Renowned as the largest natural aquarium in the world, Xel-Ha Park lies hidden in a heavenly designed inlet on Quintana Roo’s Caribbean coast. Like Xcaret, its sister park, Xel-Ha is a commercial aquatic theme park and a self-described ecotourism development. This tropical park combines Mayan history, natural beauty, and fun-filled water activities.
Xel-Ha Park was founded in 1980. The ancient Mayan’s dubbed the area Xel-Ha, meaning “where the water is born”. Legend says the Mayan gods pooled their wisdom, dreams, and love of beauty to create a place that gathers the Caribbean’s best elements. The gods were so pleased with their work they decided to allow mortal habitation. Since then, tourists have flocked from all over the world to experience this Eden.
The Scenic Beauty of Xel-Ha
Xel-Ha is a place of unimaginable beauty. A turquoise lagoon sparkles at the landscape’s center. Connecting to the lagoon is a gently flowing river. And a lush, green jungle surrounds the water. Many ancient Mayan cenotes are scattered throughout the jungle. Xel-Ha Park is also home to a wide assortment of wildlife. It is the habitat of more than 100 bird types and 350 plant species. 20,000 baby turtles are set free annually at Xel-Ha’s “turtle camp”.
Activities in Xel-Ha
Xel-Ha Park is filled with unique activities, snorkeling being the most popular. The lagoon is a natural aquarium free of walls and glass panes. Xel-Ha accommodates everyone, from first time swimmers to expert snorkelers. Over 70 different aquatic species chose Xel-Ha for
their habitat. Plunging into the dizzying myriad of colorful fish is the experience of a lifetime. Swimmers will encounter everything from dolphins to stingrays, all in their natural home.
Visitors can also explore caves and cenotes along paved walking trails. These trails wind through the jungle and provide a plethora of beautiful views. After a day of exploration, visitors can unwind by drifting lazily on an inner tube down the Xel-Ha River. A few hidden beaches with hammocks for relaxing can be found throughout the park.
Xel-Ha promises an exciting, but relaxing day. Visitors can fill their day with as much adventure or relaxation as desired. It is a paradise that accommodates people of all ages. The park uniquely represents ancient Mayan culture and combines it with loads of beauty and family fun. Xel-Ha is a must-visit for any Mexico traveler.