A bunch of Macaws hanging out for some photo opportunities. If you don't have a camera you can just scan your wrist band at all the yellow smiley face stations and a camera will take your picture. You can review them later and purchase them if you like.

There was a bit of an overcast.

So included with your admission, you get a locker, all you can eat buffet, & all you can drink (includes alcohol) You also get snorkel gear and fins. Almost at every water entry point there is a rack of life vest. So you can take one and go when you like. I wear glasses and Xel-Ha did provide prescription goggles when I asked for them. There were many locker stations, that were all color coded. We were in the red section and the Rx goggles they had on hand was a 5 and 3.  I'm unsure if those are the only goggles they offered, but there might have been more at other stations.

The staff recommended that we start at Home River which is a river that flows through the mangroves and enters the lagoon. So we hopped on a bike and took a quick ride to Home River, you also have the option of taking the tram or just walking to Home River. With the overcast, I was worried the water would be cold, but it wasn't. It's a bit of shock when you first get in, but you adjust very quickly.

There are also Manatees, you can do the Manatee experience for an additional charge.

After chilling on the inner tube for a while we headed off to lunch.

The food offered was your normal buffet fair.

Sun eventually came out around 1 pm.

There's a small cave you can swim into and explore.

At the back of the park there are a few more water holes you can visit.

Rope swing. Didn't see an employee around, so I guess use at your own risk.

Steps into a narrow water channel that opens up to the rope swing.

There's also cliff jumping and holes in the rock wall, so you can climb back up if you like.

Found a Coati eating fish pellets.

There's also a few rope obstacle course and zip-lines into the lagoon.

They sell a passport book and you can go around to each of the activities get a stamp for your book.

Around 3 pm Tammy and I were done with the park.

Grabbed myself a drink and just lounged about.

You can also play with the Dolphins for an extra charge.

Time for some more food.

I made a bird friend. He likes bread.

Around 5:30 pm we headed out of the park to look for our bus back to our hotel. One more for the road.

Xel-Ha is amazing. If you like swimming and snorkeling, it's definitely is a must. Plus alcohol is all inclusive also. It was a lot easier to snorkel at Xel-Ha because of how calm it was in the lagoon. Prior to this experience I thought Hanauma Bay in Oahu, HI was great, but this place takes the cake. Saw a bunch of fish everywhere and at one point also ran into a Barracuda. Stared at his for a few seconds then I decided to swim in the opposite direction.

The only other excursion I had been on was Xplor which was more of an adventure park, zip lines, ATVs, cave swimming, etc.. Xel-Ha was more relaxing and Xplor was more exciting. I recommend both places, but Xel-Ha wins a bit with the all inclusive alcohol which Xplor lacks. Otherwise two great parks.

When we got back to our room, they had left a bottle of Champagne and chocolate strawberries for our anniversary.

The room was also equipped with an aromatherapy burner and there was a list of oils you can request and they will deliver them when they turn down your room.

Also incense was provided.

After we freshened up we headed to dinner.

Decided to try Azur this time.

Hummus and Pita bread

Spanish Salad: tuna, potato, egg, green peas, red onion peppers. It was quite tasty.

Beef Carpaccio and Parmesan Crust. This was really good.

Seafood Croquettes. These were better than the liquid crap croquettes at MB.

Forgot what type of soups we had.

This one was a seafood soup.

Lamb. This was so tender, quite gamey, but good.

Tammy got the Mahi Mahi with Broccoli and Cauliflower Couscous

I forget what this is called, but it's like a dessert noodle soup. The noodles are made from crepes.

Tammy had a dessert similar to Creme Brulee

After dinner he headed back to the room, watched a few movies and ordered some room service around 2 am.

Hawaiian Pizza. It's was okay, very thin crust though if that's what you like.

I think this was the seafood linguine. It was also meh..

That ends our second night in Cancun. We have two whole days to just enjoy the resort.

Tomorrow going to sleep in until whenever, eat, drink, and lounge in a cabana.

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