A Visit to Mexico’s Xcaret (i.e. Aly Faces Her Biggest Fears, and Is Rewarded with Margaritas)

While I’d love to moan and groan that I had to travel all the way to the beaches of Cancun on a work trip, and have fun in the sun with colleagues under the guise of “research”, I know better than that.

But, I must share a tale of a place called Xcaret.

While on a media trip to the all-inclusive resort of Royal Holiday Park Royal in Cancun, my hosts decided we needed a taste of “nature”… and so we took an hour long road trip to Xcaret.

Now for those of you with families…or who like ‘nature”, I’m told this is an unmissable spot if you are visiting Mexico.

It is located only 35 miles south from Cancun Mexico International Airport and 4 miles south from Playa del Carmen.

That said, I do not have kids. I do not like particularly like animals…or nature. And I got to spend the day there anyway.

I will confess the setting was actually incredibly beautiful, and while enjoying a Corona (yes, I drink beer…only in Mexico) overlooking the pink flamingos beneath, I was rather moved. But when Kimmie and I had to ride a wood raft through a murky swamp into a bat-infested cave? Not so much.

It must be said: The underground river said wood raft drifted on is truly amazing. A current takes you through series of beautiful caves that millions of years ago formed part of the ocean floor.

We saw fossilized coral and marine life, and, well, bats. Not so amazing..but well, Dracula liked them, so that’s cool.

They also have tons of other sites, like a butterfly pavilion (one of the largest in the world), said bat cave – this is not for the faint of heart. It’s dark, damp and smelly and you can literally hear the bats rustling around above you.

Yes, that’s as horrifying as it sounds.

One of the star attractions of Xcaret is — believe it or not, not the bats or river raft — but the indigenous animals including two magnificent jaguars, one spotted and one black. Honestly, they were just napping on the grass, and I found myself rather jealous. It was a long day, and we were super tired, and missing our margaritas and beach-time! We saw other  endangered species, such as spider monkeys, curious looking manatees, and many varieties of sea turtles.

So, yeah, that part was cool.

One of my favorite sites was the macaw. Xcaret’s bird breeding program focuses on local species, particularly those that are endangered. This scarlet macaw is one of dozens in the park. They were super outgoing and were seen everywhere — even hanging about as we enjoyed lunch!

So, yeah, I ended the day sweaty, smelly, and with three mosquito bites. But I didn’t die, and got to see quail eggs hatch. So, all in all, I guess I survived my taste of nature…before heading back to the type of civilization I greatly prefer. (i.e. the beach. Hey, God created that too!)


1 Response to “A Visit to Mexico’s Xcaret (i.e. Aly Faces Her Biggest Fears, and Is Rewarded with Margaritas)”

  1. October 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Good for you facing your fears, Aly!! 🙂 I’m laughing because I didn’t even notice the bats!! Yipes! 🙂 The river sure was beautiful and I’m so glad you were able to relax at the bar after bobbing along through those scary caves. 🙂

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