hammock splash xplor

Adventure Family Fun at Xplor

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The Mayan Riviera offers lots of activities for families and it can be hard to choose where to spend your time.  We had the pleasure of visiting two of the Xcaret parks and we were absolutely blown away by them.

What is Xplor?

Xplor is a unique park, unlike anywhere else we have visited around the world.  It is an adventure park that seamlessly incorporates the natural geography of the Yucatan into a fun-filled, adrenaline-pumping park for the whole family.  The main activities at Xplor are the ziplines, amphibious vehicle tracks and the underwater cave system.  We visited during the day, but they also offer an evening attraction with the same activities, called Xplor Fuego. To get a better sense of what Xplor is all about, check out these videos.

Xplor Fuego

Photo courtesy of Xplor

Xplor is best for families with kids over 6 who like active, adventure activities.  We were so impressed with how the park incorporates the natural environment into its activities.  Where else in the world can you raft through an underground cave with stalagmites, soar over the jungle on the Riviera Maya’s tallest zip lines and drive through puddles and underground caves on amphibious vehicles?  All activities have two courses, one easier and one more challenging, allowing kids to choose which they feel most comfortable with.Xplor for families

In addition to having super fun and unique activities, we were really impressed with the organization of the park, friendly staff who spoke both English and Spanish and all the little details that made this park so incredible.  It is definitely a park you need a full day to experience so make sure you get there right at opening at 9 am and plan to stay until closing at 5 pm.  In that full day, we had time to do both courses of every activity at the park and enjoy a nice and relaxing lunch.

Xplor is an all inclusive park, with unlimited food, snacks, smoothies and non-alcoholic drinks.  We loved the focus on healthy foods that keep you going throughout the day.

Xplor with Kidsxplor with kids

Xplor is the perfect way for families to test their courage in a variety of adventure activities.  Xplor is best for kids 6+; our 7 year old was fearless in taking on every activity.  There really are activities for everyone in the family at Xplor.  If your kids don’t want to do the ziplines, there is a fantastic children’s area for kids with an obstacle course and they will enjoy riding in the amphibious vehicles and swimming in the underground river.  There are also lots of areas to just relax in hammocks between adventure activities.

Arriving at Xplor

Arrive right at the opening time so you can make sure you do all the activities that the park has to offer.  You will immediately be impressed by the entrance that is in a cave.  When you arrive, you will check in, complete a waiver, receive your helmet, bracelet and locker key and you are ready to go.

The “heart” is the centre of the park and all activities branch off from this underground area.  There is a large underground heart that actually pulses, so you know you are close.  Signs are very well labelled and there is an informative board with wait times, drinks to stay hydrated, lockers, and bathrooms all within this central area.

Xplor heart

The heart of Xplor

Right away, start taking photos wherever you see photo opportunities.  Scan you bracelet and smile for the camera!  Our kids loved posing for these photos and if you purchase the photo package, you will digitally receive all the photos taken in the park.caves of Xplor

Xplor Activities

Ziplinesxplor ziplines

The ziplines are a great place to start as they get busier throughout the day.  There are two circuits to choose from, totaling over 3.8 km.  We started with the blue circuit which is less scary, but still super fun.  The kids loved that you get totally wet on this course, from the water slide and the final zipline into a cenote.  Later in the day we did the red circuit which has higher and longer ziplines.Xplor ziplines with kids

It was a windy day when we were visiting and the kids had to go together so that they didn’t get stuck halfway.  There were a few that we were able to go solo.  The staff were absolutely awesome, keeping people moving quickly, but also always checking up on everyone.  We have done a lot of ziplining and we can attest to the safety of the Xplor ziplines and the professionalism of the staff.

It does say on their website that kids need to be 88 lbs to do the ziplines, but we did not see this enforced and our 7 year old who is definitely much lighter than 88 lbs was completely fine on both circuits.

Amphibious Vehicles

These are real amphibious vehicles that you actually drive (no tracks here) through caves, puddles and jungle.  Drivers have to be 18+ with a driver’s license and each vehicle can hold 4 passengers.  The cars are actually really easy to drive and we squealed every time we bumped over hills, splashed through water and entered the natural cave system.

There are two courses that weave throughout the park with people zip lining above.  Each course is 5 km long and takes about 20-30 minutes.  The first course takes you through the jungle and caves and over a bridge.  Once you successfully complete that course, you can move on to the course that has lots of puddles and takes you to a great viewpoint.  Be prepared to get wet on both of them.

Hammock Splash

This activity has you ride a hammock chair on a zipline over a cenote, splashing down into the water.  Hammocks are ubiquitous with the Yucatan and we loved the use of them to create a fun activity.  This was a fun activity to do between the major activities as there was never much of a line up.

Stalactite River Swim

Xplor is located over a massive natural cave system and there are three ways to enjoy the caves: you will walk through them to get to many activities, you can do the stalactite river swim or you can raft through the caves.

It really is surreal to swim through the caves and you can choose a short course that takes less than 10 minutes or longer course that takes up to 30 minutes.  Life jackets are mandatory.  You simply swim following the blue lit pathway, while taking in the stalactites.

Rafts

raft

Photo courtesy of Xcaret

Another way to enjoy the underground caves is to raft through them.  There are single rafts and double rafts and you are given paddles for your hands to move you through.  This was actually more difficult than it looks, so we were glad we chose the short course, which was only 10 minutes.

Children’s AreaXplor with kids

I definitely recommend Xplor for 6+, although kids 8+ will probably get the most out of the park.  For younger kids, there is a fun children’s area with an obstacle course and little swimming area.  There are also lots of places to relax in hammocks throughout the park.

Xplor Food and DrinkXplor all inclusive

Xplor is an all-inclusive park with a lovely buffet and lots of delicious non-alcoholic fruit juices and smoothies.

You can pick up drinks and cookies from the snack stations, to keep you going throughout the day.  We loved all the yummy smoothie combinations and trying the different juices, like the local jamaica (hibiscus juice) and horchata (spiced rice milk drink).

Xplor has one massive buffet restaurant called El Troglodita that is open from 11-5.  The food quality was awesome with lots of delicious healthy foods for me and kid favourites like hamburgers, pizza and ice cream.  There was a huge range of Mexican foods as well including my favourites, delicious guacamole and warm churros.

Xplor Photo Package

There are numerous places throughout the park to have your photo taken.  You just scan your bracelet and smile for the camera.  Your photo will also be taken automatically on the zip lines and linked to you via your helmet number.

While the photo package is expensive, the quality of the photos is amazing and it is great not to have to worry about taking your own photos.  The price depends on the number of people in your party and starts at $59 USD when purchased in advance.

Xplor TipsXplor review

  • Get there early. The park opens at 9 am.
  • Use the wait time sign in the Heart to decide what to do next.
  • Don’t bring sunscreen – you don’t need it and it has to be natural sunscreen or you will have to check it before you enter the park. They do sell natural sunscreens if you need it.
  • Wear water shoes or Keen sandals. Flip flops aren’t good for the ziplines.  We just got by with bare feet.
  • Even though you are in the jungle, there were surprisingly no mosquitos.
  • No selfie sticks allowed. Our Gopro was on a selfie stick, so we couldn’t use it on the ziplines. Have a helmet attachment if you want to use a GoPro or purchase the Photo Package.
  • Buy the Photo Package – there are so many amazing places to have photos taken that will be way better than what you can take on your own.
  • Be prepared to work hard. Lots of stairs to climb, which means you won’t feel guilty indulging at the buffet.
  • The more parks you visit, the better the discounts are! If you are staying at the Xcaret Hotel (one day we will definitely do this), you have unlimited access to all Xcaret parks.

Getting to Xplor

You can purchase transfers to Xplor from your hotel when you purchase your Xplor tickets for $27 USD/person.  Xplor is located closer to Playa del Carmen (4 km south) and depending where you are staying, it might be cheaper to take a taxi, especially for a larger group.  If you have a rental car, you can park for free at Xplor.  Driving along the Mayan Riviera is very easy along highway 307.

Safety at Xplor

Being an adventure park, Xplor takes safety very seriously and we were really impressed with the quality of the equipment and safety procedures.  The harnesses, helmets, rafts, life jackets, amphibious vehicles were all in excellent condition.  On the zip lines you are always clipped in and staff are extremely cautiousness.

Purchasing Xplor Tickets

If purchased in advance online, Xplor tickets cost $108 USD/adult and $54 USD/child 5-11 years old.  The minimum age to visit is 5.  You can purchase your tickets here.

We know that this price can be expensive for families, but once you are in the park you will be impressed with the quality of the park and experience.  The park never felt crowded and the service and visitor experience is top notch.  Luckily our kids were all under 12 at the time of our visit, making it much more affordable.

Our Verdict

We had a fantastic full day of adventure at Xplor.  The park is unlike anywhere else we have ever been and we loved their unique concept which is perfect for families with school-aged kids who like adventure activities.

Disclosure: Xplor covered our tickets for the purpose of our honest review.  As always, all opinions are our own.  

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Xplor with kids

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