You can’t miss the billboards, tricked out buses, and ads plastered everywhere for this something-for-everyone attraction. Xcaret (“eesh-ca-ret”) is the biggest deal in these parts and even has its own resort. Thousands visit every week; stay away if you like solitude but give it a shot if you want to combine nature, culture, gastronomy, art, and fun in one busy day. Xcaret samples everything the Yucatán—and the rest of Mexico—has to offer, and action junkies take full advantage of the pricey admission.
The myriad activities include scuba and snorkeling; cavern diving; hiking through tropical forest; horseback riding; an underwater river ride; swinging in a hammock under palms; and meeting indigenous Maya locals. Exhibits include a bat cave; a butterfly pavilion; mushroom and orchid nurseries; and a petting aquarium. Native jaguars, manatees, sea turtles, monkeys, macaws, and flamingos are also on display.
The best folk art museum in Mexico is housed in the Hacienda Henequenera, a traditional Yucatecan hacienda with rooms decorated as if a family lived there. The wonderful folk art collection from throughout Mexico decorates the rooms, and the displays are always changing.
The Cava, an amazing underground wine cellar, displays bottles from Mexico’s many excellent wineries and offers wine tastings with advance reservations; the dining rooms looks like somewhere major global negotiations would take place. The Hacienda and Cava both offer guided tours; book them when purchasing your entrance tickets.
The evening show celebrates Mexico in music and dance, and the costumes and choreography are unequaled anywhere in Mexico. This show is a genuinely mesmerizing spectacle, presenting so many aspects of the Mexican nation that you feel like you’ve toured the whole country by the time the performers take their last bow. Various packages include transportation, food and beverages, and admission to XPLOR (also on this site) and Xel-Ha.